Page images

What rocks did Ætna's bellowing mouth expire The plain no pasture to the flock affords ;
From her torn entrails! and what floods of fire ! The crooked scythes are straighten’d into
What clanks were heard, in German skies afar, swords;
Of arms and armies, rushing to the war! And there Euphrates her soft offspring arms,
Dire earthquakes rent the solid Alps below, And here the Rhine rebellows with alarms;
And from their summits shook th' eternal The neighb'ring cities range on several sides,

Perfidious Mars long plighted leagues divides,
Þale spectres in the close of night were seen; And o'er the wasted world in triumph rides.
And voices heard of more than mortal men, So four fierce coursers, starting to the race,
In silent groves : dumb sheep and oxen spoke; Scour through the plain, and lengthen every
And streams ran backward, and their beds

pace; forsook :

Nor reins, nor curbs, nor threatning cries, they
The yawning earth disclos'd th' abyss of hell: fear,
The weeping statues did the wars foretell; But force along the trembling charioteer
And holy sweat from brazen idols fell.
Then, rising in his might, the king of floods
Rush'd through the forest, tore the lofty woods,
And, rolling onward, with a sweepy sway,

Bore houses, herds, and lab'ring hinds away,
Blood sprang from wells; wolves howl'd in towns

by night,

The subject of the following book is planting; in And bouing victims did the priests affright. handling of which argument, the poet shows al} Such peals of thunder never pour'd from high,

the different methods of raising trees, describes

their variety, and gives rules for the management Nor forky lightnings flash'd from such a sullen

of eachin particular. He then points out the soils sky.

in which the several plants thrive best, and thence

takes occasion to run out into the praises of Haly; Red meteors ran across the etherial space ;

after wbich, he gives some directions for discoStars disappear'd, and comets took their place. vering the nature or every soil, prescribes rules For this th' Emathian plains once more were

for dressing of vines, olives, &c. and concludes strew'd


the Georgic with a panegyric on a country life. With Roman bodies, and just heav'n thought Thus far of tillage, and of heav'nly signs; To fatten twice those fields with Roman blood. Now sing, my Muse, the growth of gen'rous Then, after length of time, the lab'ring swains, vines, Who turn the turfs of those unhappy plains, The shady groves, the woodland progeny, Shail rusty piles from the plough'd furrows And the slow product of Minerva's tree. take,

Great father Bacchus! to my song repair; And over empty helmets pass the rake For clust'ring grapes are thy peculiar care: Amaz'd at antique titles on the stones,

For thee large bunches load the bending vine ; And mighty relics of gigantic bones

And the last blessings of the year are thine. Ye home-born deities of mortal birth! To thee his joys the joly Autumn owes, Thou father Romulus, and mother Earth, When the sermenting juice the vat o'erflows. Goddess unmov'd! whose guardian arms ex Come, strip with me, my god! come drench tend,

all o'er O’er Tuscan Tiber's course, and Roman tow'rs Thy limbs in must of wine, and drink at ev'ry defend;


[owe; With youthful Cæsar your joint pow'rs engage, Some trees their birth to bounteous nature Nor hinder him to save the sinking age. For some, without the pains of planting, grow, 0! let the blood, already spilt, atone

With osiers thus the banks of brooks abound, For the past crimes of curst Laomedon! Sprung from the wat'ry genius of the ground. Heav'n wants thee there : and long the gods, we From the same principles gray willows come know,

Herculean poplar, and the tender broom Hara grudgd thee, Cæsar, to the world below, But some, from seeds inclos'd in earth arise ; Where fraud and rapine right and wrong con

For thus the mastful chestnut mates the skies. found,

Hence rise the branching beech and vocal oak, Where impious arms from ev'ry part resound, Where Jove of old oraculously spoke. And monstrous crimes in ev'ry shape are Some from the root a rising wou : crown'd.

Thus elms, and thus the savage cherry grows : The peacefui peasant to the wars is press'd; Thus the green bay, that binds the poet's brows, T'he fields lie sailow in inglorious rest;

Shoots, and is shelter'd by the mother's bougha.

These ways of planting Nature did ordain, Starves and destroys the fruit, is only made For trees and shrubs, and all the sylvan reign. For brawny bulk, and for a barren shade. Others there are, by late experience found, The plant that shoots from seed, a sullen tree, Some cut the shoots, and plant in furrow'd At leisure grows, for late posterity, ground;

The gen'rous flavour lost, the fruits decay, Some cover rooted stalks in deeper mould; And savage grapes are made the bird's ignoble Some, cloven-stakes; and (wondrous to be- prey. hold!)

Much labour is requir'd in trees, to tame Their sharpen'd ends in earth their footing Their wild disorder, and in ranks reclaim. place;

Well must the ground be digg'd, and better And the dry poles produce a living race;

dressid, Some bow their vines, which buried in the plain; New soil to make, and meliorate the rest. Their tops in distant arches rise again. Old stakes of olive trees in plants revive Others no root require; the lab’rer cuts By the same method Paphian myrtles live: Young slips, and in the soil securely puts. But nobler vines by propagation thrive. Ev'n stumps of olives, bar'd of leaves, and dead, From roots hard hazels, and from scions rise Revive, and oft redeem their wither'd head. Tall ash, and taller oak that mates the skies. 'T is usual now an inmato graff to see

Palm, poplar, fir, descending from the steep With insolence invade a foreign tree :

of hills, to try the dangers of the deep. Thus pears and quinces from the crabtree come; The thin-leav'd arbute hazel-graffs receives ; And thus the ready cornel bears the plum. And planes huge apples bear, that bore but

Then let the learned gard'ner mark with care leaves. The kinds of stocks, and what those kinds will Thus mastful beech the bristly chestnut bears, bear;

And the wild ash is white with blooming pears. Explore the nature of each sev'ral tree, And greedy swine from grafted elms are fed And, known, improve with artful industry; With falling acorns, that on oaks are bred. And let no spot of idle earth be found;

But various are the ways to change the state But cultivate the genius of the ground : of plants, to bud, to graff, to inoculate. For open Ismarus will Bacchus please ; For, where the tender rinds of trees disclose Taburnus loves the shade of olive-trees, Their shooting gems, a swelling knot there The virtues of the sev'ral soils I sing.

grows : Mecenas, now thy needful succour bring! Just in that space a narrow slit we make, O thou, the better part of my renown,

Then other buds from bearing trees we take Inspire thy poet, and thy poem crown: Inserted thus, the wounded rind we close, Embark with me, while I new tracts explore, In whose moist womb th' admitted infant grows With Aying sails and breezes from the shore But, when the smoother bole from knots is free. Not that my song in such a scanty space, We make a deep incision in the tree. So large a subject fully can embrace- And in the solid wood the slip inclose; Not though I were supplied with iron lungs, The batt’ning bastard shoots again and growi · A hundred mouths, fill'd with as many tongues : And in short space the laden boughs arise, But steer my vessel with a steady hand, With happy fruit advancing to the skies. And coast along the shore in sight of land. The mother plant admires the leaves unknown Nor will I tire thy patience with a train Of alien trees, and apples not her own. or preface, or what ancient poets feign.

Of vegetable woods are various kinds ; The trees which of themselves advance in air And the same species are of several minds. Are barren kinds, but strongly built and fair, Lotes, willows, elms, have different forms alBecause the vigour of the native earth

low'd : Maintains the plant, and makes a manly birth. So fun'ral cypress, rising like a shroud. Yet these, receiving grafts of other kind, Fat olive trees of sundry sorts appear, Or thence transplanted, change their savage Of sundry shapes : their unctious berries bear. mind,

Radii long olives, orchites round produce, Their wildness lose, and, quitting nature's part, And bitter pausia, pounded for the juice. Obey the rules and discipline of art.

Alcinoūs' orchard various apples bears : The same do trees, that, sprung from barten Unlike are burgamots and pounder pears. roots,

Nor our Italian vines produce the shape, In open fields transplanted bear their fruits.

Or taste, or flavour of the Lesbian grape. For, where they grow, the native energy, Tho Thasian vines in richer soils abound; Turns all into the substance of the tree, The Mareotic grow in barren ground.

The Psythian grape we dry: Lagean juice But neither Median woods, (a plenteous land) Will stamm'ring tongues and stagg'ring feet Fair Ganges, Hermus rolling golden sand, produce.

Nor Bactria, nor the richer Indian fields, Rath ripe are some, and some of later kind, Nor all the gummy stores Arabia yields, of golden some, and some of purple rind. Nor any foreign earth of greater name, How shall I praise the Rhætian grape divine, Can with sweet Italy contend in fame. Which yet contends not with Falernian wine? No bulls, whose nostrils breathe a living flame, Th' Arminian many a consulship survives, Have turn'd our turf; no teeth of serpents here And longer than the Lydian vintage lives, Were sown, an arm’d host and iron crop to Or high Phanæus, king of Chian growth:

bear. But, for large quantities and lasting, both, But fruitful vines, and the fat olive's freight, The less Argitis bears the prize away,

And harvests heavy with their fruitful weight, The Rhodian, sacred to the solemn day, Adorn our fields; and on the cheerfuil green In second services is pour'd to Jove,

The grazing flocks and lowing herds are seen. And best accepted by the gods above.

The warrior horse, here bred, is taught to train: Nor must Bumastus his old honours lose, There flows Clitumnus through the flow'ry In length and largeness like the dugs of cows.

plain, pass the rest, whose ev'ry race, and name, Whose waves, for triumphs after prosp'rous And kinds, are less material to my theme;

war, Which, who would learn, as soon may tell the The victim ox, and snowy sheep prepare. sands,

Perpetual spring our happy climate sees : Driv'n by the western wind on Libyan lands; Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the Or number, when the blust'ring Eurus roars,

trees; The billows beating on Ionian shores.

And summer suns recede by slow degrees. Nor ev'ry plant on ev'ry soil will grow : Our land is from the rage of tigers freed, The sallow loves the wat’ry ground and low; Nor nourishes the lion's angry seed; The marshes, alders : Nature seems tordain Nor pois'nous aconite is here produc'd, The rocky cliff for the wild ash's reign; Or grows unknown, or is, when known, refus'd; The baleful yew to northern blasts assigns, Nor in so vast a length our serpents glide, To shores the myrtles, and to mounts the vines. Or rais'd on such a spiry volume ride. Regard the extremest cultivated coast,

Next and our cities of illustrious name, From hot Arabia to the Scythian frost :

Their costly labour, and stupendous fraine ; All sorts of trees their sev'ral countries know; Our foris on steepy hills, that far below Black ebon only will in India grow,

See wanton streams in winding valleys flow; And od'rous frankincense on the Sabæan bough. Our twofold seas, that, washing either side, Balm slowly trickles thro' the bleeding veins A rich recruit of foreign stores provide ; Of happy shrubs in Idumæan plains.

Our spacious lakes; thee, Larius, first; and The green Egyptian thorn, for med'cine good,

next With Æthiops' hoary trees and woolly wood, Benacus, with tempestuous billows vex'd. Let others tell ; and how the Seres spin Or shall I praise thy ports, or mention mako Their fleecy forests in a slender twine ;

Or the vast mound that binds the Lucrine lake? With mighty trunks of trees on Indian shores, Or the disdainful sea, that, shut from thence, Whose height above the fearber'd arrow soars, Roars round the structure, and invades the Shot from the toughest bow, and, by the brawn

fence. Of expert archers with vast vigour drawn. There, where secure the Julian waters glide, Sharp tasted citrons Median climes produce, Or where Avernus' jaws admit the Tyrrhene (Bitter the rind, but gen'rous is the juice)

tide ? A cordial fruit, a present antidote

Our quarries deep in earth, were fam'd of old Against the direful stepdame's deadly draught, For veins of silver, and for ore of gold. Who, mixing wicked weeds with words impure, Th’inhabitants themselves their country grace : The fate of envied orphans would procure.

Hence rose the Marsian and Sabellian race, Large is the plant, and like a laurel grows, Strong limb'd and stout, and to the wars in And, did it not a diff'rent scent disclose,

clin'd, A laurel were : the fragrant tow's contemn And hard Ligurians, a laborious kind, The storniy wind, tenacious of their stem. And Volscians arm'd with iron-headed darth With this, the Medes to lab'ring age be Besides—an offspring of undaunted hearts... queath

The Decii, Marii, great Camillus, came New lungs, and cure the soumess of the breath. From hence, and greater Scipio's double name,


And mighty Cæsar, whose victorious arms Then birds forsake the ruins of their seat,
To farthest Asia carry fierce alarms,

And, flying from their nests, their callow young Avert unwarlike Indians from his Rome,

forget. Triumph abroad, secure our peace at home. The coarse lean gravel, on the mountain-sides,

Hail, sweet Saturnian soil! of fruitful grain Scarce dewy bev'rage for the bees provides ; Great parent, greater of illustrious men! Nor chalk nor crumbling stones, the food of For thee iny tuneful accents will I raise,

snakes, And treat of arts disclos'd in ancient days, That work in hollow earth their winding tracks, Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring, The soil exhaling clouds of subtle dews, And old Ascræan verse in Roman cities sing. Imbibing moisture which with ease she spews,

The nature of the sev'ral soils now see Which rusts not iron, and whose mould is clean, Their strength, their colour, their fertility : Well cloth'd with cheerfui grass, and ever green, And first for heath, and barren hilly ground, Is good for olives, and aspiring vines, 'Where meagre clay and flinty stones abound, Embracing husband-elms in am'rous twines ; Where the poor soil all succour seems to Is fit for feeding cattle, fit to sow,

And equal to the pasture and the plough. Yet this sufficos the Palladian plant.

Such is the soil of fat Campanian fields ; Undoubled signs of such a soil are found ; Such large increase the land that joins Vesuvius For here wild olive-shools o'erspread the yields; ground,

And such a country could Acerræ boast, And heaps of borries strew the fields around. Till Clanius overflow'd the unhappy coast. But, where the soil, with fati’ning moisture I teach thee next the diff'ring soils to know, fillid,

The light for vines, the heavier for the plough. Is cloth'd with grass,

and fruitful to be tillid, Choose first a place for such a purpose fit : Such as in cheerful vales we view from high, There dig the solid earth and sink a pit; Which dripping rocks with rolling streams Next fill the hole with its own earth again, supply,

And trample with thy feet and tread it in: And feed with ooze ; where rising hillocks run Then, if it rise not to the former height In length, and open to the southern sun; Of superfice, conclude that soil is light, Where fern succeeds, ungrateful to the plough— A proper ground for pasturage and vines. That gentle ground to gen'rous grapes allow. But, if the sullen earth, so press'd, repines Strong stocks of vines it will in time produce, Within its native mansion to retire, And overflow the vats with friendly juice, And stays without, a heap of heavy mire, Such as our priests in golden goblets pour 'Tis good for arable, a glebe that asks To gods, the givers of the cheerful hour, Tough teams of oxen, and laborious tasks. Then when the bloated Tuscan blows his horn, Salt earth and bitter are not fit to sow, And reeking entrails are in chargers borne. Nor will be tam'd and mended by the plough.

If herds or fleecy flocks be more thy care, Sweet grapes degen'rate there ; and fruits, Or goats that graze the field, and burn it bare, declin'd

[kud: Then seek Tarentum's lawns,and furthest coast, From their first flav'rous taste, renounce their Or such a field as hapless Mantua lost, This truth by sure experiment is tried : Where silver swans sail down the watry road, For first an osier colander provide And graze the floating herbage of the flood. Of twigs thick wrought (such toiling peasants There crystal streams perpetual tenor keep,

twine, Nor food nor springs are wanting to thy sheep; When thro' straight passages they strain their For, what the day devours, the nightly dew

wine :) Shall to the inorn in pearly drops renew. In this close vessel place that earth accurs'd, Fat crumbling earth is fitter for the plough, But 6!I'd briunful with wholesome water first; Putrid and loose above, and black below; Then run it through : the drops will rope around, For ploughing is an imitative toil,

And, by the bitter taste, disclose the ground. Resembling nature in an easy soil

The faiter earth by handling we may find, No land for seed like this; no fields afford With ease distinguish'd from the meagre kind So large an income to the village lord: Poor soil will crumble into dust; the rich No toilings teams from harvest-labour come Will to the fingers cleave like clammy pitch: So late at night, so heavy-laden home.

Moist earth produces corn and grass,

but both The like of forest land is understood, (wood, Too rank and tco luxuriant in their growth. From whence the surly ploughman grubs the Let not my land so large a promise boast, Which had for length of ages idle stood. Lest the rank ears in length of stem be lost.

VOL. 11.3


The heavier earth is by her weight betray'd. Not so the rest of plants; for Jove's own
The lighter in the poising hand is weigh'd.
'Tis easy to distinguish by the sight

That holds the woods in awful sov'reignty,
The colour of the soil, and black from white. Requires a depth of lodging in the ground,
But the cold ground is difficult to know; And, next the lower skies, a bed profound :
Yet this the plants, that prosper there, will High as his topmost boughs to heav'n ascend,

So low his roots to hell's dominions tend.
Black ivy, pitch-trees, and the baleful yew. Therefore, nor winds, nor winter's range o'er-
These rules consider'd well, with early care

The vineyard destin'd for thy vines prepare : His bulky body ; but unmov'd he grows :
But, long before the planting, dig the ground, For length of ages lasts his happy reign;
With furrows deep that cast a rising mound. And lives of mortal man contend in vain.
The clods, expos'd to winter winds, will bake; Full in the midst of his own strength he stands,
For putrid earth will best the vineyards take ; Stretching his brawny arms, and leafy hands ;
And hoary frosts, after the painful toil

His shade protects the plains ; his head the of delving hinds, will rot the mellow soil.

hills commands.
Some peasants, not t' omit the nicest care, The hurtful hazel in thy vineyard shun;
Of the same soil their nursery prepare,

Nor plant it to receive the setting sun;
With that of their plantation ; lest the tree, Nor break the topmost branches from the tree ;
Translated, should not with the soil agree. Nor prune, with blunted knife, the progeny.
Beside, to plant it as it was, they mark Root up wild olives from thy labour'd lands;
The heav'ns four quarters on the tender bark, For sparkling fire, from hind's unwary hands,
And to the north or south restore the side, Is often scatter'd o'er their unctuous rinds,
Which at their birth did heat or cold abide : And after spread abroad by raging winds :
So strong is custom; such effects can use For first the smould'ring flame the trunk re-
In tender souls of pliant plants produce.

Choose next a province for thy vineyard's Ascending thence, it crackles in the leaves ;

At length victorious to the top aspires
Un hills above, or in the lowly plain.

Involving all the wood in smoky fires ;
If fertile fields or valleys be thy choice But most, when driven by winds, the flaming
Plant thick : for bounteous Bacchus will rejoice

In close plantations there : but if the vine of the long fires destroys the beauteous form.
On rising ground be plac'd, or hills supine, In ashes then th' unhappy vineyard lies :
Extend thy loose battalions largely wide, Nor will the blasted plants from ruin rise;
Op'ning thy ranks and files on either side, Nor will the wither'd stock be green again ;
But marshall'd all in order as they stand ; But the wild olive shoots, and shades th' un-
And let no soldier straggle from his band.

grateful plain. As legions in the field their front display Be not seduc'd with wisdom's empty shows, To try the fortune of some doubtful day, To stir the peaceful ground when Boreas blows. And move to meet their foes with sober pace, When winter frosts constrain the field with cold, Strict to their figure, though in wider space, The fainty root can take no steady hold. Before the battle joins, while from afar But, when the golden spring reveals the year, The field yet glitters with the pomp of war, And the white bird returns, whom serpents And equal Mars, like an impartial lord,

fear, Leaves all to fortune, and the dint of sword That season deem the best to plant thy vines : So let thy vines in intervals be set,

Next that, is when autumnal warmth declines, But not their rural discipline forget:

Ere heat is quite decay'd or cold begun, Indulge their width, and add a roomy space, Or Capricorn admits the winter sun. That their extremest lines may scarcc embrace : The spring adorns the woods, renews the Nor this alone to indulge a vain delight,

leaves : And make a pleasing prospect for the sight; The womb of earth the genial seed receives : But, for the ground itself, this only way, For then Almighty Jove descends, and pours Can equal vigour to the plants convey,

Into his buxom bride his fruitful show'rs; Which, crowded, want the room, their branches And, mixing his large limbs with hers, he feeds to display.

Her births with kindly juice, and fosters teeming How deep they must be planted, wouldst thou seeds. knov

Then joyous birds frequent the lonely grove, In shallow furrows vines securely grow, Aad beasts, by nature slung, renew their love.


« EelmineJätka »