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Then fields the blades of buried corn disclose; And upward while they shoot in open air,
But, when the rooted vines, with steady hold,
The lawless troops, which discipline disclaim, And boldly trust their buds in open air.
And their superfluous growth with rigour tame. In this soft season (let me dare lo siny)
Next, fenc'd with hedges and deep ditches The world was hatch'd by heaven's' imperial round, king
Exclude th' enroaching cattle from thy ground, In prime of all the year, and holy-days of While yet the tender gems but just appear, spring.
Unable to sustain th' uncertain year; Then did the new creation first appear ; Whose leaves are not alone foul winter's prey, Nor other was the tenor of the year,
But oft by summer suns are scorch'd away. When laughing hnar'n did the great birth attend, And worse than both, become th' unworthy And eastern wins their wintry breath suspend :
browse Then sheep first saw the sun in open fields; Of buffaloes, salt goats, and hungry cows. And savage beasts were sent to stock the wilds; For not December's frost that burns the boughs, And golden stars slew up to light the skies; Nor dog-days' parching heat that splits the And man's relentless race from slony quarries rocks, rise.
Are half so harmful as the greedy flocks, Nor could the tevder new creation bear
Their venom'd bite, and scars indented on the 'Th'excessive heals or coldness of the
stocks. Bil, chill'd by winter, or by summer fir'd, For this, the malefactor goat was laid The middle temper of the spring requir'd, On Bacchus' altar, and his forfeit paid. When warmıki and moisture did at once abound, At Athens thus old comedy began, And hearen's indulyence brooded on the ground. When round the streets the reeling actors ran,
For what remains, in depth of earth secure In country villages, and crossing ways, Thy cover'd plants, and dung with hot manure ; Ooniending for the prizes of their plays; And shells and gravel in the ground enclose ; And, glad with Bacchus, on the grassy soil, For through their hollow chinks the water flows, Leap'd o'er the skins of goats besmear'd with oil. Which, thus imbib’d, returns in misty dews, Thus Roman youth, deriv'd from ruin'd Troy, And, steaming up, the rising plant renews. In rude Saturnian rhymes express their joy: Some husband nen, of late have found the way, With taunts, and laughter loud, their audience A hilly heap of stones above to lay,
please, And press the plants with shards of potter's clay. Deform’d with vizards, cut from barks of trees : This fence against immud'rate rain they found, In jolly hymns they praise the god of wine, Or, when the Dog-star cleaves the thirsty ground. Whose earthen images adorn the pine,
Be mindful, when thou hast entomb'd ihe shoot, And there are hung on high, in honour of tho With store of earth around to feed the root ;
vine. With iron teeth of rakes and prongs, to move A madness so devout the vineyard fills : The crusted earth, and loosen it above.
In hollow valleys and on rising hills, Then exercise thy sturdy steers to plough On whale'er side he turns his honest face, Betwixt thy vines, and teach the fecble row And dances in the wind, those fields are in his To mount on reeds, and wands, and, upward led, grace. On ashen poles to raise their forky head. To Bacchus therefore let us tune our lays, On these new crutches let them learn to walk, And in our mother tongue resound his praise. Till, swerving upwards with a stronger stalk, Thin cakes in chargers, and a guilty goat, They brave the winds, and, clinging to their Dragg'd by the hords, be to his altars brought : gridle,
Whose offer'd entrails shall his crime te On tops of elms al length triumphant ride.
proach, Buit. in their tender nonage, while they spread And drip their fatness from the hazel broach. Their springing leaves, and lift their infant To dress thy vines, new labour is requir'd; head,
Nor must the painful husbandman be tir'd:
For thrice at least, in compass of the year, Wild shrubs are shorn for browse : the tow'ring Thy vineyard must employ the sturdy steer
height To turn the glebe, besides thy daily pain Of unctuous trees are torches for the night. To break the clods, and make the surface And shall we doubt, (indulging easy sloth.) plain,
To sow, to set, and to reform their growth? T' unload the branches, or the leaves to thin, To leave the lofty plants—the lowly kind That suck the vital moisture of the vine, Are for the shepherd or the sheep design'd, Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain, E'en humble broom and osiers have their use, And the year rolls within itself again.
And shade for sheep, and food for flocks proE'en in the lowest months, when storms have duce; shed
Hedges for corn, and honey for the bees, From vines the hairy honours of their head. Besides the pleasing prospect of the trees. Not then the grudging hind his labour ends, How goodly looks Cytrous, ever green But to the coming year his care extends. With boxen groves! with what delight are E'en then the naked vine he persecutes; His pruning knife at once reforms and cuts. Narycian woods of pitch, whose gloomy sbade Be first to dig the ground : be first to burn Seems for retreat of heav'nly Muses made! The branches lopp'd; and first the props return But much more pleasing are those fields to see, Into thy house that bore the burden'd vines ; That need not ploughs, nor human industry. But last to reap the vintage of thy wines. E'en cold Caucasian rocks with trees are Twice in the year luxuriant leaves o'ershade
spread, The encumber'd vine ; rough brambles twice And wear green forests on their hilly head. invade :
Though bending from the blast of eastern Hard labour both!-Commend the large excess
storms, Of spacious vineyards ; cultivate the less. Tho'shent their leaves, and shatter'd are their Besides, in woods the shrubs of prickly thorn,
arms, Sallows and reeds on banks of rivers borne, Yet heav'n their various plants for use designsRemain to cut-for vineyards useful found For houses, cedars—and, for shipping, pinesTo stay thy vines, and fence thy fruitful ground. Cypress provides for spokes and wheels of Nay, when thy tender trees at length are wains, bound ;
(free: And all for keels of ships, that scour the wat'ry When peaceful vines from pruning-hooks are plains. When husbands have survey'd the last degree, Willows in twigs are fruitful, elms in leaves; And utmost files of plants, and order'd ev'ry The war, from stubborn myrtle, shafts retree;
ceivesE'en when they sing at ease in full content From cornels, javelins; and the tougher yew Insulting o'er the toils they underwent,
Receives the bending figure of a bow. Yet still they find a future task remain, Nor box, nor limes without their use are made, To turn the soil, and break the clods again : Smooth grain'd, and proper for the turner's And, after all, their joys are insincere,
trade : While falling rains on ripening grapes they fear. Which curious hands may carve, and steel with Quite opposite to these are olives found :
ease invade. No dressing they require, and dread no wound, Light alder stems the Po's impetuous tide, Nor rakes nor harrows need; but fix'd below And bees in hollow oaks their honey hide. Rejoice in open air, and unconcern’dly grow, Now balance with these gifts, the fumy joys The soil itself due nourishment supplies : Of wine, attended with eternal noise. Plough but the furrows, and the fruits arise, Wine urg'd to lawless lust the Centaurs' train: Content with small endeavours, till they spring, Thro' wine they quarreld, and thro' wine were Soft peace they figure, and sweet plenty bring: slain. Then olives plant, and hymns to Pallas sing. O happy, if he knew his happy state, Thus apple-trees, whose trunks are strong to The swain, who, free from business and debate bear
Receives his easy food from Nature's hand, Their spreading boughs, exert themselves in air, And just returns of cultivated land! Want no supply, but stand secure alone, No palace, with a lofty gate, he wants, Not trusting foreign forces, but their own, T'admit the tides of early visitants, Till with the ruddy freight the bending branches With cager eyes devouring as they pass, groan.
The breathing figures of Corinthian brass. Thus trees of nature, and each common bush, No statues threaten, from high pedestals; Uncultivated thrive, and with red berries blush. No Persian arras hides his homely walls,
With antic vests, which, through their shady Whose mind, unmov'd, the bribes of courts can fold,
see, Betray the streaks of ill-dissembled gold : Their glitering baits, and purple slaveryHe boasts no wool, whose native white is dy'd Nor hopes the people's praise, nor fears their With purple poison of Assyrian pride:
frown, No costly drugs of Araby defile,
Nor, when contending kindred tear the crown, With foreign scents, the sweetness of his oil : Will set up one, or pull another down. But easy quiet, a secure retreat,
Without concern he hears, but hears from far, A harmless life that knows not how to cheat ; Of tumults, and descents, and distant war; With home-bred pienty, the rich owner bless ; Nor with a superstitious fear is aw'd, And rural pleasures crown his happiness. For what befalls at home, or what abroad. Unvex'd with quarrels, undisturb'd with noise, Nor envies he the rich their heapy store, The country king his peaceful realm enjoys- Nor his own peace disturbs with pity for the Cool grots, and living lakes, the flow'ry pride
poor. of meads, and streams that through the valley He feeds on fruits, which, of their own accord glide,
The willing ground and laden trees afford, And shady groves that easy sleep invite, From his lov'd home no lucre him can draw; And, after toilsome days, a soft repose at night. The senate's mad decrees he never saw; Wild beasts of nature in his woods abound; Nor heard, at bawling bars, corrupted law. And youth, of labour patient, plough the ground, Some in the seas, and some to camps, resort, Inur'd to hardship, and to homely fare
And some with impudence invade the court : Nor venerable age is wanting there,
In foreign countries, others seek renown; In great examples to the youthful train; With wars and taxes, others waste their own, Nor are the gods ador'd with rites profane. And houses burn, and household gods deface, From hence Astræa took her flight; and here To drink in bowls which glit’ring gems enchase, The prints of her departing steps appear. To loll on couches, rich with citron steds,
Ye sacred Muses ! with whose beauty fir’d, And lay their guilty limbs on Tyrian beds My soul is ravish'd, and my brain inspir'de This wretch in earth entombs his golden ore, Whose priest I am, whose holy fillets wear- Hov'ring and brooding on his buried store. Would you your poet's first petition hear; Some patriot fools to pop'lar praise aspire Give me the ways of wand'ring stars to know, of public speeches, which worse fools admire, The depths of heav'n above, and earth below : While, from both benches, with redoubled sounds, Teach me the various labours of the moon, Th' applause of lords and commoners abounds, And whence proceed th' eclipses of the sun : Some, through ambition, or through thirst of gold, Why flowing tides prevail upon the main, Have slain their brothers, or their country sold, And in what dark recess they shrink again; And, leaving their sweet homes, in exile run What shakes the solid earth; what cause delays To lands that lie beneath another sun. The summer nights, and shortens winter days. The peasant, innocent of all these ills, But, if my heavy blood restrain the flight With crooked ploughs the fertile fallow tills, Of my free soul, aspiring to the height
And the round year with daily labour fils : of nature, and unclouded fields of light- And hence the country markets are supplied : My next desire is, void of care and stife, Enough remains for houehold charge beside, To lead a soft, secure, inglorious life
His wife and tender children to sustain, A country cottage near a crystal food, And gratefully to feed his dumb deserving train. A winding valley, and a lofty wood.
Nor cease his labours till the yellow field Some god conduct me to the sacred shades, A full return of bearded harvest yieldWhere Bacchanals are sung by Spartan maids, A crop so plenteous, as the land to load, Or lift me high to Hemus' hilly crown, O'ercome the crowded barns, and lodge on ricks Or in the plains of Tempe lay me down,
abroad. Or lead me to some solitary place,
Thus ev'ry several season is employ'd, And covor my retreat from human race. Some spent in toil, and some in ease enjoy'd. Happy the man, who, studying Nature's The yeaning ewes prevent the springing year : laws,
The laded boughs their fruits in autumn bear : Through known effects can trace the secret 'Tis then the vine her liquid harvest yields,
Bak'd in the sunshine of ascending fields. His mind, possessing in a quiet state,
The winter comes; and then the falling mast Fearless of Fortune, and resign'd to Fate! For greedy swine provides a full repast : And happy too is he, who decks the bow'rs Then olives, ground in mills, their fatness boast; or Sylvans, and adores the rural pow'rs And winter fruits are mellow'd by the frost.
His cares are eas'd with intervals of bliss; All other themes, that careless minds invite, His little children climbing for a kiss,
Are worn with use, unworthy me to write. Welcome their father's late return at night, Busiris' altars, and the dire decrees His faithful bed is crown'd with chaste delight; Of hard Eurystheus ev'ry reader sees : His kine with swelling udders ready stand, Hylas the bay, Latona's erring isle, And, lowing for the pail, invite the milker's hand. And Pelops' iv'ry shoulder, and his toil His wanton kids, with budding horns prepar'd For fair Hippodame, with all the rest Fight hármless battles in his homely yard : Of Grecian tales, by poets are express’d. Himself, in rustic pomp, on holy-days,
New ways I must attempt, my grov'ling name To rural pow'rs a just oblation pays,
To raise aloft, and wing my flight to fame. And on the green his careless limbs displays. I, first of Romans, shall in triumph come The hearth is in the midst: the herdsmen From conquer'd Greece, and bring her trophies round
home, The cheerful fire, provoke his health in goblets With foreign spoils adorn my native place, crown'd.
And with Idume's palms my Mantua grace. He calls on Bacchus, and propounds the prize : Of Parian stone a temple will I raise, The groom his fellow groom ai buts defies, Where the slow Mincius through the valley And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes.
strays, Or, stript for wrestling, smears his limbs with Where cooling streams invite the flocks to oil,
drink, And watches, with a trip, his foe to foil. And reeds defend the winding water's brink, Such was the life the frugal Sabines led Full in the midst shall mighty Cæsar stand, So Remus and his brother god were bred, Hold the chief honours, and the dome command. From whom th’austere Etrurian virtue rose ; Then I, conspicuous in my Tyrian gown, And this rude life our homely fathers chose. (Submitting to his godhead my renown) Old Rome from such a race deriv'd her birth, A hundred coursers from the goal will drive: (The seat of empire, and the conquer'd earth) The rival chariots in the race shall strive. Which now on sev'n high hills triumphant All Greece shall flock from far, my games to see: reigns,
The whorlbat, and the rapid race,
shall be And in that compass all the world contains. Reserv'd for Caesar, and oruain'd by me. Ere Saturn's rebel son usurp'd the skies, Myself, with olive crown'd, the gifts will bear. When beasts were only slain for sacrifice, E'en now methinks the public shouts I bear, While peaceful Crete enjoy'd her ancient lord, The passing pageants, and the potops appear. Ere sounding hammers forg'd th' inhuman sword, I to the temple will conduct the crew, Ere hollow drums were deat, before the breath The sacrifice, and sacrificers view, Of brazen trumpets rung the peals of death, From thence return, attended with my train, The good old god his hunger did assuage Where the proud theatres disclose the scene, With roots and herbs, and gave the golden age.
Which interwoven Britons seem to raise, But, over-labour'd with so long a course,
And show the triumph which their shame dis'Tis time to set at ease the smoking horse.
plays. High o'er the gate, in elephant and gold, The crowd shall Cæsar's Indian war behold:
The Nile shall flow beneath; and, on the side, GEORGIC III.
His shatter'd ships on brazen pillars ride. ARGUMENT.
Next him Niphates, with inverted urn, This book begins with the invocation of some rural
And dropping sedge, shall his Armenia mourn; deities, and a compliment to Augustus: after And Asian cities in our triumph borne. which Virgil directs himself to Mæcenas, and en. With backward bows the Parthians shall bo ters on his subject. He lays down rules for the breeding and management of horses, oxen, sheep,
there, gouts, and dogs; and interweaves several plea: And, spurring from the fight, confess their fear. sant descriptions of a chariot-race, of the battle of the bulls, of the force of love, and of the Scythian
A double wreath shall crown our Cæsar's winter. In the latter part of the book, he relates
browsthe diseases incident to cattle: and ends with the description of a tatal murrain that formerly raged
Two diff'rent trophies, from two diff'rent foes. among the Alps.
Europe with Afric in his fame shall join;
But neither shore his conquests shall confine. Thy fields, propitious Pales, I rehearse ; The Parian marble there shall seem to move And sing thy pastures in no vulgar verse, In breathing statues, not unworthy Jove, Amphrysian shepherd! the Lvcæan woods, Resembing heroes, whose ethereal root Arcadia's flow'ry plains, and pleasing floods. Is Jove himself, and Cæsar is the fruit.
Tros and his race the sculptor shall employ ; Watch the quick motions of the frisking tail ; And he-the god who built the walls of Troy. Then serve their fury with the rushing male, Envy herself at last, grown pale and dumb, Indulging pleasure lest the breed should fail. (By Cæsar combatted and overcome)
In youth alone, unhappy mortals live; Shall give her hands, and fear the curling But, ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive : snakes
Discolour'd sickness, anxious labour, come, Of lashing Furies, and the burning lakes; And age, and death's inexorable doom. The pains of famish'd Tantalus shall feel, Yearly thy herds in vigour will impair, And Sisyphus that labours up the hill
Recruit and mend them with thy yearly care The rolling rock in vain ; and curst Ixion's Still propagate ; for still they fall away: wheel.
'Tis prudence to prevent th' entire decay. Meantime we must pursue the sylvan lands, Like diligence requires the courser's race (Th' abode of nymphs) untouch'd by former In early choice, and for a longer space. hands :
The colt, that for a stallion is design'd, For such, Mæcenas are thy hard commands, By sure presages shows his gen'rous kind : Without thee, nothing lofty can I sing.
of able body, sound of limb and wind; Come then, and with thyself, thy genius bring, Upright he walks, on pasterns firm and straight With which inspir'd, I brook no dull delay: His motions easy; prancing in his gait; Cithæron loudly calls me to my way ;
The first to lead the way, to tempt the flood, Thy hounds, Taygʻtus, open, and pursue their To pass the bridge unknown, nor fear the trembe prey.
ling wood; High Epidaurus urges on my speed,
Dauntless at empty noises ; lofty neck'd; Fam'd for his hills, and for his horses' breed : Shrp-headed, barrel-bellied, broadly back'd; From hills and Jales the cheerful crics re- Brawny his chest, and deep ; his colour grayi bound;
For beauty, dappled, or the brightest bay: For Echo hunts along, and propagates the Faint white and dun will scarce the rearing pay. sound.
The fiery courser when he hears from far A time will come, when my maturer muse, The sprightly trumpets, and the shouts of war, In Cæsar's wars, a nobler theme shall choose, Pricks up his ears; and, trembling with delight, And through more ages bear my sovereign's Shifts place, and paws, and hopes the promis'd praise,
fight. Than have from Tithon past to Cæsar's days. On his right shoulder his thick mane reclin'd, The gen'rous youth, who studious of the Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind. prize,
His horny hoofs are jetty black and round; The race of running coursers multiplies, His chine is double ; starting with a bound Or to the plough the sturdy bullock breeds, He turns the turf, and shakes the solid ground. May know that from the dam the worth of each Fire from his eyes, clouds from his nostrils flow: proceeds.
He bears his rider headlong on the foe. The mother-cow must wear a lowr’ing look, Such was the steed in Grecian poets fam'd, Sour-headed, strongly neck'd, to bear the yoke. Proud Cyllarus, by Spartan Pollux tam'd: Her double dew-lap from her chin descends, Such coursers bore to fight the god of Thrace ; And at her knees the pond'rous burden ends. And such, Achilles, was thy warlike race. Long are her sides and large; her limbs are In such a shape, grim Saturn did restrain great ;
His heav'nly limbs, and flow'd with a such
mane, Rough are her cars, and broad her horny feet. When, half surpris'd, and fearing to be seen, Her colour shining black, but fleck'd with white; The lecher gallop'd from his jealous qıreen, She tosses from the yoke ; provokes the fight; Ran up the ridges of the rocks amain, Sho rises in her gait, is free from fears, And with shrill neighings fill'd the neighb'ring And in her face a bull's resemblance bears :
plain. Her ample forehead with a star is crown'd; But, worn with years, when dire diseases And with her length of tail she sweeps tho
Then hide his not ignoble age at home, The bull's insult at four she may sustain; In
peace t' enjoy his former palms and pains ; But, after ten, from nuptial rites refrain. And gratefully be kind to his remains. Six seasons use,
but then release the cow, For, when his blood no youthful spirits move, Unfit for love, and for the lab'ring plough. He languishes and labours in his love; Now while their youth is fill'd with kindly And, when the sprightly seed should swiftly fire,
corne, Submit thy females to the lusty sire:
Dribbling he drudges, and defrauds the womb.