Page images

In vain he burns, like hasty stubble fires, With scanty measure then supply their food; And in himself, his former self requires. And, when athirst, restrain them from the flood; His age and courage weigh; nor those alone; Their bodies harass; sink them when they run; But note his father's virtues and his own : And fry their melting marrow in the sun. Observe, if he disdains to yield the prize, Starve them, when barns beneath their burden Of loss impatient, proud of victories.

groan, Hast thou beheld, when from the goal they And winnow'd chaff by western winds is blown: start,

For fear the rankness of the swelling womb The youthful charioteers with heaving heart Should scant the passage, and confine the room ; Rush to the race; and panting, scarcely bear Lest the fat furrows should the sense destroy Th’extremes of fev'rish hope and chilling fear; Of genial lust, and dull the seat of joy. Stoop to the reins, and lash with all their force ? But let them suck the seed with greedy force, The flying chariot kindles in the course: And close involve the vigour of the horse. And now alow, and now aloft they fly,

The male has done : thy care must now As borne through air, and seem to touch the sky. proceed No stop, no stay: bul clouds of sand arise, To teeming females, and the promis'd breed. Spurn'd, and cast backward on the followers' First let them run at large, and never know eyes.

The taming yoke, or draw the crooked plough. The hindmost blows the foam upon the first : Let them not leap the ditch, or swim the flood, Such is the love of praise, an honourable thirst. Or lumber o'er the meads, or cross the wood; Bold Ericthonius was the first who join'd But

range the forest, by the silver side Four horses for the rapid race design'd, Of some cool stream, where Nature shall pro-And o'er the dusty wheels presiding sate :

vide The Lapithæ, to chariots, add the state Green

grass, and fattning clover for their fare, Of bits and bridles; taught the steed to bound, And mossy caverns for their noontide lair, To run the ring, and trace the mazy round; With rocks above, to shield the sharp nocturnal To stop, to fly, the rules of war to know;

air. Tobey the rider, and to dare the foe.

About th' Alburnian groves, with holly green, To choose a youthful steed with courage fir’d, of winged insects, mighty swarms are seen: To breed him, break him, back him, are re This flying plague (to mark its quality) quir'd

Estros the Grecians call-Asylus, weExperienc'd masters; and in sundry ways, A fierce loud buzzing breeze.-Their stings Their labours equal, and alike their praise.

draw blood, But, once again, the batter'd horse beware : And drive the cattle gadding through the wood. The weak old stallion will deceive thy care,

Seiz'd with unusual pairs, they loudly cry: Though famous in his youth for force and speed, Tanagrus hastens thence, and leaves his chanOr was of Argos or Epirian breed, Or did from Neptune's race, or from himself This curse the jealous Juno did invent, proceed.

And first employ'd for lõ's punishment. These things premis'd, when now the nuptial To shun this ill, the cunning leach ordains, time

In sunimer's sultry heals (for then it reigns,). Approaches for the stately steed to climb, To feed the females ere the sun arise, With food enable him to make his court; Or late at night, when stars adorn the skies. Distend his chine, and pamper him for sport: When she has calv'd, then set the dam asid : Feed him with herbs, whatever thou canst find, And for the tender progeny provide. Of gen'rous warmth, and of salacious kind : Distinguish all betimes with branding fire, Then water him, and (drinking what he can) To note the tribe, the lineage, and the sire; Encourage him to thirst again, with bran. Whorn to reserve for husband for the herd; Instructed thus, produce him to the fair, Or who shall be to sacrifice preferr'd; And join in wedlock to the longing mare. Or whom thou shalt to turn thy glebe allow, For, if the sire be saint, or out of case,

To smooth the furrows, and sustain the plough He will be copied in his famish'd race,

The rest, for whom no lot is yet decreed, And sink beneath the pleasing task assign'd May run in pastures, and at pleasure feed. (For all's too little for the craving kind.) The calf, by nature and by genius made As for the females, with industrious care To turn the glebe, breed to the rural trade, Take down their mettle ; keep them lean and Set him betimes to school; and let him be bare :

Instructed there in rules of husbandry When conscious of their past delight, and keen While yet his youth is flexible and groeng. To take the leap, and prove the sport again, Nor bad examples of the world has seen,

nel dry.

Early begin the stubborn child to break; Or bred to Belgian wagons, leads the way, For his soft neck, a supple collar make

Untir'd at night, and cheerful all the day. Or bending osiers ; and (with time and care When once he's broken, feed him full and Inur'd that easy servitude to bear)

high; Thy fatt'ring method on the youth pursue : Indulge his growth, and his gaunt sides supply. Join'd with his school-fellows by two and two, Before his training, keep him poor and low; Persuade them first to lead an empty wheel, For his stoul stomach with his food will grow : That scarce tho dust can raise, or they can feel : The parper'd colt will discipline disdain, In length of time produce the lab'ring yoke, Impatient of the lash, and restiff to the reign. And shining shares, that make the furrow Wouldst thou their courage and their strength smoke.

improve? Ere the licentious youth be thus restrain'd, Too soon they must not feel the stings of love, Or moral precepts on their minds have gain'd, Whether the bull or courser be thy care, Their wanton appetites not only feed

Let him not leap the cow, or mount the mare. With delicates of leaves, and marshy weed, The youthful bull must wander in the wood, But with thy sickle reap the rankest land, Behind the mountain or beyond the flood, And minister the blade with bounteous hand : Or in the stall at home his fodder find, Nor be with harmful parsimony won

Far from the charms of that alluring kind. To follow what our homely sires have done, With two fair eyes his mistress burns his breast. Who fill’d the pail with beastings of the cow; He looks, and languishes, and leaves his rest, But all her udder to the calf allow.

Forsakes his food, and pining for the lass, If to the warlike steed thy studies bend, Is joyless of the grove, and spurns the growing Or for the prize in chariots to contend,

grass. Near Pisa's flood the rapid wheels to guide, The soft seducer, with enticing looks, Or in Olympian groves aloft to ride,

The bellowing rivals to the fight provokes. The gen'rous labours of the coursers, first, A beauteous heifer in the wood is bred: Must be with sight of arms and sound of The stooping warriors aiming head io head, trumpets nurs'd;

Engage their clashing horns : with dreadful Inur'd the groaning axle-tree to bear;

sound And let him clashing whips in stables hear. The forest rattles, and the rocks rebound. Soothe him with praise, and make him under. They fence, they push, and, pushing, loudly

stand The loud applauses of his master's hand : Their dew-laps and their sides are bath'd in This, from his weaning, let him well be taught;

gore. And then betimes, in a soft snaffle wrought, Nor, when the war is over, is it peace; Before his tender joints with nerves are knit, Nor will the vanquish'd bull his claim release; Untried in arms, and trembling at the bit. But feeding in his breast his ancient fires, But when to four full springs his years ad- And cursing fate, from his proud foe retires. vance,

Driv'n from his native land to foreign grounds, Teach him to run the round, with pride to prance, He with a gen'rous rage resents his wounds, And (rightly manag'd) equal time to beat, His ignominious flight, the victor's boast, To turn, to bound and measure, and curvet. And more than both, the loves, which unreveng'd Let him to this, with easy pains, be brought,

he lost. And seem to labour, when he labours not. Often he turns his eyes, and with a groan, Thus form'd for speed, he challenges the wind, Surveys the pleasing kingdoms, once his own; And leaves the Scythian arrow far behind : And therefore to repair his strength he tries, He scours along the field, with loosen'd reins, Hard’ning his limbs with painful exercise ; And treads so light, he scarcely prints the And rough upon the flinty rock he lies. plains ;

On prickly leaves and on sharp herbs he feeds, Like Boreas in his race, when rushing forth, Then to the preludc of a war proceeds. He sweeps the skies, and clears the cloudy north, His horns, yet sore, he tries against a lice, The waving larvest bends beneath his blast ; And meditates his absent enemy. The forest shakes; the groves their honours He snuffs the wind; his heels the sand excite: cast;

But, when he stands collected in his might, He flies alost, and with impetuous roar He roars and promises a more successful fight. Pursues the foaming surges to the shore. Then, to redeem his honour at a b.ow Thus o'er th' Elean plains, thy well-breath'd He moves his camp, to meet his caresess foe. horse

Not with more madness, rolling from afar Impels the flying car, and wins the course, The spumy waves proclaim the wat'ry war,





And mounting upwards, with a mighty roar, For this, (when Venus gave them rage and March onwards, and insult the rocky shore.

pow'r) They mate the dle region with cheight, Their master's mangled members they devour, And fall no less than with a mountain's weight; Of love defrauded in their longing hour. The waters boil, and, belching, from below For love, they force through thickcts of the Black sands, as from a forceful engine throw.

wood, Thus ev'ry creature, and of ev'ry kind, They climb the steepy hills, and stem the flood. The secret joys of sweet coition find.

When, at the spring's approach, their marrow Not only man's imperial race, but they

burns, That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea, (For with the spring their genial warmth returns) Or haunt the desert, rush into the flame: The mares to clitfs of rugged rocks repair, For love is lord of all, and is in all the same. And with wide nosuils snuff the western air :

'Tis with this rage, the mother-lion stung, When (wondrous to relate) the parent wind, Scours o'er the plain, regardless of her young: Without the stallion propagates the kind. Demanding rites of love, she sternly stalks, Then, fir'd with am'rous rago, they take their And hunts her lover in his lonely walks.

flight 'Tis llien the shapeless bear his den forsakes; Thro' plains, and mount the hills' unequal In wouds, and fields, a wild destruction makes; height; Boars whet their tusks; to battle tigers move, Nor to the north, nor to the rising sun, Enrag'd with hunger, more enrag'd with love. Nor southward to the rainy regions, run, Then wo to him, that, in the desert land But boring to the west, and hov'ring there, of Libya, travels o'er the burning sand ! With gaping mouths they draw prolific air, The stallion snuffs the well known scent afar, With which impregnate, from their groins they And suoris and trembles for the distant mare :

shed, Nor bils nor bridles can his rage restrain; A slimy juice, by false conception bred. And rugged rocks are interpos'd in vain : The shepherd knows it well, and calls by He makes his way o'er mountains, and con

Hippomanes, to note the mother's flame. Unruly torrents, and unforded streams.

This, gather'd in the planetary hour, The bristled boar, who feels the pleasing wound, With noxious weeds, and spelld with words of New grinds his armed tusks, and digs the pow'r, ground.

Dire stepdames in the magic bowl infuse, The sleepy lecher shuts his little eyes ; And mix, for deadly draughts, the pois'nous About his churning chaps the frothy bubbles juice. rise :

But time is lost, which never will renew, He rubs his sides against a tree; prepares While we too far the pleasing path pursue, And hardens both his shoulders for the wars. Surveying nature with too nice a view. What did the youth, when Love's unerring dart Let this suffice for herds : our following care Transfix'd his liver, and inflama'd his heart? Shall woolly Pocks and shaggy goats declare. Alone, by night, his watery way he took : Nor can I doubt what toil I must bestow, About him, and above, the billows broke : To raise my subject from a grounu so low; The sluices of the sky were open spread; And the mean matter which my theme affords, And rolling thunder rattled o'er his head. Terubellish with magnificence of words. The raging tempest callid him back in vain, But the commanding muse my chariot guides, And ev'ry boding omen of the main :

Which o'er the dubious cliff securely rides : Nor could his kindred, nor the kindly force And pleas'd I am, no beaten road to take, Of weeping paronts, change his fatal course; But first the way to new discov'ries make. No, not the dying maid, who must deplore Now, sacred Pales, in a lofiy strain His floating carcass on the Sestian shore. I sing the rural honours of thy reign.

I pass the wars that spotted lynxes make First, with assiduous carc, from winter keep, With their fierce rivals for the female's sake, Well-fodder'd in the stalls, thy tender sheop: The howling wolves', the mastiffs' am'rous Then spread with straw the bedding of thy rage ;

fold, When e'en the fearful stag dares for his hind With fern beneath, to 'fend the bitter cold : engage.

That free from gouts thou may'st preserve thy But, far above the rest, the furious mare,

care, Barr'd from the male, is frantic with despair : And clear from scabs, produc'd by freezing air. For, when her pouting vent declares her pain, Next let thy goats officiously be nurs'd, She tears the harness, and she rends the rein. And led to living streams, to quench their thirst,



Feed them with winter-browse ; and, for their When linnets fill the woods with tuneful sound, lair,

And hollow shores the halcyon's voice rebound, A cote, that opens to the south, prepare ; Why should my muse enlarge on Libyan Where basking in the sunshine they may lie,

swains, And the short remnants of his heat enjoy. Their scatter'd cottages, and ample plains, This during winter's drizzly reign be done, Where oft the flocks without a leader stray, Till the new Ram receives the exalted sun: Or through continu'd deserts take their way, For hairy goats of equal profit are

And, feeding, add the length of night to day? With woolly sheep, and ask an equal care. Whole months they wander, grazing as they 'T is true, the fleece, when drunk with Tyrian go; juice,

Nor folds, nor hospitable harbour know. Is dearly sold: but not for needful use : Such an extent of plains, so vast a space For the salacious goat increases more,

Of wilds unknown, and of untasted grass, And twice as largely yields her milky store. Allures their eyes; the shepherd last appears, The still distended udders nover fail,

And with him all his patrimony bears, But, when they seem exhausted, swell the pail. His house and household gods, his trade of Meantime the pastor shears their hoary beards, And eases of their hair the loaden herds. His bow and quiver, and his trusty cur. Their cam'lots, warm in tents, the soldier hold, Thus, under heavy arms, the youth of Rome And shield the shiv'ring mariner from cold. Their long laborious marches overcome,

On shrubs they browse, and, on the bleaky top Cheerly their tedious travels undergo, Of rugged hills, the thorny bramble crop. And pitch their sudden camp before the foe. Attended with their bleating kids, they come Not so the Scythian shepherd tends his fold, At night, unask'd, and mindful of their home; Nor he who bears in Thrace the bitter cold, And scarce their swelling bags the threshold Nor he who treads the bleak Mæotian strand,

Or where proud Ister rolls his yellow sand. So much the more thy diligence bestow Early they stall their flocks and herds ; for there In depth of winter to defend the snow,

No gross the fields, no leaves the forests, By how much less the tender helpless kind,

wear; For their own ills, can fit provision find. The frozen earth lies buried there, below Then minister the browse with bounteous A hilly heap, sev'n cubits deep in snow : hand;

And all west allies of stormy Boreas blow. And open let thy stacks all winter stand. The sun from far peeps with a sickly face, But, when the western winds with vital pow'r Too weak, the clouds and mighty fogs to chase, Call forth the tender grass and budding flow'r, When up the skies he shoots his rosy head, Then, at the last, produce in open air

Or in the ruddy ocean seeks his bed. Both flocks; and send them to their summer Swift rivers are with sudden ice constrain'd fare.

And studded wheels are on its back sustain'd, Before the sun while Hesperus appears, A hostry now for wagons, which before First let them sip from herbs the pearly tears Tall ships of burden on its bosom bore. Of morning dews, and after break their fast The brazen caldrons with the frosts are flaw'd; On green-sward ground—a cool and grateful The garments, stiff with ice, at hearths is taste.

thaw'd. But, when the day's fourth hour has drawn the With axes first they cleave the vine ; and dews,

thence, And the sun's sultry heat their thirst renews ; By weight, the solid portions they dispense. When crorking grasshoppers on shrubs com- From locks uncomb'd, and from the frozen plain,

beard, Then lead them to their watering-troughs again. Long icicles depend, and crackling sounds are In suinınur's heat, some bending valley find,

heard. Clos'd from the sun, but open to the wind; Meantime, perpetual sleet and driving snow Or seek some ancient oak, whose arms extend Obscure the skies, and hang on herds below. In ample breadth, thy cattle to defend,

The starving cattle perish in their stalls ; Or solitary grove, or gloomy glade,

Huge oxen stand enclos'd in wintry walls To shield them with its venerable shade. or snow congeald; whole herds are buried Once more to wat'ring lead ; and feed again

there, When the low sun is sinking to the main, Of mighty stags, and scarce their horns appear. When rising Cynthia sheds her silver dews, The dexi'rous huntsman wounds not these afar And the cool evening-breeze the meads renews, With shafts or darts, or makes a distant war

race :

With dogs, or pitches toils to stop their flight, Repulse the prowling wolf, and hold at bay But close engages in unequal fight;

The mountain robbers rushing to the prey. And, while they strive in vain to make their With cries of hounds, thou may'st pursue the fear way

of flying hares, and chase the fallow deer, Through hills of snow, and pitifully bray, Rouse from their desert dens the bristled rage Assaults with dint of sword, or pointed spcars, Of boars, and beamy stags in toils engage. And homeward, on his back, the joyful burden With smoke of burning cedar scent thy wails, bears.

And fume with stinking galbanum thy stalls, The men to subterranean caves retire,

With that rank odour from thy dwelling-place Secure from cold, and crowd the cheerful fire: To drive the viper's brood and all the venom'd With trunks of elms and oaks the hearth they load,

For often, under stalls unmov'd, they lie, Nor tempt th' inclemency of heaven abroad. Obscure in shades, and shunning heav'n's broad Their jovial nights in frolics and in play

eye : They pass, to drive the tedious hours away; And snakes, familiar, to the hearth succeed, And their cold stomachs with crown'd goblets Disclose their eggs, and near the chimney cheer

breedOf windy cider, and of barmy beer.

Whether to roofy houses they repair,
Such are the cold Rhipäan race, and such Or sun themselves abroad in open air,
The savage Scythian, and unwarlike Dutch, In all abodes of pestilential kind
Where skins of beasts the rude barbarians To sheep and oxen, and the painful hind.

Take, shepherd, take a plant of stubborn oak,
The spoils of foxes, and the furry bear. And labour him with many a sturdy stroke,
Is wool thy care ? Let not thy calle go

Or with hard stones demolish from afar Where bushes are, where burs and thistles His haughty crest, the seat of all the war ; grow;

Invade his hissing throat, and winding spires; Nor in too rank a pasture let them feed : Till, stretch'd in length, th' unfolded foe retires. Then of the purest white select thy breed : He drags his tail, and for his head provides, E'en though a snowy ram thou shalt behold, And in some secret cranny slowly glides ; Prefer him not in haste, for husband to thy But leaves expos'd to blows his back and batter'd fold :


sides. But search his mouth; and, if a swarthy In fair Calabria's woods a snake is bred, Is underneath his humid palate hung,

With curling crest, and with advancing head; Reject him, lest he darken all the flock; Waving he rolls, and makes a winding track; And substitute another from thy stock. His belly spotted, burnish'd is his back. 'Twas thus, with fleeces milky white, (if we While springs are broken, while the southern May trust report) Pan, god of Arcady,


(pair, Did bribe thee, Cynthia ; nor didst thou disdain, And dropping heav'ns the moisten'd earth reWhen call'd in woody shades, to cure a lover's He lives on standing lakes and trembling bogs, pain.

And fills his maw with fish, or with loquacious If milk be thy design, with plenteous hand

frogs: Bring clover-grass; and from the marshy land But when, in muddy pools, the water sinks, Salt herbage for the fodd'ring rack provide, And the chapt earth is furrow'd o'er with chinks, To fill their bags, and swell the milky tide. He leaves the fens, and leaps upon the ground, These raise their thirst, and to the taste restore And, hissing, rolls his glaring eyes around. The savour of the salt, on which they fed before. With thirst inflam'd, impatient of the heats, Some, when the kids their dams too deeply He rages in the fields, and wide destruction drain,

threats. With gags and muzzles their soft mouths re Oh! let not sleep my closing eyes invade strain.

In open plains, or in the secret shade, Their morning milk the peasants press at night; When he, renew'd in all the speckled pride Their ev'ning meal before the rising light, Of pompous youth, has cast his slough aside, To market bear; or sparingly they steep And in his summer liv'ry rolls along, With seas'ning salt, and stor'd for winter keep. Erect, and brandishing his forky tongue,

Nor, last, forget thy faithful dogs : but feed Leaving his nest, and his imperfect young, With fattning whey the mastiff's gen'rous And thoughtless of his eggs, forgets to rear breed,

The hopes of poison for the following year. And Spartan race, who, for the fold's relief, The causes and the signs shall next be told, Will prosecute with cries the nightly thief, of ev'ry sickness that infects the fold.

« EelmineJätka »