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"Knit with three knots the fillets: knit them strait; Then say, These knots to love I consecrate.' Haste, Amaryllis, haste!-Restore, my charms, My lovely Daphnis to my longing arms.
"As fire this figure hardens, made of clay, And this of war with fire consumes away; Such let the soul of cruel Daphnis beHard to the rest of women, soft to me. Crumble the sacred mole of salt and corn: Next in the fire the bays with brimstone burn: And, while it crackles in the sulphur, say, 'Tis I for Daphnis burn; thus Daphnis burn away!
This laurel is his fate.'-Restore, my charms, My lovely Daphnis to my longing arms.
"As when the raging heifer, through the
Stung with desire, pursues her wand'ring love;
Faint at the last, she seeks the weedy pools,
To quench her thirst, and on the rushes rolls,
Careless of night, unmindful to return;
Such fruitless fires perfidious Daphnis burn,
While I so scorn his love!-Restore, my charms,
My ling'ring Daphnis to my longing arms.
"These garments once were his, and left to
The pledges of his promis'd loyalty,
Which underneath my threshold I bestow.
These pawns, O sacred earth! to me my
As these were his, so mine is he.-My charms, Restore their ling'ring lord to my deluded arms, "These pois'nous plants, for magic use design'd,
(The noblest and the best of all the baneful kind)
"See, while my last endeavours I delay, The waking ashes rise, and round our altars play!
Run to the threshold, Amaryllis-hark! Our Hylax opens, and begins to bark. Good heav'n! may lovers what they wish believe? [ceive? Or dream their wishes, and those dreams deNo more! my Daphnis comes! no more, my charms! [arms." He comes, he runs, he leaps, to my desiring
LYCIDA'S AND MERIS.
When Virgil, by the favour of Augustus, had recovered his patrimony near Mantua, and went in hope to take possession, he was in danger to be slain by Arius the centurion, to whom those lands were assigned by the emperor, in reward of his service against Brutus and Cassius. This pastoral therefore is filled with complaints of this hard usage; and the persons introduced are the bailiff of Virgil, Maris, and his friend Lycidas.
Ho, Maris! whither on thy way so fast? This leads to town.
O Lycidas! at last The time is come, I never thought to see, (Strange revolutions for my farm and me!) When the grim captain in a surly tone Cries out," Pack up, ye rascals, and be gone." Kick'd out, we set the best face on't we could, And these two kids, t' appease his angry mood, I bear, of which the Furies give him good!
Your country friends were told another taleTha: from the sloping mountain to the vale, And dodder'd oak, and all the banks along, Menalcas sav'd his fortune with a song.
Such was the news, indeed; but songs and rhymes
Prevail as much in these hard iron times,
As would a plump of trembling fowl, that rise
Against an eagle sousing from the skies.
And had not Phœbus warn'd me, by the croak
Of an old raven from a hollow oak,
To shun debate, Menalcas had been slain,
And Moris not surviv'd him, to complain.
Who then should sing the nymphs? or who rehearse
The waters gliding in a smoother verse?
Of Amaryllis praise that heavenly lay,
That shorten'd, as we went, our tedious way-
"O Tityrus, tend my herd, and see them fed;
To morning pastures, ev'ning waters, led;
And 'ware the Libyan ridgil's butting head."
Now heaven defend! could barbarous rage induce [Muse? he brutal son of Mars t'insult the sacred
Sing on, sing on: for I can ne'er be cloy'd.
So may thy swarins the baleful yew avoid :
So may thy cows their burden'd bags distend,
And trees to goats their willing branches bend.
Mean as am, yet have the Muses made
Me free, a member of the tuneful trade :
At least the shepherds seem to like my lays;
But I discern their flatt'ry from their praise:
I nor to Cinna's ears, nor Varus', dare aspire,
But gabble, like a goose amidst the swan-like
"Tis what I have been conning in my Nor are thy verses of a vulgar kind. "Come, Galatea! come! the seas forsake? What pleasures can the tides with their hoarse murmurs make?
See, on the shore inhabits purple spring; Where nightingales their love-sick ditty sing: See, meads with purling streams, with flow'rs the ground,
The grottoes cool with shady poplars crown'd, And creeping vines on arbours weav'd around. Come then, and leave the waves' tumultuous
Let the wild surges vainly beat the shore."
Or that sweet song I heard with such delight; The same you sung alone one starry night. The tune I still retain, but not the words.
"Why, Daphnis, dost thou search in old records,
To know the seasons when the stars arise?
See, Casar's lamp is lighted in the skies-
The star, whose rays the blushing grapes adorn,
And swell the kindly rip'ning ears of corn.
Under this influence graft the tender shoot;
Thy children's children shall enjoy the fruit."
The rest I have forgot, for cares and time
Change all things, and untune my soul to rhyme.
I could have once sung down a summer's sun:
But now the chime of poetry is done :
My voice grows hoarse, I feel the notes decay;
As if the wolves had seen me first to-day.
But these, and more than I to mind can bring,
Menalcas has not yet forgot to sing.
Thy faint excuses but inflame me more:
And now the waves roll silent to the shore;
Hush'd winds the topmost branches scarcely
As if thy tuneful song they did attend:
Already we have half our way o'ercome
Far off I can discern Bianor's tomb,
Here, where the lab'rer's hands have form'd a
Of wreathing trees, in singing waste an hour.
Rest here thy weary limbs; thy kids lay down:
We've day before us yet to reach the town
Or if, ere night, the gathering clouds we fear,
A song will help the beating storm to bear.
And that thou mayst not be too late abroad,
Sing, and I'll ease thy shoulders of thy load.
Cease to request me; let us mind our way:
Another song requires another day.
When good Menalcas comes, if he rejoice,
And find a friend at court, I'll find a voice,
Gallus, a great patron of Virgil, and an excellent poet, was very deeply in love with one Cytheris, whom he calls Lycoris, and who had forsaken him for the company of a soldier. The poet therefore supposes his friend Gallus retired, in his height of melancholy, into the solitudes of Arcadia, (the celebrated scene of pastorals,) where he represents him in a very languishing condition, with all the rural deities about him, pitying his hard usage, and condoling his misfortune.
THY sacred succour, Arethusa, bring,
To crown my labour, ('tis the last I sing,)
Which proud Lycoris may with pity view:
The muse is mournful, though the numbers few,
Refuse me not a verse, to grief and Gallus due.
So may thy silver streams beneath the tide,
Unmix'd with briny seas, securely glide.
Sing then my Gallus, and his hopeless vows;
Sing while my cattle crop the tender browze.
The vocal grove shall answer to the sound,
And echo, from the vales, the tuneful voice re-
What lawns or woods withheld you from his aid,
Ye nymphs, when Gallus was to love betray'd,
To love, unpitied by the cruel maid?
Not steepy Pindus could retard your course,
Nor cleft Parnassus, nor the Aonian source:
Nothing that owns the Muses, could suspend
Your aid to Gallus :-Gallus is their friend.
For him the lofty laurel stands in tears,
And hung with humid pearls the lowly shrub
Menalian pines the godlike swain bemoan, When spread beneath a rock, he sigh'd alone; And cold Lycæus wept from ev'ry dropping
The sheep suround their shepherd, as he lies.
Blush not, sweet poet, nor the name despise:
Along the streams, his flock Adonis fed;
And yet the queen of beauty blest his bed.
The swains and tardy neatherds came, and last
Menalcas, wet with beating winter mast.
Wond'ring they ask'd from whence arose thy
Yet more amaz'd, thy own Apollo came. Flush'd were his cheeks, and glowing were his eyes:
"Is she thy care? is she thy care?" he cries, "Thy false Lycoris flies thy love and thee, And for thy rival tempts the raging sea,
The forms of horrid war, and heav'n's inclemency."
Silvanus came: his brows a country crown Of fennel, and of nodding lilies, drown. Great Pan arriv'd, and we beheld him too, His cheeks and temples of vermilion hue. "Why, Gallus, this immod'rate grief?" he cried.
"Think'st thou that love with tears is satisfied? The meads are sooner drunk with morning dews,
The bees with flow'ry shrubs, the goats with browse."
Unmov'd, and with dejected eyes, he mourn'd: He paus'd, and then these broken words return'd:
""Tis past; and pity gives me no relief:
But you, Arcadian swains, shall sing my grief,
And on your hills my last complaints renew:
So sad a song is only worthy you.
How light would lie the turf upon my breast,
If you my suff" rings in your songs exprest!
Ah! that your birth and bus'ness had been
To pen the sheep, and press the swelling vine.
Had Phyllis or Amyntas caus'd my pain,
Or any nymph or shepherd on the plain,
(Tho' Phyllis brown, tho' black Amyntas were,
Are violets not sweet, because not fair?)
Beneath the sallows and the shady vine,
My loves had mix'd their plant limbs with mine:
Phyllis with myrtle wreaths had crown'd my
And soft Amyntas sung away my care.
Come, see what pleasures in our plains abound;
The woods, the fountains, and the flow'ry
As you are beauteous, were you half so true,
Here could I live, and love, and die with only
Now I to fighting fields am sent afar,
And strive in winter camps with toils of war;
While you, (alas, that I should find it so!)
To shun my sight your native soil forego,
And climb the frozen Alps, and tread th' eternal
As if with sports my suff'rings I should ease,
Or by my pains the god of love appease.
On mountain tops to chase the tusky boar:
My frenzy changes: I delight no more
No but hopeless love my thoughts pursue:
Once more, ye nymphs, and songs, and sound-
ing woods, adieu!
Love alters not for us his hard decrees,
Not though, beneath the Thracian clime we
Ye frosts and snows, her tender body spare!
Those are not limbs for icicles to tear.
For me, the wilds and deserts are my choice;
The Muses once my care, my once harmonious
Or Italy's indulgent heav'n forego,
And in mid-winter tread Sithonian snow;
Or, when the barks of elms are scorch'd, we
On Meroe's burning plains the Libyan sheep.
Love conquers all; and we must yield to love."
In hell, and earth, and seas, and heav'n above,
My Muses, here your sacred raptures end:
The verse was what I ow'd my suffering friend.
This while I sung, my sorrows I deceiv'd,
And bending osiers into baskets weav'd.
The song, because inspir'd by you, shall shine;
And Gallus will approve, because 'tis mine-
There will I sing, forsaken and alone:
The rocks and hollow caves shall echo to my Gallus, for whom my holy flames renew,
Each hour, and ev'ry moment rise in view:
As alders, in the spring, their boles extend,
And heave so fiercely, that the bark they rend,
Now let us rise: for hoarseness oft invades
The singer's voice, who sings beneath the
The rind of ev'ry plant her name shall know;
And, as the rind extends, the love shall grow.
Then on Arcadian mountains will I chase
(Mix'd with the woodland nymphs) the savage
Nor cold shall hinder me, with horns and hounds
To tread the thickets, or to leap the mounds.
And now methinks o'er steepy rocks I go,
From juniper unwholsome dews distil,
That blast the sooty corn, the withering herbage
And rush through sounding woods, and bend the Away, my goats, away! for you have brows'd
The poet, in the beginning of this book, propounds
the general design of each Georgic and, after a
solemn invocation of all the gods who are any way
related to his subject, he addresses himself in par-
ticular to Augustus, whom he compliments with
divinity; and after strikes into his business. He
shows the different kinds of tillage proper to differ-
ent soils, traces out the orignal of agriculture,
gives a catalogue of the husbandman's tools, spe
cifies the employments peculiar to each season,
describes the changes of the weather, with the
signs in heaven and earth that forebode them; in-
stances many of the prodigies that happened near
the time of Julius Caesar's death; and shuts up
all with a supplication to the gods for the safety
of Augustus, and the preservation of Rome.
WHAT makes a plenteous harvest, when to turn
The fruitful soil, and when to sow the corn;
The care of sheep, of oxen, and of kine;
And how to raise on elms the teeming vine;
The birth and genius of the frugal bee,
sing, Mæcenas, and I sing to thee.
Ye deities! who fields and plains protect,
Who rule the seasons, and the year direct,
Bacchus and fost'ring Ceres, pow'rs divine,
Who gave us corn for mast, for water, wine-
Ye Fauns, propitious to the rural swains,
Ye nymphs that haunt the mountains and the
Join in my work, and to my numbers bring
Your needful succour; for your gifts I sing.
And thou, whose trident struck the teeming
And made a passage for the courser's birth;
And thou, for whom the Cean shore sustains
The milky herds, that graze the flow'ry plains;
And thou, the shepherds' tutelary god,
Leave, for a while, O Pan, thy lov'd abode;
And, if Arcadian fleeces be thy care,
From fields and mountains to my song repair.
Inventor, Pallas, of the fatt'ning oil,
Thou founder of the plough and ploughman's
And thou, whose hands the shroud-like cy-
Come, all ye gods and goddesses, that wear
The rural honours, and increase the year;
You, who supply the ground with seeds of
And you, who swell those seeds with kindly
And chiefly thou, whose undetermin'd state
Is yet the bus'ness of the gods, debate,
Whether in after-times, to be declar'd,
The patron of the world, and Rome's peculiar
Or o'er the fruits and seasons to preside,
And the round circuit of the year to guide-
Pow'rful of blessings, which thou strew'st around,
And with thy goddess mother's myrtle crown'd.
Or wilt thou, Caesar, choose the wat'ry reign
To smooth the surges and correct the main?
Then mariners, in storms, to thee shall pray;
E'en utmost Thule shall thy pow'r obey;
And Neptune shall resign the fasces of the sea.
The wat'ry virgins for thy bed shall strive,
And Tethys all her waves in dowry give.
Or wilt thou bless our summers with thy rays,
And, seated near the Balance, poise the days
Where, in the void of heav'n, a space is free,
Betwixt the Scorpion and the Maid for thee?
The Scorpion, ready to receive thy laws,
Yields half his region, and contracts his claws.
Whatever part of heav'n thou shalt obtain,
(For let not hell presume of such a reign;
Nor let so dire a thirst of empire move
Thy mind, to leave thy kindred gods above;
Though Greece admires Elysium's blest re-
E'en in this early dawning of the year,
Produce the plough, and yoke the sturdy steer,
And goad him till he groans beneath his toil,
Till the bright share is buried in the soil.
That crop rewards the greedy peasant's pains,
Which twice the sun, and twice the cold sus-
And bursts the crowded barns with more than
But, ere we stir the yet unbroken ground,
The various course of seasons must be found;
The weather and the setting of the winds,
The culture suiting to the sev'ral kinds
Of seeds and plants, and what will thrive and
And what the genius of the soil denies.
This ground with Bacchus, that with Ceres, suits:
That other loads the trees with happy fruits:
A fourth, with grass unbidden, decks the ground.
Thus Tmolus is with yellow saffron crown'd:
India black ebon and white iv'ry bears;
And soft Idume weeps her od'rous tears.
Thus Pontus sends her beaver stones from far,
And naked Spaniards temper steel for war:
Epirus, for th' Elean chariot, breeds
(In hopes of palms) a race of running steeds.
This is th' original contract; these the laws
Impos'd by Nature, and by Nature's cause,
On sundry places, when Deucalion hurl'd
His mother's entrails on the desert world;
Whence men, a hard laborious kind, were born.
Then borrow part of winter for thy corn;
And early, with thy team, the glebe in furrows
Though Proserpine affects her silent seat,
And, importun' by Ceres to remove,
Prefers the fields below to those above)
Be thou propitious, Cæsar! guide my course,
And to my bold endeavours add thy force:
Pity the poet's and the ploughman's cares;
Int'rest thy greatness in our mean affairs,
And use thyself betimes to hear and grant our
While yet the spring is young, while earth
Her frozen bosom to the western winds;
While mountain snows dissolve against the sun,
And streams, yet new, from precipices run;
That, while the turf lies open and unbound,
Succeeding suns may bake the mellow ground.
But, if the soil be barren, only scar
The surface, and but lightly print the share,
When cold Arcturus rises with the sun:
Lest wicked weeds the corn should overrun
In wat'ry soils; or lest the barren sand
Should suck the moisture from the thirsty land.
Both these unhappy soils the swain forbears,
And keeps a sabbath of alternate years,
That the spent earth may gather heart again,
And, better'd by cessation, bear the grain.
At least where vetches, pulse, and tares, have
And stalks of lupines grew (a stubborn wood,)
Th' ensuing season, in return, may bear
The bearded product of the golden year:
For flax and oats will burn the tender field,
And sleepy poppies harmful harvest yield.
But sweet vicissitudes of rest and toil
Make easy labour and renew the soil,
Yet sprinkle sordid ashes all around,
And load with fatt'ning dung the fallow ground.