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THE VARIOUS RACES OF ITALY; MARSI, SABELLI, LIGURES,
VOLSCI, DECII, MARII ; SCIPIO, CÆSAR. The inhabitants themselves their country grace ; Hence rose the Marsian and Sabellian race : Strong-limbed and stout, and to the wars inclined. And hard Ligurians, a laborious kind, And Volscians, armed with iron-headed darts. Besides an offspring of undaunted hearts, The Decii, Marii ; great Camillus came From hence, and greater Scipio's double name : And mighty Cæsar, whose victorious arms To furthest Asia carry fierce alarms; Avert unwarlike Indians from his Rome ; Triumph abroad, secure our peace at home.
APOSTROPHE TO ITALY.
For ploughing is an imitative toil,
POOR SOILS; GOOD SOILS DESCRIBED.- CAMPANIA.
Such is the soil of fat Campanian fields, (yields, Such large increase the land that joins Vesuvius And such a country could Acerra boast, Till Clanius overflowed the unhappy coast. USE OF LIGHT SOILS; OF HEAVY SOILS; HOW TO KNOW A
Hail, sweet Saturnian soil ! of fruitful grain Great parent, greater of illustrious men. For thee my tuneful accents will I raise, And treat of arts disclosed in ancient days : Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring, And old Ascræan verse in Roman cities sing. NATURE OF SOILS; THE SOILS FOR OLIVES ; FOR GRAPES.
The nature of their several soils now see,
If herds, or fleecy flocks, be more thy care,
BEST SOILS FOR TILLAGE DESCRIBED.
I teach thee next the differing soils to know ;
SALINE EARTHS ; HOW TESTED.
HOW TO KNOW SOILS ; VARIOUS TESTS.
Poor soil will crumble into dust, the rich
PREPARATION OF THE VINEYARD.
These rules considered well, with early care The vineyard destined for thy vines prepare : But long before the planting dig the ground With furrows deep, that cast a rising mound : The clods, exposed to winter winds, will bake ; For putrid earth will best in vineyards take, And hoary frosts, after the painful toil Of delving hinds, will rot the mellow soil.
Some peasants, not t' omit the nicest care, Of the same soil their nursery prepare With that of their plantation ; lest the tree, Translated, should not with the soil agree. Beside, to plant it as it was, they mark The heaven's four quarters on the tender bark ; And to the north or south restore the side Which at their birth did heat or cold abide. So strong is custom, such effects can use In tender souls of pliant plants produce. PROPER DISTANCE FOR VINE-STOCKS; COMPARED TO A
MARSHALLED ARMY. Choose next a province for thy vineyard's reign, On hills above, or in the lowly plain : If fertile fields or valleys be thy choice, Plant thick, for bounteous Bacchus will rejoice In close plantations there. But if the vine On rising ground be placed, or hills supine, Extend thy loose battalions largely wide, Opening thy ranks and files on either side ; But marshalled all in order as they stand, And let no soldier straggle from his band. As legions in the field their front display, To try the fortune of some doubtful day, And move to meet their foes with sober pace, Strict to their figure, though in wider space ; Before the battle joins ; while from afar The field yet glitters with the pomp of war, And equal Mars, like an impartial lord, Leaves all to fortune, and the dint of sword ; So let thy vines in intervals be set, But not their rural discipline forget : Indulge their width, and add a roomy space, That their extremest lines may scarce embrace : Nor this alone t' indulge a vain delight, And make a pleasing prospect for the sight :
But for the ground itself, this only way
DEEP ROOTS OF THE OAK.
[know? Not so the rest of plants ; for Jove's own tree, That holds the woods in awful sovereignty, Requires a depth of lodging in the ground; And, next the lower skies, a bed profound : Iligh as his topmost boughs to heaven ascend, So low his roots to hell's dominion tend. Therefore, nor winds, nor winter's rage, o'erthrows His bulky body, but unmoved he grows; For length of ages lasts his happy reign, And lives of mortal men contend in vain. Full in the midst of his own strength he stands, Stretching his brawny arms, and leafy hands; His shade protects the plains, his head the hills
commands. HAZEL AND WILD OLIVES TO BE ROOTED OUT; FIRES, THEIR
EFFECTS. The hurtful hazel in thy vineyard shun ; Nor plant it to receive the setting sun : Nor break the topmost branches from the tree ; Nor prune, with blunted knife, the progeny. Root up wild olives from thy labored lands : For sparkling fire, from hinds' unwary hands, Is often scattered o'er their unctuous rinds, And after spread abroad by raging winds. For first the smouldering fame the trunk receives, Ascending thence, it crackles in the leaves ; At length victorious to the top aspires, Involving all the wood in smoky fires : But most, when driven by winds, the flaming storm of the long files destroys the beauteous form. In ashes then th' unbappy vineyard lies, Nor will the blasted plants from ruin rise ; Nor will the withered stock be green again, (plain. But the wild olive shoots, and shades th' ungrateful
TIMES FOR PLOUGHING. Bo not seduced with wisdom's empty shows, To stir the peaceful ground when Boreas blows. When winter frosts constrain the field with cold, The fainty root can take no steady hold. But when the golden Spring reveals the year, And the white bird returns, whom serpents fear ; That season deem the best to plant thy vines : Next that, is when autumnal warmth declines ; Ere heat is quite decayed, or cold begun, Or Capricorn admits the winter sun. REVIVIFYING ENERGIES OF SPRING; BIRDS, BEASTS, PLANTS.
The Spring adorns the woods, renews the leaves ; The womb of earth the genial seed receives. For then almighty Jove descends, and pours Into his buxom bride his fruitful showers ; And mixing his large limbs with hers, he feeds Her births with kindly juice, and fosters teeming
HOW TO PRONB VINES.
Then joyous birds frequent the lonely grove,
But in their tender nonage, while they spread Their springing leaves, and lift their infant head, And upward while they shoot in open air, Indulge their childhood, and the nursling spare. Nor exercise thy rage on new-born lise, But let thy hand supply the pruning-knife ; And crop luxuriant stragglers, nor be loth To strip the branches of their leafy growth : But when the rooted vines, with steady hold, Can clasp their elms, then, husbandman, be bold To lop the disobedient boughs, that strayed Beyond their ranks : let crooked steel invade The lawless troops, which disciplino disclaim, And their superfluous growth with rigor tame.
THE CREATION IN SPRING; AN ACCOUNT OF IT. In this soft season (let me dare to sing) The world was hatched by heaven's imperial King : In prime of all the year, and holy-days of Spring. Then did the new creation first appear ; Nor other was the tenor of the year : When laughing heaven did the great birth attend, And eastern winds their wintry breath suspend : Then sheep first saw the sun in open fields ; And savage beasts were sent to stock the wilds : And golden stars flew up to light the skies, And man's relentless race from stony quarries rise. Nor could the tender new creation bear Th’excessive heats or coldness of the year : But, chilled by Winter, or by Summer fired, The middle temper of the Spring required. When warmth and moisture did at once abound, And heaven's indulgence brooded on the ground.
PROTECT VINES AGAINST CATTLE, COATS, ETC. Next, fenced with hedges and deep ditches round, Exclude the encroaching cattle from thy ground, While yet the tender germs but just appear, Unable to sustain th' uncertain year ; Whose leaves are not alone foul Winter's prey, But oft by summer suns are scorched away ; And, worse than both, become th' unworthy browse Of buffaloes, salt goats, and hungry cows. For not December's frost, that burns the boughs, Nor dog-days' parching heat, that splits the rocks, Are balf so harmful as the greedy flocks ; (stocks. Their venomed bite, and scars indented on the
THE GOAT DEVOTED TO BACCHUS. — RITES OF THE BACCHAN
ALS AND WORSHIP OF BACCUCS.
PRECAUTIONS AGAINST WET AND DROUGHT.
For what remains, in depth of earth secure Thy covered plants, and dung with hot manure ; And shells and gravel in the grounds enclose; For through their hollow chinks the water flows : Which, thus imbibed, returns in misty dews, And, steaming up, the rising plant renews. Some husbandmen, of late, have found the way A hilly heap of stones above to lay, And press the plants with sherds of potter's clay. This fence against immoderate rains they found : Or when the dog-star cleaves the thirsty ground.
For this the malefactor goat was laid On Bacchus' altar, and his forfeit paid. At Athens thus old comedy began, When round the streets the reeling actors ran; In country villages, and crossing ways, Contending for the prizes of their plays : And glad with Bacchus, on the grassy soil, Leapt o'er the skins of goats besmeared with oil. Thus Roman youth, derived from ruined Troy, In rude Saturnian rhymes express their joy : With taunts and laughter loud, their audience please, Deformed with vizards, cut from barks of trees : In jolly hymns they praise the god of wine, Whose earthen images adorn the pine ; And there are hung on high, in honor of the vine : A madness so devout the vineyard fills, In hollow valleys and on rising hills ; On whate'er side he turns his honest face, (grace. And dances in the wind, those fields are in his To Bacchus therefore let us tune our lays, And in our mother-tongue resound his praiso. Thin cakes in chargers, and a guilty goat, Dragged by the horns, be to his altars brought ; Whose offered entrails shall his crime reproach, And drip their fatness from the hazel broach.
KEEP THE SOIL FREE ; TRAINING OF VINES ON POLES, ELMS,
Be mindful, when thou hast entombed the shoot, With store of earth around to feed the root ; With iron teeth of rakes, and prongs, to move The crusted earth, and loosen it above. Then exercise thy sturdy steers to plough Betwixt thy vines, and teach the feeble row To mount on reeds, and wands, and, upward led, On ashen poles to raise their forky head. On these new crutches let them learn to walk, Till swerving upwards, with a stronger stalk, They brave the winds, and, clinging to their guide, On tops of elms at length triumphant ride.
THE DRESSING OF VINES ; MELLOWING THE SOIL. To dress thy vines new labor is required, Nor must the painful husbandman be tired :
For thrice, at least, in compass of the year,
Vile shrubs are shorn for browse : the towering Thy vineyard must employ the sturdy steer, Of unctuous trees are torches for the night. [height To turn the glebe; besides thy daily pain
And shall we doubt (indulging easy sloth) To break the clods, and make the surface plain : To sow, to set; and to reform their growth? Tunload 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, designed. Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain,
Ev’n humble broom and osiers have their use, And the year rolls within itself again.
And shade for sleep and food for flocks produce ; Ev’n in the lowest months, when storms have shed | Hedges for corn, and honey for the bees : From vines the hairy honors of their head,
Besides the pleasing prospect of the trees. Not then the drudging hind his labor ends,
USES OF THE CEDAR, PINE, AND OTHER TREES ; CYTORUS, But to the coming year his care extends :
NARYX, CAUCASUS. Ev'n then the naked vine he persecutes ;
How goodly looks Cytorus, ever green His pruning-knife at once reforms and cuts. With boxen groves, with what delight are seen
Narycian woods of pitch, whose gloomy shade VIXE-DRESSING; VINTAGE ; PRUNING; WEEDING ; LARGE AND
Seems for retreat of heavenly muses made ! Be first to dig the ground, be first to burn
But much more pleasing are those fields to see, The branches lopped, and first the props return
That need not ploughs nor human industry. Into thy house, that bore the burdened vines ;
Ev'n cold Caucasian rocks with trees are spread, But last to reap the vintage of thy wines.
And wear green forests on their hilly head. Twice in the year luxuriant leaves o'ershade Though bending from the blast of eastern storms, Th' encumbered vine; rough brambles twice in. Though shent their leaves, and shattered are their
arms; Hard labor both ! commend the large excess
Yet heaven their various plants for use designs : Of spacious vineyards ; cultivate the less.
For houses cedars, and for shipping pines. Besides, in woods the shrubs of prickly thorn, USES OF CYPRESS, WILLOWS, ELMS, MYRTLE, CORNEL, YEW, Sallows, and reeds, on banks of rivers born,
BOX, LINDEN, ALDER, ETC. - THE CENTAURS. Remain to cut ; for vineyards useful found,
Cypress provides for spokes and wheels of wains : To stay thy vines, and fence thy fruitful ground. And all for keels of ships, that scour the wat’ry
plains. THE LABORS OF VINE-CULTURE PERPETUAL.
Willows in twigs are fruitful, elms in leaves ; Nor when thy tender trees at length are bound ;
The war from stubborn myrtles shafts receives : When peaceful vines from pruning-hooks are free,
From cornels javelins ; the tougher yew When husbands have surveyed the last degree,
Receives the bending figure of a bow. And utmost files of plants, and ordered ev'ry tree ;
Nor box, nor limes, without their use are made, Ev’n when they sing at ease in full content,
Smooth grained, and proper for the turner's trade ; Insulting o'er the toi they underwent ;
Which curious hands may carve, and steel with Yet still they find a future task remain ;
ease invade. To turn the soil, and break the clods again :
Light alder stems the Po's impetuous tide, And, after all, their joys are unsincere,
And bees in hollow oaks their honey hide. While falling rains on ripening grapes they fear.
Now balance, with these gifts, the fumy joys
Of wine, attended with eternal noise.
Wine urged to lawless lust the Centaur's train, No dressing they require ; and dread no wound ;
Through wine they quarrelled, and through wino
were slain. No rakes nor harrows need, but, fixed below, Rejoice in open air, and unconcern'dly grow.
CONGRATULATION TO FARMERS; THEIR VARIOUS HAPPINESS The soil itself due nourishment supplies :
DESCRIBED IN CONTRAST WITH THE LUXURY OF PALACES ; Plough but the furrows, and the fruits arise :
O happy, if he knew his happy state ! Content with small endeavors till they spring,
The swain, who, free from business and debate, Soft peace they figure, and sweet plenty bring :
Receives his easy food from Nature's hand, Then olives plant, and hymns to Pallas sing.
And just returns of cultivated land ! Thus apple-trees, whose trunks are strong to bear
No palace, with a lofty gate, he wants Their spreading boughs, exert themselves in air ;
T admit the tides of early visitants, Want no supply, but stand secure alone,
With eager eyes devouring, as they pass, Nor trusting foreign forces, but their own ; [groan.
The breathing figures of Corinthian brass.
No statues threaten, from high pedestals ;
No Persian arras hides his homely walls,
He boasts no wool, whose native white is dyed
OF NATURE, OR FOR RCRAL PEACE AND SECLUSION.
Nor, when contending kindred tear the crown,
Without concern he hears, but hears from far,
COURTIERS, DEMAGOGUKS, MISERS, MONEY-GETTERS. From his loved home no lucre him can draw; The senate's mad decrees he never saw ; Nor heard, at bawling bars, corrupted law. Some to the seas, and some to camps resort, And some with impudence invade the court. In foreign countries others seek renown; With wars and taxes others waste their own, And houses burn, and household gods deface, To drink in bowls which glittering gems enchase : To loll on couches, rich with citron steds, And lay their guilty limbs in Tyrian beds. This wretch in earth entombs his golden ore, Hovering and brooding on his buried store. Some patriot fools to popular praise aspire, Of public speeches, which worse fools admire ; While from both benches, with redoubled sounds, Th' applause of lords and commoners abounds. Some through ambition, or through thirst of gold, Have slain their brothers, or their country sold ; And, leaving their sweet homes, in exile run To lands that lie beneath another sun.
THE PEACEFUL LIFE OF THE PEASAXT.
The peasant, innocent of all these ills, With crooked ploughs the fertile fallows tills ; And the round year with daily labor fills. From hence the country markets are supplied : Enough remains for household charge beside ; His wife and tender children to sustain, And gratefully to feed his dumb, deserving train. Nor cease his labors till the yellow field A full return of bearded harvest yield ; A crop so plenteous, as the land to load, [abroad. O’ercome the crowded barns, and lodge on ricks THE PLEASURES OF EACH OF THE SEASONS. - RURAL
FELICITY. Thus every several season is employed : Some spent in toil, and some in ease enjoyed. The yeaning ewes prevent the springing year ; The laded boughs their fruits in Autumn bear : 'T is then the vine her liquid harvest yields, Baked in the sunshine of ascending fields. The Winter comes, and then the falling mast For greedy swine provides a full repast. Then olives, ground in mills, their fatness boast, And winter fruits are mellowed by the frost. His cares are eased with intervals of bliss ; His little children, climbing for a kiss,
THE HAPPINESS OF THE RURAL PHILOSOPHER.
Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws, Through known effects can trace the secret cause. His mind possessing in a quiet state, Fearless of fortune, and resigned to fate. And happy too is he, who decks the bowers Of sylvans, and adores the rural powers : Whose mind, unmoved, the bribes of courts can see; Their glittering baits, and purple slavery. Nor hopes the people's ise, nor fears their frown,