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Welcome their father's late return at night;
Busiris' altars, and the dire decrees
THE POET BRINGS TROPHIES FROM GREECE AND PALESTINE.
SOCIAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE FARMER ; THE SABINES; ROMO
LUS AND KEMUS. The hearth is in the midst ; the herdsmen round The cheerful fire provoke his health in goblets
crowned. He calls on Bacchus, and propounds the prize ; The groom his fellow-groom at buts deties ; And bends his bow, and levels with his eyes. Or, stripped for wrestling, smears his limbs with oil, And watches with a trip bis foe to foil. Such was the life the frugal Sabines led ; So Remus and his brother-god were bred : From whom the austere Etrurian virtue rose ; And this rude life our homely fathers chose.
I, first of Romans, shall in triumph come From conquered Greece, and bring her trophies home: With foreign spoils adorn my native place ; And with Idume's palms my Mantua grace. Of Parian stone a temple will I raise, Where the slow Mincius through the valley strays : Where cooling streams invite the flocks to drink : And reeds defend the winding water's brink.
COMPLIMENT TO AUGUSTOS, AS CONQUEROR OF GREECE. - AN
ALLUSION TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
RUSTIC VIRTUES OF THE OLD ROMANS. - SATURN AND THE
Old Rome from such a race derived her birth The seat of empire, and the conquered earth Which now on seven high bills triumphant reigns, And in that compass all the world contains. E’er Saturn's rebel son usurped the skies, When beasts were only slain for sacrifice : While peaceful Crete enjoyed her ancient lord ; E'er sounding hammers forged the inhuman sword, E'er hollow drums were beat ; before the breath Of brazen trumpets rung the peals of death ; The good old god his hunger did assuage With roots and herbs, and gave the Golden Age. But, over-labored with so long a course, *T is time to set at ease the smoking horse.
Full in the midst shall mighty Cæsar stand ; Hold the chief honors, and the dome command. Then I, conspicuous in my Tyrian gown (Submitting to his godhead my renown), A hundred coursers from the goal will drive ; The rival chariots in the race shall strive. All Greece shall flock from far, my games to see ; The whir)bat, and the rapid race, shall be Reserved for Cæsar, and ordained by me. Myself, with olive crowned, the gifts will bear : Even now methinks the public shouts I hear ; The passing pageants, and the pomps appear. I to the temple will conduct the crew : The sacrifice and sacrificers view ; From thence return, attended with my train, Where the proud theatres disclose the scene ; Which interwoven Britons seem to raise, And show the triumph which their shame displays.
TROPHY TO CÆSAR IMAGINED.
This book begins with an invocation of some rural deities,
and a compliment to Augustus ; after which Virgil directs himself to Hæcenas, and enters on his subject. He lays down rules for the breeding and managernent of horses, oxen, sheep, goats, and dogs; and interweaves several pleasant descriptions of a chariot-race, of the battle of the bulls, of the force of love, and of the Scythian winter. In the latter part of the book he relates the diseases incident to cattle ; and ends with the description of a fatal murrain that formerly raged among the Alps.
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 His shattered ships on brazen pillars ride. Next him Niphates, with inverted urn, And dropping sedge, shall his Armenia mourn ; And Asian cities in our triumph born. With backward bows the Parthians shall be there ; And, spurring from the fight, confess their fear. A double wreath shall crown our Cæsar's brows; Two differing trophies, from two different foes. Europe with Afric in his fame shall join ; But neither shore his conquest shall confine. The Parian marble, there, shall seem to move In breathing statues, not unworthy Jove : Resembling heroes, whose ethereal root Is Jove himself, and Cæsar is the fruit. Tros and his race the sculptor shall employ ; And he, the god, who built the walls of Troy.
OLD AND WORN-OUT THEMES REJECTED FOR PASTORAL.
Thy fields, propitious Pales, I rehearse ; And sing thy pastures in no vulgar verse, Amphrysian shepherd ; the Lycæan woods ; Arcadia's flowery plains, and pleasing floods.
All other themes, that careless minds invite, Are worn with use ; unworthy me to write,
GOOD POINTS IN A STALLION.
DEDICATORY ADDRESS TO MÆCENAS.
Envy herself at last, grown pale and dumb
Recruit and mend 'em with thy yearly care : (By Caesar combated and overcome),
Still propagate, for still they fall away,
”T is prudence to prevent the entire decay.
Like diligence requires the courser's race ;
The colt, that for a stallion is designed,
By sure presages shows his generous kind ; Meantime we must pursue the sylvan lands,
of able body, sound of limb and wind, The abode of nymphs, untouched by former hands :
Upright he walks, on pasterns firm and straight; For such, Mæcenas, are thy hard commands.
His motions easy ; prancing in his gait. Without thee nothing lofty can I sing ;
The first to lead the way, to tempt the flood ; Come, then, and with thyself thy genius bring :
To pass the bridge unknown, nor fear the trembling With which inspired, I brook no dull delay.
Dauntless at empty noises ; lofty necked; (wood. Cithæron 1 loudly calls me to my way ;
Sharp-headed, barrel-bellied, broadly backed. Thy hounds, Taygetus, open and pursue their prey.
Brawny his chest, and deep ; his color gray, High Epidaurus urges on my speed,
For beauty, dappled, - - or the brightest bay ; Famed for his hills, and for his horses' breed :
Faint white and dun will scarce the rearing pay. From hills and dales the cheerful cries rebound; For echo hunts along, and propagates the sound.
THE WAR-HORSE DESCRIBED. A time will come, when my maturer muse,
The fiery courser, when he hears from far In Cæsar's wars, a nobler theme shall choose, The sprightly trumpets, and the shouts of war, And through more ages bear my sovereign's praise, Pricks up his ears ; and, trembling with delight, Than have from Tithon past to Cæsar's days. Shifts place, and paws; and hopes the promised fight.
On his right shoulder bis thick mane reclined, CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BEST BREEDING COWS; AGE FOR
Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind.
His chine is double ; starting, with a bound
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 lowering look,
THE COURSER CYLLARUS; SATURN TRANSFORMED TO A HORSE. Sour-headed, strongly necked, to bear the yoke. Her double dew-lap from her chin descends :
Such was the steed in Grecian poets famed,
Proud Cyllarus, by Spartan Pollux tamed :
Such coursers bore to fight the god of Thrace ;
And such, Achilles, was thy warlike race.
In such a shape, grim Saturn did restrain
His heavenly limbs, and flowed with such a mane. She rises in her gait, is free from fears ;
When, half-surprised, and fearing to be seen,
The lecher galloped from his jealous queen ; And in her face a bull's resemblance bears :
Ran up the ridges of the rocks amain ; Her ample forehead with a star is crowned ;
(plain. And with her length of tail she sweeps the ground.
And with shrill neighings filled the neighboring The bull's insult at four she may sustain ; But, after ten, from nuptial rites refrain.
But worn with years, when dire diseases come, Six seasons use ; but then release the cow,
Then hide his not ignoble age at home :
In peace to enjoy his former palms and pains ;
For when his blood no youthful spirits move,
He languishes and labors in his love. Submit thy females to the lusty sire. ?
In vain he burns, like hasty stubble fires ;
And in himself his former self requires.
THE BLOOD HORSE; THE CHARIOT RACE DESCRIBED. And age, and death's inexorable doom.
His age and courage weigh : nor those alone, Yearly thy herds in vigor will impair ;
But not his father's virtues nor his own; 1 In Bæotia, named from boves, cattle, in which it
Observe if he disdains to yield the prize ; abounded ; Taygetus was famed for hounds ; Epidaurus, Of loss impatient, proud of victories. for horses ;- and these three classes of animals are the chief subjects of the Georgic.
1 Frigidus in Venerem senior ; frustraque laborem 2 Atque aliam ex alia generando suffice prolem.
Ingratum trahit ; et, si quando ad prælia ventum est, etc.
THE OLD HORSE.
YOUTH IS THE BREEDING SEASON.
Hast thou beheld, when from the goal they start, The youthful charioteers, with heaving heart, Rush to the race ; and, panting, scarcely bear The extremes of feverish hope, and chilling fear ; Stoop to the reins, and lash with all their force ; The flying chariot kindles in the course : And now a-low, and now aloft they fly, As borne through air, and seem to touch the sky. No stop, no stay, but clouds of sand arise, Spurned and cast back upon the follower's eyes. The hindmost blows the foam upon the first : Such is the love of praise, - an honorable thirst.
The male has done ; thy care must now proceed To teeming females, and the promised breed. First let 'em run at large ; and never know The taming yoke, or draw the crooked plough. Let 'em not leap the ditch, or swim the flood; Or lumber o'er the meads ; or cross the wood. But range the forest, by the silver side Of some cool stream, where nature shall provide Green grass and fattening clover for their fare ; And mossy caverns for their noontide lare : With rocks above to shield the sharp nocturnal air.
ERICHTHONICS; THE LAPITBE, HORSE-BREAKERS. Bold Erichthonius was the first, who joined Four horses for the rapid race designed ; And o'er the dusty wheels presiding sat ; The Lapithæ to chariots add the state Of bits and bridles ; taught the steed to bound, To run the ring, and trace the mazy round; To stop, to fly; the rules of war to know ; To obey the rider, and to dare the foe.
THE GADFLY ; EMPLOYED BY JUNO; PRECAUTION. About the Alburnian groves, with holly green, Of winged insects mighty swarms are seen : This flying plague (to mark its quality) Oestros the Grecians call ; Asylus, we : A fierce loud buzzing breeze; their stings draw blood, And drive the cattle gadding through the wood. Seized with unusual pains, they loudly cry, Tanagrus bastens thence, and leaves his channel dry. This curse the jealous Juno did invent, And first employed for lo's punishment. To shun this ill, the cunning leech ordains In summer's sultry heats (for then it reigns) To feed the females ere the sun arise, Or late at night, when stars adorn the skies.
MANAGEMENT OF THE HORSE; BREEDING.
CARE OF CALVES; THEIR SELECTION AND TRAINING.
To choose a youthful steed, with courage fired ; To breed him, break bim, back him, are required Experienced masters ; and in sundry ways : Their labors equal, and alike their praise. But once again the battered horse beware, The weak old stallion will deceive thy care. Though famous in his youth for force and speed, Or was of Argos or Epirian breed, Or did from Neptune's race, or from himself proceed.
These things premised, when now the nuptial time Approaches for the stately steed to climb; With food enable him to make his court ; Distend his chine, and pamper him for sport. Feed him with herbs, whatever thou canst find, Of generous warmth, and of salacious kind. Then water him, and (drinking what he can) Encourage him to thirst again, with bran.1 * * For if the sire be faint, and out of case, He will be copied in his famished race : And sink beneath the pleasing task assigned.1 *
When she has calved, then set the dam aside ; And for the tender progeny provide. Distinguish all betimes, with branding fire ; To note the tribe, the lineage, and the sire. Whom to reserve for husband of the herd; Or who shall be to sacrifice preferred ; Or whom thou shalt to turn thy glebe allow; To smooth the furrows, and sustain the plough : The rest, for whom no lot is yet decreed, May run in pastures, and at pleasure feed.
BREAKING THE STEER TO THE YOKE.
CARE OF BROOD MARES.
As for the females, with industrious care Take down their mettle, keep 'em lean and bare ; When conscious of their past delight, and keen 1 * * With scanty measure then supply their food ; And, when athirst, restrain 'em from the flood : Their bodies harass, sink 'em when they run ; And fry their melting marrow in the sun. Starve 'em, when barns beneath their burden groan, And winnowed chaff by western winds is blown.? * *
The calf, by nature and by genius made To turn the glebe, breed to the rural trade. Set him betimes to school, and let him be Instructed there in rules of husbandry : While yet his youth is flexible and green ; Nor bad examples of the world has seen. Early begin the stubborn child to break; For his soft neck a supple collar make Of bending osiers ; and (with time and care Inured that easy servitude to bear) Thy flattering method on the youth pursue : Joined with his school-fellows, by two and two, Persuade 'm first to lead an empty wheel, That scarce the dust can raise ; or they can feel : In length of time produce the laboring yoke And shining shares, that make the furrows smoke. E'er the licentious youth be thus restrained, Or moral precepts on their minds have gained, Their wanton appetites not only feed With delicates of leaves, and marshy weed,
1 Two lines are omitted after bran, and one, each, after assigned and keen; their grossness is not in the original. J.
3 Six lines are here omitted ; they are the translation of the following three :
Hoc faciunt, nimio ne luxu obtusior usus
But with thy sickle reap the rankest land ;
TRAINING THE YOUNG HORSE ; THE WAR-HORSE ; THE RACER,
If to the warlike steed thy studies bend, Or for the prize in chariots to contend ; Near Pisa's flood the rapid wheels to guide, Or in Olympian groves aloft to ride, The generous labors of the courser, first, [nurst : Must be with sight of arms and sound of trumpets Inured the groaning axle-tree to bear, And let him clashing whips in stables hear. Soothe him with praise, and make him understand The loud applauses of his master's hand : This from his weaning let him well be taught, And then betimes in a soft snafle wrought : Before his tender joints with nerves are knit ; Untried in arms, and trembling at the bit. But when to four full springs his years advance, Teach him to run the round, with pride to prance ; And (rightly managed) equal time to beat ; To turn, to bound in measure, and curvet. Let him to this with easy pains be brought : And seem to labor, when he labors not.
With two fair eyes his mistress burns his breast;
A FIGHT OF BELLS.
THE VANQUISHED BULL; HIS RETURN TO THE CONTEST ; com
PARED TO THE MEETING OF WAVES.
and promises a more successful fight.
Thus formed for speed, he challenges the wind ; And leaves the Scythian arrow far behind : He scours along the field, with loosened reins, And treads so light, he scarcely prints the plains. Like Boreas in his race, when rushing forth, He sweeps the skies, and clears the cloudy north : The waving harvest bends beneath his blast ; The forest shakes, the groves their bonors cast; He flies aloft, and, with impetuous roar, Pursues the foaming surges to the shore. Thus o'er the Elean plains the well-breathed horse Impels the flying car, and wins the course. Or, bred to Belgian wagons, leads the way; Untired at night, and cheerful all the day.
FEEDING ; THE YOUNG HORSE ; THE YOUNG BULL.
THE FORCE OF PHYSICAL LOVE; THE LIONESS; TIE BEAR;
TIGERS ; THE HORSE; THE WILD-BOAR.
When once he's broken, feed him full and high :
Thus every creature, and of every kind, The secret joys of (reproduction) find : Not only man's imperial race ; but they That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea, Or baunt the desert, rush into the flame : For love is lord of all; and is in all the same.
"T is with this rage, the mother-lion stung, Scours o'er the plain, regardless of her young ; Demanding rites of love, she sternly stalks ; And hunts her lover in his lonely walks. 'Tis then the shapeless bear his den forsakes ; In woods and fields a wild destruction makes.
But time is lost, which never will renew, While we too far the pleasing path pursue ; Surveying nature with too nice a view.
CARE OF SHEEP AND GOATS ; THE POET'S TASK TO RAISE
Boars whet their tusks ; to battle tigers move ;
Let this suffice for herds : our following care Shall woolly flocks and shaggy goats declare. Nor can I doubt what toil I must bestow, To raise my subject from a ground so low : And the mean matter which my theme affords, Tembellish with magnificence of words. But the commanding muse my chariot guides, Which o'er the dubious cliffs securely rides ; And pleased I am no beaten road to take ; But first the way to new discoveries make.
WINTERING OF SHEEP AND GOATS.
ALLUSION TO THE STORY OF LEANDER.
What did the youth, when love's unerring dart Transfixed his liver, and inflamed his heart? Alone, by night, his watery way he took ; About him, and above, the billows broke : The sluices of the sky were open spread, And rolling thunder rattled o'er his head. The raging tempest called him back in vain, And every boding omen of the main. Nor could his kindred, nor the kindly force Of weeping parents, change his fatal course. No, not the dying maid, who must deplore His floating carcass on the Sestian shore.
Now, sacred Pales, in a lofty strain, I sing the rural honors of thy reign. First, with assiduous care, from winter keep, Well foddered in the stalls, thy tender sheep. Then spread with straw the bedding of thy fold, With fern beneath to fend the bitter cold ; That free from gouts thou may'st preserve thy care, And clear from scabs, produced by freezing air. Next let thy goats officiously be nursed ; And led to living streams to quench their thirst. Feed 'em with winter-browse, and for their lare A cote that opens to the south prepare : Where basking in the sunshine they may lie, And the short remnants of his heat enjoy. This during Winter's grisly reign be done : Till the new ram receives the exalted sun : For hairy goats of equal profit are With woolly sheep, and ask an equal care.
UTILITY OF THE GOAT ; MILK, HAIR.
EFFECTS OF LOVE ON LYNXES, WOLVES, DOGS, MARES.
I pass the wars that spotted lynxes make With their fierce rivals, for the female's sake : The howling wolves, the mastiff's amorous rage ; When even the fearful stag dares for his hind enBut far above the rest, the furious mare, [gage. Barred from the male, is frantic with despair.1 * ** For love they force through thickets of the wood, They climb the steepy hills, and stem the flood. When at the spring's approach their marrow
burns For with the spring their genial warmth returns The mares to cliffs of rugged rocks repair, And with wide nostrils snuff the western air : When (wondrous to relate) the parent wind, Without the stallion, propagates the kind. Then, fired with amorous rage, they take their flight Through plains, and mount the hill's unequal Nor to the north, nor to the rising sun, [height; Nor southward to the rainy regions run, But boring to the west, and hovering there, With gaping mouths they draw prolific air : 2 * * *
1 Instead of five gross lines of Dryden, Virgil has here simply :
Et mentem Venus ipsa dedit, quo tempore Glauci
Potniades malis membra absumpsere quadrigae.
Hinc demum Hippomanes vero quod nomine dicunt
'T is true, the fleece, when drunk with Tyrian juice, Is dearly sold ; but not for noedful use : For the salacious goat increases more, And twice as largely yields her milky store. The still-distended udders never fail ; But, when they seem exhausted, swell the pail. Meantime the pastor shears their hoary beards, And eases of their hair the loaded herds. Their camelots warm in tents the soldier hold, And shield the shivering mariner from cold.
FEEDING OF GOATS AND SHEEP ; WINTER BROWSE. On shrubs they browse, and on the bleaky top Of rugged hills the thorny bramble crop. Attended with their bleating kids they coine At night, unasked, and mindful of their home ; And scarce their swelling bags the threshold overSo much the more thy diligence bestow (come. In depth of Winter, to defend the snow : By how much less the tender helpless kind For their own ills can fit provision find. Then minister the browse with bounteous hand, And open let the stacks all winter stand,