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Ah the keen raptures! when my yielding fair Breathed her kind whispers to my ravish'd ear! Waft, gentle gales, her accents to the skies,

That gods themselves may hear with sweet surprise.


What, though I am not wretched by your scorn! Say, beauteous boy, say can I cease to mourn, If, while I hold the nets, the boar you face, And rashly brave the dangers of the chase?


Send Phyllis home, Iolas for to-day
I celebrate my birth, and all is gay;
When for my crop the victim I prepare,

Iolas in our festival may share.


Phyllis I love; she more than all can charm, And mutual fires her gentle bosom warm: Tears, when I leave her, bathe her beauteous eyes; A long, a long adieu, my love!' she cries.


The wolf is dreadful to the woolly train,
Fatal to harvests is the crushing rain,

To the green woods the winds destructive prove,
To me the rage of mine offended love.


The willow's grateful to the pregnant ewes, Showers to the corns, to kids the mountain-brows; More grateful far to me my lovely boy,—— In sweet Amyntas centres all my joy.


Even Pollio designs to hear my rural lays; And cheers the bashful Muse with generous praise: Ye sacred Nine, for your great patron feed

A beauteous heifer of the noblest breed.


Pollio the art of heavenly song adorns; Then let a bull be bred with butting horns, And ample front, that, bellowing, spurns the ground, Tears up the turf, and throws the sands around.


Him whom my Pollio loves may nought annoy.
May he like Pollio every wish enjoy;
O may his happy lands with honey flow,
And on his thorns Assyrian roses blow!


Who hates not foolish Bavius, let him love Thee, Mævius, and thy tasteless rhymes approve! Nor needs it thy admirer's reason shock To milk the he-goats, and the foxes yoke.


Ye boys, on garlands who employ your care,
And pull the creeping strawberries, beware.
Fly for your lives, and leave that fatal place,
A deadly snake lies lurking in the grass.


Forbear, my flocks, and warily proceed, Nor on that faithless bank securely tread; The heedless ram late plunged amid the pool, And in the sun now dries his reeking wool.


Ho, Tityrus! lead back the browsing flock,
And let them feed at distance from the brook;
At bathing-time I to the shade will bring
My goats, and wash them in the cooling spring.


Haste, from the sultry lawn the flocks remove
To the cool shelter of the shady grove :
When burning noon the curdling udder dries,
Th' ungrateful teats in vain the shepherd plies.


How lean my bull in yonder mead appears, Though the fat soil the richest pasture bears! Ah Love! thou reign'st supreme in every heart, Both flocks and shepherds languish with thy dart.


Love has not injured my consumptive flocks, Yet bare their bones, and faded are their looks: What envious eye hath squinted on my dams, And sent its poison to my tender lambs ?


Say in what distant land the eye descries But three short ells of all th' expanded skies? Tell this, and great Apollo be your name; Your skill is equal, equal be your fame.


Say in what soil a wondrous flower is born,
Whose leaves the sacred name of kings adorn?
Tell this, and take my Phyllis to your arms,
And reign th' unrivall'd sovereign of her charms.


'Tis not for me these high disputes to end; Each to the heifer justly may pretend.

Such be their fortune, who so well can sing

From love what painful joys, what pleasing torments


Now, boys, obstruct the course of yonder rill;

The meadows have already drunk their fill.



SICILIAN Muse, sublimer strains inspire,
And warm my bosom with diviner fire!
All take not pleasure in the rural scene,
In lowly tamarisks, and forests green.
If sylvan themes we sink, then let our lays
Deserve a consul's ear, a consul's praise.

The age comes on, that future age of gold
In Cuma's mystic prophecies foretold.
The years begin their mighty course again,
The Virgin now returns, and the Saturnian reign.
Now from the lofty mansions of the sky
To Earth descends an heaven-born progeny.
Thy Phoebus reigns, Lucina, lend thine aid,
Nor be his birth, his glorious birth, delay'd!
An iron race shall then no longer rage,
But all the world regain the golden age.
This child, the joy of nations, shall be born,
Thy consulship, O Pollio, to adorn :


Thy consulship these happy times shall
And see the mighty months begin to move;
Then all our former guilt shall be forgiven,
And man shall dread no more th' avenging doom of

In this fourth pastoral no particular landscape is delineated. The whole is a prophetic song of triumph. But as almost all the images and allusions are of the rural kind, it is no less a true bucolic than the others; if we admit the definition of a pastoral, given us by an author of the first rank,+ who calls it 'A poem in which any action or passion is represented by its effects upon country life.'

It is of little importance to inquire on what occasion this poem was written. The spirit of prophetic enthusiasm that breathes through it, and the resemblance it bears in many places to the oriental manner, makes it not improbable that our poet composed it partly from some pieces of ancient prophecy that might have fallen into his hands, and that he afterward inscribed it to his friend and patron Pollio, on occasion of the birth of his son Salonnius.

†The author of the Rambler.

The son with heroes and with gods shall shine,
And lead, enroll'd with them, the life divine.
He o'er the peaceful nations shall preside,
And his sire's virtues shall his sceptre guide.
To thee, auspicious babe, th' unbidden earth
Shall bring the earliest of her flowery birth:
Acanthus soft in smiling beauty gay,

The blossom'd bean, and ivy's flaunting spray.
Th' untended goats shall to their homes repair,
And to the milker's hand the loaded udder bear.
The mighty lion shall no more be fear'd,
But graze innoxious with the friendly herd.
Sprung from thy cradle fragrant flowers shall spread,
And, fanning bland, shall wave around thy head.
Then shall the serpent die, with all his race:
No deadly herb the happy soil disgrace:
Assyrian balm on every bush shall bloom,
And breathe in every gale its rich perfume.


But when thy father's deeds thy youth shall fire,
And to great actions all thy soul inspire,
When thou shalt read of heroes and of kings,
And mark the glory that from virtue springs;
Then boundless o'er the far-extended plain
Shall wave luxuriant crops of golden grain,
With purple grapes the loaded thorn shall bend,
And streaming honey from the oak descend.
Nor yet old fraud shall wholly be effaced;
Navies for wealth shall roam the watery waste;
Proud cities fenced with towery walls appear,
And cruel shares shall earth's soft bosom tear:
Another Tiphys o'er the swelling tide

With steady skill the bounding ship shall guide;
Another Argo with the flower of Greece

From Colchos' shore shall waft the golden fleece;
Again the world shall hear war's loud alarms,
And great Achilles shine again in arms.

When riper years thy strengthen'd nerves shall And o'er thy limbs diffuse a manly grace,

The mariner no more shall plough the deep,

Nor load with foreign wares the trading ship;
Each country shall abound in every store,
Nor need the products of another shore.


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