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Damoetas, 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.
Menalcas. 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.
Damoetas. 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.
spring. Now, boys, obstruct the course of yonder rill; The meadows have already drunk their fill.
SICILIAN Muse, sublimer strains inspire,
The age comes on, that future age of gold
Heav'n. * 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 tno less a true bucolic than the others; if we admit the definition of a pastoral, given us by an author of the first rank,t 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, (brane, 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.