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Nor doom us sad Cremona's fate to share
Lycidas. Go on, dear swain, these pleasing songs pursue ; So may thy bees avoid the bitter yew, So may rich herds thy fruitful fields adorn, So may thy cows with strutting dugs return. Even I with poets have obtain'd a name, The Muse inspires me with poetic flame; Th’applauding shepherds to my songs attend, But I suspect my skill, though they commend. I dare not hope to please a Cinna's ear, Or sing what Varus might vouchsafe to hear. Harsh are the sweetest lays that I can bring, So screams a goose where swans melodious sing.
Moris. This I am pondering, if I can rehearse The lofty numbers of that labour'd verse. • Come, Galatea, leave the rolling seas ; Can rugged rocks and heaving surges please ? Come, taste the pleasures of our sylvan bowers, Our balmy-breathing gales and fragrant flowers. Se how plains ejoice on every side, How crystal streams through blooming valleys glide : O’er the cool grot the whitening poplars bend, And clasping vines their grateful umbrage lend, Come, beauteous nymph, forsake the briny wave; Loud on the beach let the wild billows rave.'
On the glad hills the reddening clusters glow,
' thy pears; the star of Cæsar reigas,
* In Italia creditur luporum visus esse noxios; vocemque homini qnem priores contemplentur adimere ad præsens.- Plin. N. H. viii. 22.
+ Bianor is said to have founded Mantua.-Servius.
T To my last labour lend thy sacred aid,
1 O Arethusa ; that the cruel maid With deep remorse may read the mournful song, For mournful lays to Gallus' love belong. (What Muse in sympathy will not bestow Some tender strains to soothe my Gallus' woe?) So may thy waters pure of briny stain Traverse the waves of the Sicilian main.
1 Sing, mournful Muse, of Gallus' luckless love, While the goats browse along the cliffs above. Nor silent is the waste while we complain, The woods return the long resounding strain.
Whither, ye fountain-nymphs, were ye withdrawn, To what lone woodland, or what devious lawn, When Gallus' bosom languish'd with the fire Of hopeless love, and unallay'd desire ? For neither by th’ Aonian spring you stray'd, Nor roam'd Parnassus' heights, nor Pindus' hallow'd
shade. The pines of Mænalus were heard to mourn, And sounds of woe along the groves were borne;": " And sympathetic tears the laurel shed,
9 And humbler shrubs declined their drooping head. All wept his fate, when to despair resign'd Beneath a desert cliff he lay reclined.
L! * The scene of this pastoral is very accurately delineated. We behold the forlora Gallus stretched along beneath a solitary cliff, his flocks standing round him at some distance. A group of deities and swains encircle him, each of whom is particularly described. On one side we see the shepherds with their crooks next to them the neatherds, known by the clumsiness of their appearance; and next to these Menalcas with his clothes wete as just come from veating or gathering winter-mast. On the other side we observe Apollo with his usual insignia ; Sylvanus crowned with flowers, and brandishing in his hand the long liliest and flowering fennel;
and last of all Ban, the god of shepherds, known by his ruddy smiling countenance, and the otber pecu-l harities of his form. Gallus was a Roman of very considerable rank, a poet of ng Testimation, and an intimate friend of Virgil. He loved to iron one Cytheris (here called Lycoris), whq slighted bim,
d Antony into Gaul..
Lyceus' rocks were hung with many a tear,
round. Next we beheld the gay Arcadian god; His smiling cheeks with bright vermilion glowid. • For ever wilt thou heave the bursting sigh? Is love regardful of the weeping eye? Love is not cloy'd with tears; alas! no more Than bees luxurious with the balmy flower, ?* Than goats with foliage, than the grassy plain! With silver rills and soft refreshing rain.' Pan spoke; and thus the youth, with grief opprest ;• Arcadians! hear, 0 hear my last request ; venith O ye, to whom the sweetest lays belong, O let my sorrows on your hills be sung : If
your soft flutes shall celebrate my woes, How will my bones in deepest peace repose ! Ah, had I been with you a country-swain, And pruned the vine, and fed the bleating train ; Had Phyllis, or some other rural fair, Or black Amyntas been my darling care ; (Beauteous, though black; what lovelier flower is seen Than the dark violet on the painted green ?) These in the bower had yielded all their charms, And sunk with mutual raptures in my arms: Phyllis had crown'd my head with garlands gay, 101. Amyntas sung the pleasing hours away.
Here, O Lycoris, purls the limpid spring,
Hence let me hasten to some desert-grove,