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As to the traveller, parch'd with noontide heat,
pay? Worthy young Daphnis of thy happiest lay; 66 And oft, that lay how ravishingly sweet, Has Stimicon delighted to repeat.
Mlen. “Surprised, bright Daphnis hails the untried
world, And views the clouds and stars beneath him whirl'd. 70 Hence Rapture, bounding ʼmid the groves and plains, O’er Pan, the shepherds, and the Dryads reigns ! No more the wolf prowls nightly round the fold ; The careless stag no wily meshes hold.
Nor dropping waters, that in grots distil,
And with a tinkling sound their caverns fill. 63 Оf your favorite Daphnis we will sing the apotheosis. It is probable that Julius Cæsar (as a learned man, and a patron of letters) admired Virgil, whose estate lay near Mantua, in his beloved province of Cisalpine Gaul. The verses of Menalcas (it may be observed) correspond, after the Amæbæan fashion, with those of Mopsus, being each thirty in number.
69 Untried. Compare Pope's fourth pastoral; · But see where Daphne,' &c.
71 Rapture is opposed to Mopsus'. That day no shepherd,' &c.; and · Pan and the shepherds' to the desertion of · Pales and Phæbus.? This passage is imitated by Philips ; · For this the golden skies,' &c. A similar double copying occurs again below, v. 83, &c.
Peace, peace mild Daphnis loves : with joyous cry 75
75 Peace, peace, &c. Beside his warlike character, Julius Cæsar, as an eloquent orator, a judicious historian, a merciful conqueror, a forgetter of injuries, a grave and wise man, might fairly be represented as a lover of peace.'
80 Julius Cæsar was born on the day of the ludi Apolli
85 The' Ariusian' wine was brought from Chios, hod. Scio, and was esteemed the best of all the Greek wines. It is said by Tournefort to be called 'nectar' to this day by the inhabitants of that island. Dancing, we may add, was much used in religious ceremonies, not only by idolatrous nations, but also by the Jews.
89–91 At the two seasons, winter and summer, of sacrificing to the Nymphs within doors, and the Ambarvalia in the
Yearly to thee his vows the hind shall pay:
Mops. A strain so soft what recompense shall greet? For to my ear the whispering breeze less sweet, 100 And waves low rippling as they kiss the shore, And brooks their pebbled channels gurgling o’er. Men. First thou from me this reed, a gift, ap
prove: With this I sung “Young Corydon's' sad love ; This breathed of' Ægon's sheep'the playful strain. 105
Maps. And thou, what oft Antigenes in vain Solicited, but I refused to give (Fair though he was), this jointed crook receive: With polish'd brass its knobs all equal shine; 'Tis elegantly wrought, and it is thine.
CÆSAR having restored Virgil to his lands, the poet now, A.
U. C. 714, seems to have seized the opportunity of fulfilling the promise which he had made to Q. Atius Varus (Ecl. ix. 32.) that he would exalt his name to the bright stars,' if
he would preserve Mantua. This he performed in his Silenus, one of his finest Eclogues,
which is dedicated to that distinguished personage. See a long note by Martyn on nunc ego, v. 6. of the original. It was probably written not ' unbidden' of him; as Virgil himself obviously was anxious to make · kings and war's achievements the subjects of his poetry. Varus was, it may be believed, an Epicurean : and hence the poet makes that philosophy the subject of his pastoral; which, how. ever, as it would have been incongruous to the simplicity of a shepherd's love, he dexterously puts into the mouth of the demi-god Silenus. Accordingly, the long-promised strain' gives a succinct account of the Natural and the Moral doctrines of Epicurus, the formation of the world from atoms, and the necessity of avoiding perturbations of the mind. It includes a fine compliment to Cornelius Gallus, vv. 72–83, who had about this time written a poem on • Gryneum's grove' in the style of Hesiod; and was also, like Varus, a great favorite of Cæsar.
First breathed my Muse the Syracusan strain,
Proceed, sweet maids. Within a cavern wide
8 Lowlier ; literally a ' drawn out lay. The metaphor is taken from wool, which is spun thinner. VIR.
Heavy with sleep the aged tippler lay,
30 He sings! In measured step you then might see Fauns and fierce beasts frisk to the minstrelsy, And knotted oaks their tops in rapture nod: Not with such glee Parnassus hails its god; Less, when the Muses breathe from Orpheus' shell, 35 Feel Rhodope and Ismarus the spell !
He sung, how from the void immense combined Their seeds earth, ocean, fire, and æther join’d; And how, no more in wild disorder hurl'd, Sprang from these elements the nascent world. 40
20 The cantharus, a 'goblet,' was a sort of drinking vessel with ears or handles, sacred to Bacchus the pupil of Silenus. Both Pliny and Valerius Maximus heavily censure Marius for having presumed, after his victory over the Cimbri, to drink out of such a vessel ; as thus insinuating that his own actions might vie with the victories of the god of wine.
26 This hue was added, not to make a jest of the tipsy deity, but to render him more propitious, red being the color sacred to the gods. So Pan, in Ecl. x. 32, has his . vermil dye.'
32 The Fauns' are 'rural deities, so called a fando, because they speak personally to men.'-Martyn.
36 Rhodope and Ismarus were mountains of Thrace.