Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Nor deem'st the gods, resentful, visit wrong-
Begin with me, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.

First did'st thou to these doting eyes appear 45
Within our orchard's bound, thy mother near;
Thy little hands the dewy apples pile :
I was your guide—too happy I the while !
Just enter'd on my teens, with utmost stretch
On tiptoe rising I the boughs could reach:

50 I saw, I died, by passion borne alongBegin with me, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.

Now know I Love's dire source: in Thracia bred, Where Rhodope in tempests veils its head; Or rock'd ʼmid Garamantian crags to rest,

55 He tears, remorseless tears the human breast : Not to our nature does the boy belongBegin with me, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.

• Love taught the mother barbarous lore and wild, To plunge the dagger in her guiltless child: –O savage mother, who such lore could'st learn! O boy, too savage, teaching lore so stern! Savage alike who urged, and did, the wrongBegin with me, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.

Fly now, ye hungry wolves, th' unguarded fold, 65 And glow each oak with vegetable gold ; All gay

with daffodils let alders tower, And lowliest tamarisks weep their amber shower:

60

[ocr errors]

55 The Garamantes were a savage people of Africa, living as far southward (it was thought) as the earth was habitable, and therefore called extremi.

59 The mother' here alluded to was Medea, who when Jason married Creusa, murdered her children.

66 Swans were erroneously supposed by the ancients to sing sweetly, especially just before their death. The story of Arion of Corinth, who captivated a dolphin by his music, when he was on the point of being thrown overboard by some sailors, and was borne safely by it to shore, is told by Herodotus.

Vie owls with swans : let Tityrus Orpheus be;
Orpheus amid the woods, or in the sea

70 Arion, sovereign of the dolphin throngBegin with me, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.

• Be earth one wat'ry waste ! ye woods, farewell ! Headlong, amidst the sweeping surges' swell, From some sky-piercing cliff I'll spring to death : 75 Accept these strains, thy lover's latest breath, His dying legacy, withheld too long !Cease now, O cease, my pipe, the soft Mænalian song.'

[ocr errors]

Thus Damon: next Alphesibæus' strain
Record, ye Muses! for our powers are vain. 80

Bring water, and with fleecy fillet wreathe
This altar's frame, and bid rich incense breathe,
And vervain burn; that so my spells may fire
The cold swain's sense, and force him to admire.
Those spells, unseconded, will stamp his doom- 85
Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home. • The spell of verse can drag th' obedient moon From heaven, when riding in her highest noon: Ulysses' comrades with the numerous spell Circe transform’d: cold serpents writhe and swell, 90 Compell’d by mighty song, and burst in foamBring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home. First, these three threads in mystic union join'd, Three-color'd, I around his image bind ;

81 Alphesibæus assumes the person of a sorceress engaged in magical incantations.

85 Špells. The carmen, whence our word 'charm,' means here a particular form of words used in these superstitious ceremonies ; probably the recurring line, or formula, ' Bring from the city,' &c.

And with that image circle thrice the shrine 95
(Uneven numbers please the powers divine !)
So may he at my potent summons come-
Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home. . In threefold knot now, Amaryllis, tie The triple threads : and still, in tightening, cry; 100 • With these, love's knots, I knit him ne'er to roam'Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home.
As shrivels in one fire this moulded clay,
And melts the wax, so Daphnis melt away !
So shrivels in my love! The salted meal

105
Now sprinkle ; burn the crackling bay: I feel
Harsh Daphnis fire me! Such his lot I doom-
Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home. • O seize him love like that, when far and near The wearied heifer seeks her wandering steer; 110 And having languish'd much, and rambled long The wide-spread forest's lengthening glades among, Sinks by some sedgy stream: nor quits the grove, Though night's late hours approach ! Him seize such

love, Nor deign I his physician to become

115 Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home.

103 This was continued, even in later times. James I., in his Dæmonologie,' says : To some others at these times he (the devil) teacheth how to make pictures of waxe or claye, that by thé roasting thereof the persons that they beare the name of may be continually melted, or dried away by conti. nual sicknesse,' &c.

105 The meal' salted, parched, and kneaded (molita) was called mola, and sprinkled on the foreheads of the victims, &c. whence our term immolation.'

" To me these relics once the traitor leftDear relics! These I now, of him bereft, Beneath my threshold, earth, to thee consign: These, these again shall make the rover mine ; 120 Though, far estranged, ʼmidst other scenes he roamBring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis

home. “These herbs, these poisons cull'd on Pontic ground (In Pontus, herbs of wondrous power abound) Moeris bestow'd: and him I oft have view'd, 125 Changed by their force, in sylvan solitude, Howl a fierce wolf; transport the bearded grain From its first native to a distant plain, And call pale spectres from the yawning tomb Bring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis home.

130 • Forth, Amaryllis, forth the ashes bear, And o'er thy shoulder in the streamlet clear Whelm them, with unreverted head : a spell Of different kind his stubborn soul shall quell. Nor gods he heeds, nor dreads the strains of doomBring from the city, bring, ye charms, my Daphnis home.

136 * And lo! the altar gleams with quivering blaze, Self-kindled, while my tardy hand delays To bear the ashes to the destined flood : Something it, sure, portends–O be it good! 140 May I, then, trust my heart's fond wishes !-Hark! Loud at the door I hear my Hylax barkOr weave I love's light dream in fancy's loom? No, cease, my charms; he comes—comes from the city ECLOGUE IX.-MERIS.

home!'

ARGUMENT.

In this Eclogue, which was probably composed by Virgil

soon after his Tityrus, A. U.C. 713, on his return to Rome from his unsuccessful attempt to take possession of his Mantuan property, are dexterously introduced fragments of his earlier poems; one in particular addressed to Varus (through whom the poet seems to have been first made known to Pollio), promising him the reward of poetical praise for his intercession in behalf of Mantua ; and another in honor of the star, which appeared for seven days together after the death of Julius Cæsar, and was supposed to an

nounce his reception among the immortals. Mæris, as Servius informs us, Menalcas', i. e. Virgil's, farm

ing bailiff, had been directed by his master (during his own absence) to carry matters as fairly as possible with Arrius, the centurion, who had refused with great violence to readmit him to his · little field.' Catrou, however, stifly contends (from the nostri agelli, the vestrum Menalcam, &c.) that Mæris must have been the father, not the servant, of Virgil.

6

Lycidas. Whither, good Moris ? For the city

bent? Mæris. O Lycidas, our life, with sad extent, Has reach'd to woes beyond my utmost fear;

Begone, old landlords; I am master here!' Our little field's usurper sternly cries.

5 To him, since thus her wheel dame Fortune plies, These kidsmill luck go with them !-sad I bear. Lyc. I heard, indeed—and, oh, would such things

were !

VIR.

VOL. I.

D

« PredošláPokračovať »