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With me to pierce the stag, and to the mead
33 Figere cervos might also signify, to “raise the forked poles," (called furce and cervus) applied to the supporting of cottages, as cottages had been mentioned just before. But the more probable
interpretation refers the passage to hunting.
The viridi compellere hibisco is likewise variously expounded. By some it is supposed to mean to “drive the kids to the marshmallows;" while others explain it as signifying to "drive them with a wand of hibiscus." To this latter opinion Martyn inclines; though he forbears to determine whether the hibiscus was the same as the althea, and both meant the marsh-mallow.
35 Pan was the god of shepherds, and presided generally over rural affairs. He was characterized also as making fine melody with his “seven compacted reeds.". The fable of the nynıph Syrinx, whom he pursued till she reached a river's brink and was turned into reeds, &c. &c., is told by Ovid in his Metamor. phoses. The cicuta, rendered "tube," in v. 41, is commonly translated "hemlock,” but may be taken for any hollow stalk Servius says it probably signifies “the space between two joints of a reed."
45 These “two kids” were probably wild ones, found among rocks of dangerous access, without their mother--as they required a foster-dam; and young ones, before they bad lost their beauty. spots. In the same manner two bear cubs are appropriately tendered by the Cyclops in the Metamorphoses. Theocritus in his third Idyl supplies the original of v, 49.
These oft has Thestylis implored of me;
“O come! The Nymphs for thee in baskets bring
55 With yellow marigold the chaplet fill.
52 On lilia, see Martyn on Georg. iv. 130.
53 The pallentes violas Martyn believes to be the “stock-gilliflower, or wall-flower,” called by the old writers leucoïum (qu. devkov lov, or "white violet"), not from the colour of its flowers, but the hoariness of its leaves. His ingenious note explains how, in several instances, the ancients gave almost the same name to different sorts of plants; e. g. in this case, in that of the lily of the valley, ground ivy, &c. The "gilly-flower, not July. flower, but derived from the Lat. caryophyllum, through the Fr. girofle or giroflier, by a transposition of letters (as appears from Shaucer's (clowe-gylofre, and Turner's gelover and gely-floure), with the prefix of stock, comprehends the wall-flower; with that of clove, comprises the several species of carnations and pinks !"
It ought further to be added that pallentes, or the appearance of the countenance when no longer animated by the circulation of the blood, though it implies a faint dead whiteness in these northern regions, in warmer countries (where the people are generally of a swarthy complexion) is rather yellow.”' Thus Virgil applies it to the olive. The Greeks call paleness wxpos (whence our English ochre). Horace speaks of the violet-tinctured paleness (as Petrarch of the vago impallidir) of lovers; and Ovid ascribes this hue even to box-wood and to gold.
54 The “poppy," the common red species which grows wild among corn, is mentioned both by Virgil and by Theocritus, as anciently used in amorous divinations. See Martyn on Georg. i. 78.
The anethum, or "diil," an annual smaller and less green than fennel, which however it greatly resembles, is combined with wall-flowers and roses in a love-garland described by Theocritus. Thus also in the Paradise Lost, Adam weaves for Eve
Of choicest flowers a garland to adorn
As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen.
The downy apricot be mine to bear,
"Ah! clownish Corydon, thy gifts he'll none: Nor would lölas be in gifts outdoneWretch that I am! that name—not south winds
Can vex my flowers, my streams the wallowing boar!
65 Whom shunn'st thou, inconsiderate boy? The gods, And Dardan Paris, whilom dwelt in woods. Let Pallas love the towers 'twas hers to rear : To us the woodlands be for ever dear! The lioness pursues the wolf, her prey ; The wolf the kid, the kid the trefoil's spray; And Corydon Alexis : bound by laws Peculiar, each his special pleasure draws. “ And see! their ploughs upon their light yokes
hung, Homeward the weary bullocks plod along : 75 The sun, cool setting, whelms in shade the grove; Yet still I burn-for what can temper love?
“Ah! Corydon, what madness fires thy brain ! Thy vines, half-pruned, on leafy elms remain. 58 “Nor-unhonour'd.” So in Eclog. vii.
“Long as the hazel is to Phyllis dear,
Nor bay nor myrtle lovelier shall appear.” The pomum of the original, it may be observed, means almos any edible fruit.
70 “The lioness.” Theocritus has a precisely similar passage.
74 In returning from labour the plough is drawn backward ; in which case, from its relative lightness, it may be said to be oniy just hung on the yoke.
79 This involves a double charge of neglect: the vines are only half-pruned; and the elms are suffered to make long shoots, to the overshadowing of the grapes.
Rather of osiers thou, with happier care,
80 Or plaited rushes useful frails prepare; Nor fear, should still Alexis frown, to find Some love, though not so fair, yet far more, kind."
ARGUMENT. This Eclogue, an imitation of the fourth and fifth Idyls of The
critus, was probably written A. C. 43, A. U.C. 711, when Man. tua, as a portion of the Venetian territory, was under the government of C. Asinius Pollio; as he alone, of all the illustrious then living, is celebrated in it for his patronage of the poet, and for his own poetical powers. It is of the species denominated Amabæan, in which two disputants speak alternately; the latter always endeavouring to surpass, or at least to equal, the former; in which, if he fails, he loses the victory, Menalcas begins the strife by casting some reflections on hi rival Ægon, the wealthy master of his antagonist Damætas, whom he represents as defrauding his employer while that employer is throwing away his time in following Neæra. This draws a retort from Damætas, who hints at some secret profligacy of Menalcas. They subsequently proceed to a regular competition on the relative beauty of the corresponding coup
lets, of which Martyn pronounces seriatim. The whole poem nearly is interpreted under different allegorie
by Servius and Catroú.
Menalcas. Are these, Dametas, Melibeus' sheep? Damætas. No, Ægon's; Ægon gave them me to
keep. Men. Ah! ever luckless flock! While he pursues Neæra's love, and trembles still to lose Her favour'd suitor 1-this varlet swain
5 Dares twice an hour their milky juices drain, And the wrong:d lambs with hungry bleats complain.
Dam. These taunts on men be cautious how you
throw ! We know, who saw you—in what chapel, tooWith glance oblique while goats congenial peerd; 10 But the indulgent nymphs look'd on, and leer'd.
Men. Ay, 'twas, I trow, upon that self-same day, When arm'd with rusty knife for fierce affray, I hack'd poor Micon's shrubs and vines away!
Dam. Or when by these old beeches, envy-rapt, 15 The bow of Daphnis and his shafts you snapp'd ! These, when presented to the blooming boy, You mark’d, Menalcas, with malignant eye, And, had you not found means to vent your spite, In very passion you had burst outright.
20 Men. Slaves thus audacious, what will masters
dare ? Did I not see you, rascal as you are, While loud the mongrel bark’d, filch Damon's goat ? And when I cried, “Yon hurrying skulker note; Tityrus, collect your stragglers ;" in the hedge 25 You sneak’d, conceal'd behind the rustling sedge.
Dam. And should not he, in minstrelsy outdone, Resign the goat my sweeter pipe had won ? Haply, you know not that the goat was mine: This Damon own'd; yet could he not resign. 30 Men. Your "sweeter pipe !” The pipe you call
so “sweet," Was it with wax e'er fasten'd? In the street Did you not, blockhead, to the rabble train Through grating straws squeak out your wretched
strain ? 9 The sacella were ommonly smaller edifices, dedicated to the deities; sometimes, in the country, mere caves were consecrated to the Napææ, and so called.
14 According to Servius, it was a capital crime to cut another man's trees; and Caius, in the Digest, states that those who were guilty of so doing (more especially in the case of vines) were to be punished as thieves. The malice and the injury in this place are aggravated by the rustiness of the knife, and the tenderness (intimated by the epithet novellas in the original) of the vines so treated.