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Beneath the solid orb's vast convex bent,
“O reach so far my long life's closing strain!
65 Should string, and (anxious for the son the sire) His Linus' numbers Phæbus should inspire ! Should Pan himself before his Arcady Contend, he'd own his song surpass' by me.
“Know, then, dear boy, thy mother by her smile: Enough ten months have given of pain and toil. 71 Know her, dear boy,—who ne'er such smile has
known, Nor board nor bed divine 'tis his to own.”
The triumvirs having resolved to open the A. U. C. 712 with performing divine honours to the memory of Julius Cæsar, the Daphnis (which refers to this deification) must probably have been written about the beginning of the year: but as Brutus
65, 67, 68 On Orphéus and Linus, as coeval with this prophecy, and the worship then more particularly paid to Pan, see Penn, ib. p. 94-99.
70 On the peculiar propriety of the “smile,” as applied to Attia, the mother of Augustus, and the niece of Julius Cæsar (through whom alone flowed the traditionary descent of the former from the smiling goddess Venus), see Penn, ib. p. 363-37/?
and Cassius were still at the head of considerable armies, and Virgil had already smarted under the effects of civil fury, he cautiously veils the name of his hero under that of a Sicilian brates his apotheosis. If ever Virgil Intended in his Eclogues herdsman. Mopsus laments. his death, and Menalcas cele to introduce himself, it is probably as the latter. Phillips has imitated this poem in his third Pastoral, entitled “ Albino," on the death of the Duke of Gloucester, son of Queen Anne.
Menalcas. And why not, Mopsus, since we're met
Mopsus. The elder. you, my friend,
Men. None but Amyntas ortour hills may try To match your art in sylvan minstrelsy.
10 Mops. And he would strive e'en Phæbus to outvie. Men. Begin, then, Mopsus; if or love's fierce
Men. Far as the willow olives pale o'erpass, 20 Or glowing rose-beds dim the spiked grass,
21 The saliunca is a plant not certainly known at present. It may be the same as the nardus Celtica, French spikenard, or a species of valerian growing abundantly on the mountains be. tween Italy and Germany, and also about Genoa, near Savona. This the Tyrolese peasants are said still to call “seliunck;" whence the saliunca of Virgil and Pliny, and the álcovyyia of Dioscorides.
Wept o'er thy doom, and howld thousad love
So far dost thou, Amyntas, in my thought-
tere To death consign'd: ye hazels, witness bear, 25 And you, ye streamlets; when, with fond embrace, Clasping the darling corse, in wild amaze, The frantic mother pour'd her piteous moan, And charg'd on gods and stars her ravish'd son. That day no shepherd drove his flock to drink. 30 No steed or sipp'd the flood or cropp?d the green: Even Libyan lions, melting at the scene (As the wild hills and savage woodlands tell),
farewell. th’ Strapp'd the strong harness; first the bacchant train To lead their orgies to the god enjoin'd, And the slight thyrsus with soft foliage twined.
“As vines of trees, and grapes of vines the pride,
28 Mother : i. e. Venus. Compare Ov. Met. xv. on the sam subject
36 Servius informs us that Julius Cæsar first brought the solemnities of Bacchus to Rome. This De la Rue, arguing from a passage in Livy, denies. Perhaps he restored them, after they had been abolished for their enormities, on a purer and more magnificent scale.
38 Thiasus is a solemn singing and dancing used at festivals. The thyrse was a spear twisted round with branches of vine and ivy, and borne in the hands of the bacchanals. 47 The paliurus has been a subject of some controversy among
Scatter the ground with leaves; around each spring Let wreathed flowers their sacred freshness fling.So Daphnis gives command-and rear his tomb; 50 And grave this verse, memorial of his doom:
'Pride of the woods, I Daphnis here am laid : Fair was my flock; but fairer I, who fed.'
Men, Sweet to the ear, blest bard, thy tuneful
reed, As sleep to wearied shepherds on the mead:
55 As to the traveller, parch'd with noontide heat, The crystal rill soft purling at his feet. Nor with your reed alone your master's fame You emulate; like praise your voice may claim: Blest boy! henceforth ordain'd to second such a
60 Yet shall my simple strain, in turn, ariseThat strain, alas ! how mean!—and to the skies Exalt your Daphnis, to the skies above: For me, too, Daphnis honour'd with his love.
modern writers.' By Theophrastus and Pliny it is called a shrub. Columella recommends it for a quick-hedge, as one of the strongest thorns; whence Martyn concludes it to be the rhamnus folio subrotundo, fructu compresso C. B., now cultivated under the name of “Christ's-thorn;" which grows abundantly in desert places in Italy, and is very common in the hedges.
54 This imitates and surpasses a similar passage in the eighth Idyl of Theocritus (who supplies many parallels to the present Eclogue), and is itself copied by Phillips in his fourth Pastoral.
Not half so sweet are midnight winds that move
And with a tinkling sound their caverns fill. 63 Оf your favourite 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 Amoebæan fashion, with those of Mopsus, being each thirty in number.
Mops. What boon more grateful can my song repay ?
65 Worthy young Daphnis of thy happiest lay; And oft that lay, how ravishingly sweet, Has Stimicon delighted to repeat. Men. “Surprised, bright Daphnis hails the untried
world, And views the clouds and stars beneath him whirl'd. Hence Rapture, bounding 'mid the groves and plains,
71 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. Peace, peace mild Daphnis loves: with joyous cry The untillid mountains strike the echoing sky; 76 And rocks and towers the triumph speed abroad“A god! Menalcas! Daphnis is a god! O shine serene! Four altars, lo! we raise ; And two to Phæbus, two to thee shall blaze. 80 Yearly two bowls of milk shall bathe thy shrine, And two rich goblets crown'd with wine be thine: And cheerful shall thy feast with wine be made, By winter's fire or in the summer's shade : For my full flask its Ariusian store,
85 New nectar worthy of the day shall pour.
69 Untried. Compare Pope's fourth Pastoral : “But see where Daphne, &c.
71 Rapture is opposed to Mopsus's “That day no shepherd,” &c.; and “Pan and the shepherds” to the desertion of "Pales and Phoebus.” This passage is imitated by Phillips: "For this the golden skies," &c. A similar double copying occurs again below, v. 83, &c.
75 Peace, peace, &c. Besides 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 Apollinares.
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