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from a briery crag—no more verses for me to sing—no more flowering lucerne and bitter willow leaves for you to crop, my goats, with me to tend you !

T. This night, at all events, you might rest here with me on a couch of green leaves. We have ripe apples, mealy chestnuts, and milk-cheeses in good store; and now the farmhouse tops are smoking in the distance, and the shadows are falling larger from the inountain heights,

ECLOGUE II.

ALEXIS.

Corydon, the shepherd, was burning for the lovely Alexis, his master's darling, with no prospect for his hope. All he could do was to come daily among the thick beeches, with their shady summits, and there all alone to pour out wildly to the mountains and woods such unstudied strains as these in unavailing passion :

• Cruel Alexis ! have you no care for my songs ? no pity for me? You will drive me to death at last. It is the hour when even cattle are seeking the shade and its coolness-the hour when even green lizards are sheltering themselves in the brakes, and Thestylis is making for the reapers, as they come back spent with the vehement heat, her savoury mess of bruised garlic and wild thyme; but I, as I am scanning the prints of your feet, am left with a choir of hoarse cicalas that make the plantations ring again under the blazing sun. Was there not satisfaction in bearing Amaryllis's storms of passion and her scornful humours ? or Menalcas, again-dark as he was -fair as are you? Do not, loveliest boy, do not presume too much on that bright bloom-white privet is left to fall, dark hyacinths are gathered for posies.

"You think scorn of me, Alexis, without even asking what I am-how rich I am in cattle, how overflowing in milk white as snow. Why, I have a thousand ewe lambs straying at large over the mountains of Sicily-new milk never fails me either summer or winter. I can sing as Amphion of Dirce sang when calling the flocks home on the Attic Aracynthus. I am not so unsightly either—the other day on the seashore I looked at myself, as the sea was standing all glassy in a calm. I should not fear competing with Daphnis in your judgment, if the reflection never plays false.

'O if you would but take a fancy to live with me a homely country life in a humble cottage, shooting the deer, and driving the herds of kids a-field to the green mallows! Living with me, you shall soon rival Pan in singing in the woodland. Pan it was that first taught the fashion of fastening several reeds together with wax. Pan it is that cares for sheep and shepherds. Do not think you would be sorry to chafe your lip with a reed-to learn this same lesson, what used not Amyntas to go through ? I have a pipe made out of seven uneven hemlock stalks, which Damætas once gave me vas a present—his dying words were, “It is yours now, as my next heir.” So said Damoetas. Amyntas, in his folly, felt jealous. Besides, I have two young roes, which I found in a dangerous' valley, their skins still sprinkled with white, sucking the same ewe twice a day. I am keeping them for you. Thestylis, to be sure, has been long begging to get them away from me—and so she shall, as you think my presents so

Come to me, loveliest boy—see, the nymphs are bringing basketsful of lilies, all for you—for you, the fair naiad plucks yellow violets and poppy heads, and puts them with the narcissus and the fragrant fennel flower, twines them with casia and other pleasant plants, and picks out the delicate hyacinth with the yellow marigold! I will gather

mean,

6

1

you myself quinces with their soft white down, and chestnuts, which my Amaryllis used to love so, and put in waxen plums —this fruit, too, shall come in for honour. You, too, I will pluck, ye bays, and you, myrtle, that always go with them so placed you make a union of sweet smells.

Corydon, you are nothing but a clown. Alexis cares nothing for such presents; nay, if presents are to be your weapons, Tollas will not yield the day to you. Alas, alas! what wretched wish have I been forming? I have been madman enough to let the south wind into my flower-beds, and the hoars into my clear springs. Do you know whom you are flying from, infatuate as you are? Why, even the gods have lived in the country, aye, and Dardan Paris. Leave Pallas to live by herself in the great city towns she has built; let us love the country beyond any other place. The grim lioness goes after the wolf, the wolf, for his part, after the goat, the playful goat after the flowering lucerne, Corydon after you, Alexis-each is drawn by his peculiar pleasure. Look, the bullocks are drawing home the plough, with its share slung up, and the sun, as he withdraws, is doubling the lengthening shadows—yet still love is burning me up-for how shonld there be any stint for love? Ah, Corydon, Corydon ! what madness has possessed you? Here are your vines half-pruned, and the elms they hang on overgrown with leaves. Come, you had better set about plaiting out some work for needful occasions with twigs or pliant rushes. You will find another Alexis, though the present one may scorn you.'

ECLOGUE III.

PALÆMON.

M. Tell me, Damoetas, whose cattle? Melibeus's ?

D. No; but Ægon’s. They were just now handed over to me by Ægon.

M. Poor creatures, always unlucky! He is courting Neæra, all afraid that she will be preferring me to him, while his hireling performs a shepherd's duty by milking the sheep twice an hour, and so the cattle are robbed of their life juice, and the lambs of their milk.

*

M. Aye, of course, when they saw me with my felon-knife notching Micon's plantations of young vines.

D. Or rather, we will say, by the old beeches here, when you broke Daphnis's bow and arrows, which you were vexed about at the time-you, with your crooked ways—when you saw the boy get his present, and afterwatds, if you had not found some way of spiting him, you would have died.

M. What are masters likely to do, if knaves venture so far? Did not I see you, you scoundrel, snapping up stealthily Damon's goat, while his mongrel was barking furiously? And then, when I was calling out, 'Where's he off to now? Tityrus, muster your flock !' you skulked behind the sedge.

D. Why, after a fair beating in singing, was he not to pay me the goat which my pipe had earned for me by its songs? If you must know, that goat was mine, and Damon owned it to me himself, but said he would not pay.

M. You beat him in singing? Why, had you ever a pipe jointed with wax? Used you not to perform at the crossings, executing vile, miserable songs, like an uneducated dolt, as you are, on a screaking straw?

D. Well, what do you say to our trying together what each is made of, turn and turn about? This heifer—don't back out of it—she comes twice a day to the milk-pail and suckles a couple of calves—shall be my stake. Do you name what wager you

will

go
in

upon. M. Why, out of my flock I dare not stake anything with you. The fact is, I have a father at home, aye, and I have a harsh step-mother; both count the flock twice a day, and one of them the kids too. But I will make what you will yourself own to be a greater venture, as you are minded to play so mad a game. I will stake a pair of cups of beechwood, the embossed work of the divine Alcimedon; the plastic graving-tool has wreathed them round with a limber vine, entwined with spreading clusters of pale-yellow ivy. In the field there are two figures, Conon and—who was the other, who marked out with his rod the whole heavens for mankind, that they might know the seasons which the reaper and the stooping ploughman were to have for their own! I have not yet put my lips to them either, but keep them in store.

D. Yes. I have two cups, too, made for me by the same Alcimedon, who has clasped their handles with pliant acanthus, and drawn Orpheus on the field and the woods going after him. I have not yet put my lips to them either, but keep them in store. However, if you once look to the heifer, you will have nothing to say for the cups.

M. You are not going to run away this time. I will meet you wherever you appoint-only let there be some one to hear us. Palæmon—don't you see him coming up will do. I will take care that you challenge nobody to sing for the future.

D. Nay, come on, if you can ; there will be no hinderance on my side. I don't run away from anybody-only, neighbour Palæmon, give your best attention to this : it is no trifling matter.

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