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Virgil begins this Book, on the breeding of cattle, by announcing his intention of singing Pales, the Goddess of shepherds, and Apollo, who fed the herds of Admetus on the banks of the Amphrysus-He observes that fabulous tales, the familiar themes of every poet, pall by repetition; and that he shall endeavour to soar beyond the track of imitators, and bring new palms to his native Mantua, by celebrating actions founded on truth, the victories of the Romans, and the triumphal honours of Augustus-This intention he conveys under a sublime allegory of the apotheosis of Augustus, and of the games which he himself proposes to institute in honour of his divinity-In the mean while he obeys the command of Mæcenas, and continues his rural theme-The Poet now regularly enters on his subject, by enumerating the marks of a cow best qualified for a breeder -mentions, that the like care is necessary in the selection of a colt, to form the future stallion-points out his characteristics, and remarks on the importance of the vigour of his youth-thence, in an animated description of a chariot-race, he dwells on the ardour aud spirit of the contending animals

This leads him to the mention of the inventor of chariots, and of those who first tamed the horse for the purposes of riding-He now delivers particular precepts concerning the different methods of preparing the male and female breeders-thence he mentions the necessity of peculiar care and tenderness in the treatment of the pregnant animals-From their treatment in that state he naturally proceeds to that of the young; and, chiefly, in this place, of the calves-shows how they are to be gradually trained for draught and tillage -He then gives instructions relative to the rearing of colts, either for war or the course-This gives occasion to an important remark on the necessity of keeping the sexes apart,

till their strength is confirmed-The fatal effect of the neglect of this precept exemplified in bulls-their fight described-He now instances in other animals, and in the human species, the violence of this passion common to all-The subject of bulls and horses being concluded, he enters on that of sheep and goats-dwells on the peculiar care which they require in winter-on their excellence and utilityhow they are to be managed in warm weather-This easily leads to a digression on the Libyan shepherds wandering with their flocks over boundless plains; and to this description he contrasts that of the cattle and climate of Scythia—He now gives directions concerning wool and the choice of sheep, and chiefly of the rams-of the nourishment proper for sheep kept for milk-The care of sheep leads him to that of dogs, the defenders of the fold-Thence he proceeds to mention the injuries to which cattle are subject-snakes and serpents, and particularly dwells on one that haunts the Calabrian woods-He then notices the diseases of sheep and their remedies-and describes at large a plague which laid waste the regions about the Alps-its effects on calves, swine, horses, bulls-traces its progress through earth, sea, and air; and concludes this highly-wrought detail with the miserable death of those who dared to handle the infected fleece or hide.

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THOU too, great Pales! and the heavenly swain

That watch'd th' Amphrysian herd, demand the strain ;
And ye wild woods that hoar Lycæus shade,

And streams that feed Arcadia's verdant glade.
Trite themes, from age to age by poets sung,
Pall as their echoes float from tongue to tongue.
Who knows not stern Eurystheus, and thy fane,
Busiris! died with blood of strangers slain?
Latonian Delos, Hylas' youthful grace,

The promis'd bride that urg'd the Pisan race,
Pelops by ivory shoulder rais'd to fame,

And high equestrian skill that crown'd his name?
I too will boldly strive my flight to raise,

And, wing'd by victory, catch the gale of praise.

I first, from Pindus' brow, if life remain, Will lead the Muses to the Latian plain,


For thee, my native Mantua! twine the wreath,

And bid the palm of Idumæa breathe.

Near the pure stream, amid the the green champaign,

I first will rear on high the marble fane,

Where with slow bend broad Mincio's waters stray,

And tall reeds tremble o'er his shadowy way.
High in the midst great Cæsar's form divine,
A present God, shall consecrate the shrine.
For him my robes shall flame with Tyrian dye,
Wing'd by four steeds my hundred chariots fly.
All Greece shall scorn her fam'd Olympian field;
Here lash the courser and the cæstus wield.

I, I myself will round my temples twine

The olive wreath, and deck with gifts the shrine.

E'en now the solemn pomp I joy to lead,

E'en now I see the sacred heifers bleed,

Now view the turning scenes, and now behold
Th' inwoven Britons lift the purple fold.
There on the ivory gates with gold embost,

My skill shall sculpture the Gargarian host,
And o'er the foe, in radiant mail array'd,

Quirinus poising his victorious blade.

Here the vast Nile shall wave with war, and there
Columns of naval brass ascend in air.

Niphates here, there Asia's captive towers,

And Parthia's flight conceal'd in arrowy showers:
From different nations double trophies torn,

And from each shore Rome twice in triumph borne.

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