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expanded must be set in a background of pastoral life and scenery. It was the form of poetry peculiar to the later Hellenic literature which flourished principally in Sicily, and Vergil follows in the steps of Theocritus. Many English poets have imitated this form of composition, notably Pope and Keats.
2. The Georgics B.C. 40-30.
The form of this work also, consisting of four books, is imitated from the Greek, and Vergil professes to follow in the path of Hesiod.1 The scenery, however, and the industries described are Italian, and while the work is adorned by frequent episodes and allusions drawn from history and mythology, the poet has put his own feelings and tastes, his philosophy of life, and view of nature in bold and clear relief. The first book treats of agriculture, the second of the cultivation of the vine, the third of the breeding of cattle and horses, the fourth of bee-keeping.
3. The Aeneid B.C. 30-19.
The Aeneid is one of the great poems of the world. Its theme is the destiny of Rome. Its story is the narrative of the escape of Aeneas from Troy; his difficult, yet destined, journey to Italy; his alliance with King Latinus, and his final triumph over all that hindered him from settling in Latium and there founding a race which was hereafter to be Rome. Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem gives the keynote to the whole. The mythos which connected
1 Ascraeumque cano Romana per oppida carmen, G. 2, 175.
the Julian family with Aeneas, and Augustus with the consummation of Rome's greatness, is made as subordinate as could be expected from a poet who was also a courtier. The epic narrative is adorned with a great wealth of learning and invention, and by a liberal use of his predecessors, whether countrymen of his own as Ennius and Lucretius, or Greeks of every kind, but especially of course, Homer. The Iliad and Odyssey he knew thoroughly and used without scruple. The poem, however, though thus in a sense artificial, has a noble and wonderful originality and freshness. If it lacks the spontaneity of the Iliad, it has the advantage of a better defined plan and of the self-suppression which comes of a severe art. If it is less sublime than the early part of Paradise Lost, its interest is better sustained and its language more simple than that of Milton's great Epic. If it lacks the gravity and intenseness of the Divina Commedia, it has a religion and a humanity all its own, not contemptible either for its faith or its largeheartedness: Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
SELECTIONS FROM VERGIL.
A Restored Home and Exile.-A Contrast.
[ECL. I., 47-79.]
ME. Fortunate senex, ergo tua rura manebunt, et tibi magna satis: quamvis lapis omnia nudus limosoque palus obducat pascua iunco.
Non insueta graves temptabunt pabula fetas;
TI. Ante leves ergo pascentur in aethere cervi et freta destituent nudos in litore pisces;
ante, pererratis amborum finibus, exul aut Ararim Parthus bibet aut Germania Tigrim, quam nostro illius labatur pectore vultus.
ME. At nos hinc alii sitientes ibimus Afros, pars Scythiam et rapidum Cretae veniemus Oaxen, et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
En unquam patrios longo post tempore fines, pauperis et tuguri congestum caespite culmen, post aliquot mea regna videns mirabor aristas ? Impius haec tam culta novalia miles habebit? 25 Barbarus has segetes? en, quo discordia cives produxit miseros! his nos consevimus agros! Insere nunc, Meliboee, piros, pone ordine vites. Ite meae, felix quondam pecus, ite capellae: non ego vos posthac viridi proiectus in antro dumosa pendere procul de rupe videbo; carmina nulla canam; non me pascente, capellae, florentem cytisum et salices carpetis amaras.
The Golden Age to Come.
[ECL. IV., 4-45.]
Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas: magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. Iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
iam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto.
At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu errantes hederas passim cum baccare tellus, mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho. Ipsae lacte domum referent distenta capellae ubera; nec magnos metuent armenta leones. Ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores. Occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni occidet; Assyrium volgo nascetur amomum.
At simul heroum laudes et facta parentis iam legere et quae sit poteris cognoscere virtus; molli paullatim flavescet campus arista, incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva, et durae quercus sudabunt roscida mella. Pauca tamen suberunt priscae vestigia fraudis, quae tentare Thetin ratibus, quae cingere muris oppida, quae iubeant telluri infindere sulcos. Alter erit tum Tiphys et altera quae vehat Argo