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Qui te, Pollio, amat, veniat, quo te quoque gaudet; Mella fluant illi, ferat et rubus asper amomum.


Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina, Maevi; 90 Atque idem jungat vulpes et mulgeat hircos.


Qui legitis flores et humi nascentia fraga,
Frigidus, O pueri, fugite hinc, latet anguis in herba.


Parcite, oves, nimium procedere; non bene ripae
Creditur; ipse aries etiam nunc vellera siccat.



Tityre, pascentes a flumine reice capellas;
Ipse, ubi tempus erit, omnes in fonte lavabo.

88. With te, understand perrenisse: "may he attain that preeminence to which he rejoices that thou hast ascended.'-89. Ferat ; that is, may the commonest topic in his hands be adorned with unusual beauty. Amomum, a shrub indigenous in Armenia or Assyria, and used in embalming bodies ; whence some derive the term mummy.' It is supposed to be the Amomum racemosum of the moderns.

90. Bavius and Maevius were hostile to Pollio as well as to Virgil. The meaning is : may he who hates not the one be punished by such an absence of literary taste as to admire the other; nay, be afflicted with such an aberration of mind, as “to yoke foxes to the plough, or try to milk he-goats’-proverbial phrases for any absurdity, even in literary composition.

92. These couplets have no connection with anything preceding. -93. Frigidus anguis, “a cold-blooded or venomous snake.' Observe the anapaestic nature of the rhythm, Pueri, fugite hinc, denotive of the agitation of the speaker.

94. Parcite procedere = cavete ne procedatis. Non bene creditur, “it is not well to trust.'-95. Ipse aries, &c.; that is, the ram himself, the most cautious of the flock, has had a narrow escape by venturing too far and falling into the water.

96. Reice, contracted for rejice, and pronounced in two syllables rēt-: cf. eicit = ejicit, Lucretius, 3, 890. Flumine and fonte are here contrasted as a place of danger' and ' a place of safety.'

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Cogite oves, pueri; si lac praeceperit aestus,
Ut nuper, frustra pressabimus ubera palmis.


Heu, heu, quam pingui macer est mihi taurus in ervo! Idem amor exitium pecori pecorisque magistro. 101


His certe neque amor causa est : vix ossibus haerent. Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos.


Dic, quibus in terris--et eris mihi magnus ApolloTres pateat coeli spatium non amplius ulnas. 105


Dic, quibus in terris inscripti nomina regum
Nascantur flores; et Phyllida solus habeto.

98. Praeceperit, 'take away beforehand ;' that is, 'dry up,' exhaust' (before they could be milked).

100. Erro. The ervum is the “bitter vetch ögo60s. Its two species were sativum and silvestre. The common, less accurate reading is arvo.

102. His certe, &c., surely love is not the cause why these are so lean; they are mere skin and bone;' that is, the emaciation of my lambs can only be accounted for by fascination.—103. The superstition of the evil eye’ is still very prevalent both on the continent and in these islands.

104. Damoetas, for the purpose of ending this controversy, proposes a riddle to his antagonist, who, instead of solving it, proposes another. Numerous solutions of this enigma have been hazarded-some making the reference apply to a well ; others to a pit in the Comitium in the centre of Rome. But that which seems the best, is one mentioned by Servius, who informs us that Asconius Pedianus heard Virgil himself say, that he meant merely to allude to a certain Coelius, a spendthrift of Mantua, who, after squandering all his patrimony, retained merely enough of ground for a grave; and that this very sepulchre, about three ells in lengtlı, is what Damoetas refers to in the text, the whole enigma hinging on the similarity in form and sound between coeli,

of heaven,' and Coeli (= Coelii), of Coelius.' Still, as it is utterly impossible now to determine the poet's meaning, we may continue to render coeli, of heaven.'

106. Inscripti nomina, a Greek construction επιγεγραμμένοι ονομάτα. -107. Flores. On the leaves of the hyacinth may be traced the letters AI, AI, which are said to allude to the lamentation of Apollo for

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Non nostrum, inter vos tantas componere lites:
Et vitula tu dignus, et hic.--Et quisquis amores
Haud metuet dulces, Haud experietur amaros.
Claudite jam rivos, pueri : sat prata biberunt.


Hyacinthus ! or to be the first two letters of the name Aics (Ajax)! from whose blood this flower is fabled to have sprung.

108. Nostrum, 'in our power, supply est. - 109. Et quisquis . amaros, "and (rest assured that) whoever will not fear sweet love, shall not experience bitter;' that is, he who is not timid in love, but courageously declares his passion to the object of his affections, will not feel the bitter, but enjoy the happy.-FORBIGER. Heyne considers verses 109 and 110 as an interpolation, though they occur in all the manuscripts. — 111. Claudite jam rivos, pueri! &c., now close the rills, my boys! the meads have drunk enough.' Some consider this passage figurative, and that rivos means 'poetic effusions.' But more timid'interpreters think that even for the Mantuan bard, sat prata biberunt is too daring a metaphor. The usual interpretation is, that Palaemon having given his decision, turns to his servants, who had meanwhile been irrigating his pastures, and directs them to close the rills, since the meadows are now sufficiently irrigated.


Op the numerous conjectures regarding the subject of this Eclogue,

Wagner's views seem best. All Italy had been exposed to dreadful calamities: primarily, from the division of the lands, spoken of in the first Eclogue; then from the contentions between Antony and Octavianus, and the war which ensued 41 B.C. ; and finally, from a very severe famine, the result of the blockade formed by the fleets of Antony and Pompey. So much the greater was the joy occasioned by the treaty of Brundusium made in the autumn of 40 B. C., by which harmony was restored between the two contending chiefs. Antony's agent in arranging the peace was Virgil's patron-Asinius Pollio. A little afterwards, on his return to Rome, Pollio entered upon the duties of the consulship, and about the same time had a son born to him. There was a common belief at the time, that a new age was dawning on the world; and as Italy seemed to have escaped from its miseries, chiefly through the agency of Pollio, Virgil, in this Eclogue, congratulates him on his promotion to the consulate, and does it in such a way, as at once to extol him as the harbinger of a new era of happiness, and at the same time to augur this, from the birth of his son, as an omen of future peace and prosperity. This Eclogue was written in the autumn of 40 B.C. Pope's Messiah is an express imitation of it.


SICELIDES Musae, paulo majora canamus!
Non omnes arbusta juvant humilesque myricae;
Si canimus silvas, silvae sint Consule dignae.

Ultima Cymaei venit jam carminis aetas;
Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna:
Jam nova progenies coelo demittitur alto.
Tu modo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primum
Desinet ac toto surget gens aurea mundo,
Casta, fave, Lucina: tuus jam regnat Apollo.
Teque adeo decus hoc aevi, te Consule, inibit,
Pollio, et incipient magni procedere menses !
Te duce, si qua manent, sceleris vestigia nostri
Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras.


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1. Sicelides Musae (= Luxeninaà Moñout of Moschus, Idyll. 3), “O Sicilian Muses.' Theocritus was a native of Syracuse, hence we have Syracusius versus. — 2. Myricae, 'the tamarisk,' ormarsh-myrtle

the rugían of Homer.-3. Silvas. Some commentators understand by myricae, humble and pastoral subjects; while silvae denote those of a more lofty and imposing character. In this view, sunt must be read for sint. It is better, perhaps, to adopt the more obvious meaning: • Since (si) we are composing pastorals, let these be worthy of a consul.'

4. Cymaci, “Sibylline.'—5. Ab integro nascitur, 'is springing up anew.' — 6. Virgo, Astraea. Saturnia regna, the reign of Saturn, or Golden Age.—8. Nascenti, recently born.' Had the birth not yet taken place, nascendus or nasciturus would be the proper participle ; fave, in verse 10, is the governing word. With quo understand sub, under whom.'—10. Though Apollo was not in Numa's list of deities, yet at a later age his attributes were blended with those of the Sun, and the words became synonymous.-11. Te adeo Consule, “in your consulate especially.' Decus hoc aevi inibit, this ornament of the age will enter into life' (referring to the child). With inibit supply cursum.-12. Magni menses, either, memorable and eventful months, or, the long months ;' that is, the astrologers' months of years: cf. magnus ordo, verse 5. Procedere, 'to arise:' cf. Ecl. 6, 86; and 9, 47.-13. Te duce, sc. Pollio. Si qua, 'whatever.' Sceleris, 'impiety,''the civil war:' cf. Hor. Od. “1, 2, 29.14. Irrita, 'abolished, completely effaced.' Formidine, “awful dread'

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Ille deum vitam accipiet, divisque videbit
Permixtos heroas, et ipse videbitur illis,
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.
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 vulgo nascetur amomum.
At simul heroum laudes et facta parentis
Jam legere et quae sit poteris cognoscere virtus :
Molli paulatim flavescet campus arista,
Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva,
Et durae quercus sudabunt roscida mella.
Pauca tamen suberunt priscae vestigia fraudis,
Quae tentare Thetim ratibus, quae cingere muris



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of divine punishment, on account of the unholy nature of the contest. Cicero says: Stoici definiunt FORMIDINEM metum permanentem.15. Ille, and puer (verse 18), refer to the son of Pollio ; the at in verse 18 does not imply a change of person, it only marks a transition to a new section of the subject. - 16. Heroas, demigods.'— 17. Reget, shall rule'a world hushed to repose ; that is, in the capacity of consul.—18. At, 'moreover,' as observed on verse 15, implies a transition. Nullo = sine ullo.- 19. Errantes, creeping.' Baccare, “lady's-glove.' Sprengel thinks that this plant is identical with Valeriana Celtica (?); it has fragrant white blossoms, tinged with purple, and an.odoriferous cinnamon-scented root, from which an agreeable unguent was extracted. It was esteemed as a charm against enchantment: cf. Ecl. 7, 27.--20. Ridenti, 'luxuriant'= florenti or pulchro. Colocasia, the Kalkas or water-lily of the Nile, of which both the beans and bulb were used as food. Fundet, will abundantly produce.'—21. Ipsae may be translated · spontaneously,'' of their own accord.'-23. Blandos, fragrant,' 'odorous.' — 24. Fallax herba veneni, “the insidious poisonous herb;' insidious, from its being among innoxious herbs. As to herba veneni, cf. poculum mortis in Cicero; and poculum lactis in Tibullus. — 25. Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum, aromatics hitherto only of Assyrian (or Eastern) origin shall now become general.' On amomum, compare the note on Ecl. 3, 89. — 26. This is one of the few instances in which simul is simul ac. Laudes, “legends.' Parentis

Pollionis. At .... legere; that is, to read poetry, fiction, and history. --27. Between quae sit virtus and quid sit virtus, Wagner makes the distinction, that the former must be learned by personal experience; the latter, by theory. - 30. Sudabunt, 'ooze.' — 31. Suberunt, will lurk.' Priscae vestigia fraudis, traces of primitive or original depravity.'-32. Tentare Thetim, to tempt the deep:' Thetis = mare.

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