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1. arguta, shrill rustling: generally referring to the high pitch of a sound.

3. ovīs, acc. plural. distentas lacte, i. e. towards evening.

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4. ætatibus, § 14, 1, a2. · Arcades (compare x. 32): Arcadia, at a distance from the sea in central Peloponnesus, long retained the rustic and old-world simplicity, of which pastoral song is the natural expression.


= cantan

5. pares, parati: well-matched in singing (cantare do), and ready in response (respondere ad respondendum). Improvisation is a common and much prized gift in Italy still. dum defendo: the tender myrtle had to be protected, in Italy, from the late frosts of spring. — defendo, present, (§ 58, 2, e; G. 220, R').

6. mihi, dat. of reference.

7. vir gregis, the father of the flock.-deerraverat: observe the contraction of the two vowels.

8. contra, in turn.

- atque, and lo!

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9. ades, be at hand, i. e. come. — caper

seen to their safety.

10. si quid . . . potes, if you can linger awhile.

II. ipsi, of themselves; juvenci, i. e. your cattle (so that you will not have to look for them).—potum, supine of a lost verb of which poto is the frequentative, and potus the participle.

12. prætexit, has fringed.

13. examina (ex-agmen), i. e. the young swarms.

14. quid facerem, what was I to do?-neque... tamen, i. e. though I had no milkmaid (like my neighbors) to make things snug at home, yet I could not miss this noble rivalry.

16. et, and on the other hand (connecting the two arguments for staying and going).—Corydon, etc., a loose but not uncommon sort of apposition with certamen.

17. posthabui, I put off my serious cares for their sport.

19. alternos

volebant, the Muses [that inspired them] chose to rehearse alternate strains. (For remarks on this style of responsive versification, see notes on Ecl. iii.)

21. Libethrides, Libethra was the name of a fountain in Helicon, the seat of the Muses.

22. Codro, sc. concessisti.

23. versibus, governed by proxima (carmina).

24. pendebit, etc., my pipe shall hang on the sacred whispering pine, in sign that I abandon the vocation of song. The pine-to which the nymph Pitys was transformed - was sacred to Pan.pinu, locative ablative (§ 55, 3, N. and ƒ; G. 413, 384, 385), compare introduction to notes. Notice how the prosody shows that arguta agrees with fistula, and sacra with pinu.


25. crescentem poetam, your poet now growing great. In this and the following verses (especially "vati futuro") observe the arrogance and spleen of Thyrsis contrasted with the modesty of Corydon." He not only desires to rival Codrus, but claims already to excel him. — hedera: the ivy was sacred to Bacchus.

26. Arcades: the epithet is here meaningless, but a conventional one. -invidia rumpantur, burst with jealousy.

27. ultra placitum, beyond what the gods approve. Extravagant praise or boasting was thought to incur the jealous resentment of the gods, —a feeling very strong in pagan antiquity. Hence the charm against the "evil tongue."

29. Delia, Diana, the goddess of the chase.

30. Micon, a young hunter. - vivacis, long lived, or rather tenacious of life.

31. proprium hoc, his constant fortune. — levi de marmore, of polished marble. — tota, at full length, not a mere bust.

32. evincta, etc., thy ankles laced with purple buskin: a common representation of Diana (compare Æn. i. 337).

33. sinum, a bowl, deeper than the poculum. —Priāpe: Priapus was a god of gardens, whose rude wooden image, emblematic of fertility, was often set on a post, as a sort of scarecrow. This strain of Thyrsis is a sort of travesty of the preceding, the extravagance of a marble and gold image of Priapus (offered to insult the promises of Micon), contrasted with the homely gifts of cakes and milk. The ingredients of the cake were flour, cheese, and an egg.

35. pro tempore, according to my present means.

37. Hyblæ, see note, Ecl. i. 55. — Nerine, daughter of Nereus: the name (Galatea) and the compliments are taken from Polyphemus in Theocr. xi.

41. immo, nay, in answer to some supposed complaint of the maid. Sardoniis herbis, a sort of crowfoot of Sardinia, intensely bitter, which twisted the faces of those who tasted it into the "Sardonic laugh." By this odd imprecation Thyrsis seeks to express a more violent longing for his love, in whose absence the day is 'longer than a whole year."


44. si quis pudor: the beasts ought to be ashamed of feeding with such an appetite, while their keeper is impatient for the evening.

45. muscosi, mossy, i. e. among cool and moss-grown rocks.

46. arbutus, the arbute, or "strawberry-tree," affords a berry used as food by the poor: its leaves are scanty, and its shadow thin (rara).

47. solstitium, midsummer heat (midwinter is bruma). -pecori, dative of reference: lit, ward off the heat from the flock.jam venit, is just coming: jam refers to the past, and so with the present tense expresses the beginning of an action.

48. gemmæ: the buds upon the vine-branch show the beauty as well as the heat of summer: here again Corydon is the truer poet.

50. postes: the picture of the well blackened door-posts of the poor hut, which was the earliest style of habitation, corresponds to the later atrium (ater), or main hall of the Roman house (see Ecl. i. 83, note). Thyrsis matches the preceding midsummer picture by a suggestion of winter.

51. tantum: we heed no more the wintry blast than the wolf the number of the flock, &c., or spring torrents the banks which confine them in summer. The swift cold streams that flow from the Alps are liable to violent freshets, which make a frequent image in Virgil. 53-60. Here are described the sympathy of Nature in the presence and absence of the loved one.

54. strata: under every tree its own fruit lies strown about (sua, quãque).

57. vitio aeris, compare Æn. iii. 239, "corrupto cæli tractu." 58. Liber: Bacchus himself grudges to yield the shade of vines to the hillsides. Liber was an old Italian god of fertility (cf. liberi, children), identified in later time, without any special cause, with the Grecian Bacchus, god of wine, inspiration, and dramatic poetry.

60. Juppiter: the primitive name of this deity (Dyaus=Zevs) signified the clear vault of the sky; and his traditionary attribute continued to be the disposal of the weather, — hence the patron of the vine: thunder was the special symbol of his power. The rainfall is figured as the glad espousal of sky and earth (compare G. i. 418, ii. 419). Here Jupiter is, in a manner, confounded with the rain itself.

61. populus, the poplar, said to have been the transmuted form of the nymph Leuke who was borne away by Pluto. Its leaves

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were gathered by Hercules for a wreath on his return from the infernal regions.

62. myrtus: the myrtle loves the sea-shore, which was Venus's birthplace.laurea: Daphne, a nymph beloved of Apollo, was changed into a laurel which was sacred to him.

63. illas: the hazel.

68. pinus: see note, Ecl. i. 39.

70. ex illo, etc., i. e. ever since this match, Corydon has his true value as a singer.


1. Musam, the song (obj. of dicemus).

2. quos est mirata, at whom the heifer gazed as they strove (certantis, acc.). The charm of song is constantly represented as powerful over the lower animals. Naturalists give authentic instances, in the case of birds, mice, and even (it is said) spiders, as well as animals nearer to man; but none of the somewhat grotesque character described by the ancients. This particular animal, the lynx, belongs to the fable of Orpheus, not to any Italian scene.

4. mutata, i. e. in direction.—requierunt cursus, stayed their


6. tu, is the subj. of superas; mihi depends on liceat. The two are put together from the Latin fondness of contrasting persons.—Timavi: this was a stream flowing into the Adriatic near Trieste. The expedition of Pollio was against the Parthini, an Illyrian tribe, and he is supposed to be on his return to Rome. superas, pass beyond; jam gives the idea of at last or by this time. Compare note, Ecl. vii. 47.

7. legis oram, coast the shore. Compare ecquis.

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-en gives force to the question.

10. tua carmina: see note to iii. 86. The sock (soccus) and buskin (coturnus) are still emblems of comedy and tragedy respectively, originally so on account of the characters that wore them.

II. a te, i. e. from Pollio came the first incentive to song. Which Eclogue is meant as the first is uncertain, and again on the other hand this one is not the last, although it has every appearance of an Epilogue. It has been supposed, not improbably, that this was the close of the first edition of the Eclogues. (preserved from elision by the pause; most editions have desinet) to thee I will cease.


12. sine ... serpere (§ 70, 3, c; G. 532), suffer this ivy to twine about thy temples amid the laurels of victory.

15. tereti olivæ, on the rounded olive, i. e. the polished staff olivewood (teres, cylindrical, is round like a staff; rotundus, like a ball). 17. age, lead in.-Lucifer, morning star. almum, kindly (root in alo). — prae . . . veniens: the prepositions in composition were still loosely connected, and hence are easily separated. diem really belongs both to age and præ.


18. deceptus, deceived by the love of my betrothed, which she merits not (indigno).

19. nil... profeci, i. e. it is of no avail that they have been called to witness our vows. - divos, obj. of adloquor.

20. tamen opposed to quamquam.

21. Mænalios, Arcadian: Mænalus is a mountain of Arcadia. These epithets are meaningless imitations.—tibia, pipe, or flageolet, sometimes made double, and so with two registers.

24. Pana calamos, see note, i. 2. — inertis: the reeds were not left to whisper idly, but were fashioned to the uses of song.

25. quid non speremus, what have we not to look for? what may we not expect (if such matches as this occur)? This verb is often used of evils as well as things desirable.


27. jam, presently. — grypes, griffins, winged lions, with eagles' heads. "In the north of Europe," says Herodotus, "there appears to be the greatest abundance of gold: but how it is got I cannot exactly tell; it is said, however, that Arimaspians, one-eyed men, steal it from the griffins. But I am not persuaded of this, that there are one-eyed men, in other respects like to other men" (iii. 116; about the griffins, apparently, he has no scruple).

28. pocula, watering-places: compare G. iii. 529, “Pocula sunt fontes liquidi." The climax here depends upon the deer doing it of their own accord.

29. incide: Mopsus is bidden to cut the pine-knots for his own wedding torches. - ducitur: the bride is already on the way. In the ancient wedding the bride was escorted with ceremonies to the house of the husband.

30. sparge nuces: among marriage customs, the bridegroom scattered nuts among the boys bearing torches: as some say, to signify that he has put away childish things.—deserit... Œtam, the evening star is forsaking Eta, the mountain which lies back of Thermopyla (i. e. goes down). The scenery is Greek, and borrowed, though the customs are Italian.

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