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Experiamur ? Ego hanc vitulam (ne forte recuses,
Bis venit ad mulctram, binos alit ubere fetus)
Depono: tu dic, mecum quo pignore certes.




De grege non ausim quidquam deponere tecum :
Est mihi namque domi pater, est injusta noverca,
Bisque die numerant ambo pecus, alter et haedos.
Verum, id quod multo tute ipse fatebere majus,
Insanire libet quoniam tibi, pocula ponam
Fagina, caelatum divini opus Alcimedontis :
Lenta quibus torno facili superaddita vitis
Diffusos hedera vestit pallente corymbos.
In medio duo signa, Conon, et-quis fuit alter,
Descripsit radio totum qui gentibus orbem,
Tempora quae messor, quae curvus arator haberet !
Necdum illis labra admovi, sed condita servo.


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29. Vitulam. Vitulus and vitula, calf,' were properly applied till the animal was one year old; after which the names were juvencus and juvenca. Vitulam here, however, must be taken in the sense of juvencam, as is plain from the last words of verse 30.-30. In should have duos for binos.-31. Depono, ‘I wager,' or stake.

32. Non ausim deponere: he pleads that he dare not “stake' anything from the flock which is another's. -- 33. Injusta, according to Wagner, must be understood as referring to both pater and noverca: it means “ harsh,' strict,'' unreasonable. -34. Bisque die, in the morning and evening. Alter et =

alteruter, and one or other of them.' Haedos may, according to Heyne, be taken here as the young? of the flock in general.-35. With majus understand pignus.—36. Insanire, 'to be so mad' as to contend with me. Pocula. Two cups were usually set before each person, one for water, and the other for wine: in verse 44, Damoetas distinctly specifies the tuo.'—37. Fagina. Such vessels were still valued by the peasantry on account of their workmanship, though they had become unfashionable in the city. -- 38. Lenta vitis, a creeping or wreathed vine.' With quibus understand poculis ; that is, on their external surface.--SPOHN. Torno facili superaddita, engraved upon, besides the polish given by the chisel. Tornus has the double meaning of chisel' and * lathe.' Facili, dexterously' or skilfully handled.'— 39. Diffusos hederā, hanging in profusion from the pale ivy.' Theophrastus mentions a species of white ivy, which is now unknown: and Virgil has hederā formosior albā, Ecl. 7, 38.-40. Signa, 'figures.' Conon was a celebrated astronomer, and friend of Archimēdes, about 220 B.C. The other name which Menalcas cannot remember, was most probably that of Aratus or Eudoxus; to the works of either the allusions here will sufficiently apply.—41. Radio, the wand for tracing diagrams on the sand. Gentibus, ' for the world.–42. Messor and arator allude




Et nobis idem Alcimedon duo pocula fecit,
Et molli circum est ansas amplexus acantho,
Orpheaque in medio posuit silvasque sequentes.
Necdum illis labra admovi, sed condita servo.
Si ad vitulam spectas, nihil est, quod pocula laudes.


Nunquam hodie effugies ; veniam, quocumque vocaris. Audiat haec tantum-vel qui venit-ecce Palaemon. 50 Efficiam, posthac ne quemquam voce lacessas.


Quin age, si quid habes; in me mora non erit ulla, Nec quemquam fugio: tantum, vicine Palaemon, Sensibus haec imis—res est non parva—reponas.


Dicite, quandoquidem in molli consedimus herba; 55 Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,

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to the agricultural operations of harvest and spring. Curvus, stooping,' lending his weight to the plough to make the coulter or share sink to the proper depth.

45. Acantho, bear's-foot. For another species of this, see G. 2, 119; this was an Egyptian shrub called acacia, or Mimosa Nilotica. 46. Hor. Od. 1, 12, 7, may here be compared.-48. Si ad vitulam spectas, &c., “if you compare them with the heifer ;' that is, ' in comparison with my stake, yours is not to be considered as an equivalent." Nihil est (ob) quod, there is no reason why.'

49. Nunquam is not here an adverb of time, but an emphatic negative; cf. A. 2, 670. Veniam .. tantum; that is, 'I will meet you on your own terms. Only let (one who is a judge) hear this (contest)- either he who is approaching-lo! 'tis Palaemon.'. Menalcas, now regardless of the father and stepmother, hints that he, too, will stake a heifer. He sees Palaemon approaching when he was about to mention the name of another shepherd. 52. Habes. The verb habeo has very often the force of

possum. It may here be taken literally, however, if you have anything' to sing or utter ; that is, “if you sing at all.'—53. Nec quemquam fugio, nor do I dread any competitor.' Others take it as referring to the umpire, nor do I object to any umpire.'-—54. Res est non parva,

the wager is no trifle,' pointing to the heifer.

55–57. These three verses define the time of the year and the place.

Nunc frondent silvae, nunc formosissimus annus.
Incipe, Damoeta; tu deinde sequere, Menalca.
Alternis dicetis; amant alterna Carnenae.


Ab Jove principium, Musae; Jovis omnia plena; 60 Ille colit terras, illi mea carmina curae.


Et me Phoebus amat; Phoebo sua semper apud me Munera sunt, lauri et suave rubens hyacinthus.


Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella,
Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri.



At mihi sese offert ultro meus ignis, Amyntas,
Notior ut jam sit canibus non Delia nostris.

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Dicite - canite, "sing on ;' annus = anni tempus.—58. The challenged party took the lead in such contests, hence incipe, Damoeta.59. Amant alterna Camenae, 'the Muses delight in alternate strains ;' that is, 'in an amoebaean contest ;? because it affords ample scope for ingenuity, quick invention, and poetic skill. Camenae were Latin deities nearly identical with the Muses of the Greeks.

60. By putting a comma after principium, we make Musae. the yoc. pl., and translate: let us begin with Jove, O Muses !' or, by leaving out the comma, we may make Musae the genit. sing., and render it: 'let Jove be the beginning of my song.' Jovis omnia plena is an allusion to the Stoic doctrine of the Anima Mundi; that is, an intelligent spirit, pervading the Universe;' cf. G. 4, 220, &c.—61. Colit, “pervades.' *Illi = Jovi, who is introduced here as pervading all things, and hence taking an interest in rural affairs. ; 62. Et me, and me also Apollo favours ;' that is, you are not the only one who may claim the name of poet. This is the interpretation of Wagner, who denies that Phoebus is opposed to Jupiter, as Forbiger thinks. Sua, peculiar. -63. The 'bay' was sacred to Apollo, on account of Daphne, who had been metamorphosed into that tree. In like manner, also, the hyacinth was esteemed in memory of Hyacinthus, who was killed by a quoit, and changed into this flower.

64. Malo me petit. The throwing of an apple at one was a confession of love, since apples were sacred to Venus.—65. Ante, “before she shall have concealed herself.

66. Meus ignis is just our own phrase, “my flame.'-67. Dogs were sacred to Delia, and doves to Venus. The shepherds, in their ardour, give to their mistresses the names of goddesses.

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Parta meae Veneri sunt munera; namque notavi
Ipse locum, aëriae quo congessere palumbes.



Quod potui, puero silvestri ex arbore lecta
Aurea mala decem misi ; cras altera mittam.


O quoties et quae nobis Galatea locuta est !
Partem aliquam, venti, divûm referatis ad aures !


Quid prodest, quod me ipse animo non spernis,

Si, dum tu sectaris apros, ego retia servo ?



Phyllida mitte mihi, meus est natalis, Iolla :
Quum faciam vitula pro frugibus, ipse venito.


69. Aëriae palumbes, ‘making their nests in the tops of lofty trees.' Palumbes, in poetry, is always feminine. Congessēre congessērunt nidum.

71. Aurea mala, 'quinces. Martyn thinks they were 'pomegranates,' which grow wild in Italy. Spohn, however, thinks they were common wild apples tinged yellow' by the heat of the sun. Altera, supply

that is, 'ten more,'' other ten.' 73. Partem aliquam, &c. Three interpretations are given to this : 1. May some part of them at least be heard by the gods, that they may be witnesses of our vows.'— Voss. 2. “May some part of them at least be heard by the gods, as being sufficient to afford them delight." -WAGNER. And 3. “May some part of them at least be heard by the gods, and therefore be accomplished.'—EDWARDES and WHEELER. 74. Quid prodest .

observo ? The meaning is : I know that, so far as your feelings are concerned (abstractly considered), you are attached to me; yet your affection, after all, is not so warm as mine. --WAGNER.

77. Faciam-namely, sacra, when I shall make a sacrifice with a heifer.' Frugibus, ‘for the fruits (of the earth).' Virgil here refers to the festival of the Ambarvalia. These words are spoken in derision: on birthdays, one would indulge in love and pleasure ; but in sacrifice

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Phyllida amo ante alias; nam me discedere flevit, Et 'longum, Formose, vale, vale!' inquit, Iolla.



Triste lupus stabulis, maturis frugibus imbres,
Arboribus venti, nobis Amaryllidis irae.


Dulce satis humor, depulsis arbutus haedis,
Lenta salix feto pecori, mihi solus Amyntas.


Pollio amat nostram, quamvis est rustica, Musam : Pierides, vitulam lectori pascite vestro.



Pollio et ipse facit nova carmina; pascite taurum,
Jam cornu petat et pedibus qui spargat arenam.

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to the gods, all must be grave and solemn: to the latter, Damoetas invites Lollas; and to the former, Phyllis herself, the slave of Iollas. 79. Vale, inquit

, Iolla. The è in this vale is short, but not elided before the i initial of inquit.

80. Triste is here used substantively = res tristis. Zumpt, § 368. So also dulce in verse 82. It may be elegantly rendered : the wolf is an animal fatal to,' &c., and taken as a Greek construction.

82. Depulsis, weaned.

84. Quamvis est, restored by Heinsius for the common reading, quamvis sit; the former signifies that the fact is certain and definite; the latter, the degree or extent to which it may be supposed to be so.-85. Pierides, “Muses,' so called from Pieria, their birthplace, in Macedonia. Vitulam, a heifer," for a sacrifice in commemoration of the triumph which he had just gained over the Parthians ; for Pollio had recently left Illyricum for Rome (715 A. U.C.), in order to enjoy his triumph. This Pollio, to whose patronage Damoetas lays claim, was Asinius. The vitulam in this verse and taurum in the next, are opposed to each other, according to the law of amoebaean verse. Lectori, reciter,' or 'reader,' which applies properly to Pollio, as the patron of poets, and of literary men in general.

86. Nova, 'of superior excellence,' or, in a new style.' In Hor. Od. 1, 26, 10, novis is used in the latter sense. Taurum. According to Burmann, epic poetry is here meant, as lyric poets used to offer a steer (vitulam); tragic poets, a he-goat (hircum); and epic poets, a bull (taurum).-87. Jam cornu petat, 'which already butts with his horn.'

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