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Ipsa colat: nobis placeant ante omnia sylvae.
Te Corydon, o Alexi; trahit sua quemque voluptas. 65
Et sol crescentes decedens duplicat umbras :
Me tamen urit amor; quis enim modus adsit amori? Ah Corydon, Corydon, quae te dementia cepit! Semiputata tibi frondosa vitis in ulmo est.
Quin tu aliquid saltem potius, quorum indiget usus,
Invenies alium, si te hic fastidit, Alexin.
x Pallas, the goddess of wisdom, is also said to be the inventor of building.
MENALCAS, DAMOETAS, PALAEMON.
M. Dic mihi, Damoeta, cujum pecus? an Meliboei ? D. Non, verum Aegonis: nuper mihi tradidit Aegon. M. Infelix o semper oves pecus: ipse Neaeram Dum fovet, ac, ne me sibi praeferat illa, veretur; Hic alienus oves custos bis mulget in hora: Et succus pecori, et lac subducitur agnis.
D. Parcius ista viris tamen objicienda memento:
2 This eclogue contains a dispute between two shepherds, of that kind which the critics call Amoebaea, from 'Apolaïoç, mutual, or alternate. In this way of writing, the persons are represented to speak alternately; the latter always endeavouring to exceed, or at least equal, what has been said by the former. Menalcas, Damoetas, and Palaemon, are all feigned characters, and as far as is known without any allusion to individual persons. The intention of Virgil seems to have been to imitate and exceed Theocritus, particularly the Nous, which begins almost in the same words. It is probable, also, that he did not write this eclogue till Pollio was advanced to the highest honours, 715, A.V.C.
M. Tum credo, cum me arbustum videre Myconis, Atque mala vites incidere falce novellas.
D. Aut hic ad veteres fagos, cum Daphnidis arcum Fregisti et calamos: quae tu, perverse Menalca, Et cum vidisti puero donata, dolebas;
Et, si non aliqua nocuisses, mortuus esses.
M. Quid domini facient, audent cum talia fures?
D. An mihi cantando victus non redderet ille,
caprum ? Si nescis, meus ille caper fuit: et mihi Damon Ipse fatebatur, sed reddere posse negabat.
M. Cantando tu illum? aut unquam tibi fistula cera Juncta fuit? non tu in triviis, indocte, solebas
Stridenti miserum stipula disperdere carmen ?
D. Vis ergo inter nos, quid possit uterque, vicissim Experiamur? ego hanc vitulam (ne forte recuses, Bis venit ad mulctram, binos alit ubere foetus) Depono: tu dic, mecum quo pignore certes.
M. De grege non ausim quidquam deponere tecum:
b It is generally thought that Lycisca means a dog of a mongrel breed, produced by a female dog and a wolf; but some consider it to be simply a dog's name without reference to any peculiarity of character.
Est mihi namque domi pater, est injusta noverca:
• This was probably some celebrated carver, but the name of Alcimedon does not appear in any ancient author.
d Many sorts of ivy are mentioned by the ancients; most of which seem to be rather varieties than distinct species. Theophrastus says there are three principal kinds, white, black, and a sort denominated helix. The black is supposed to be our common ivy, and the helix the same plant before it has arrived to the perfection of bearing fruit, and these opinions are also supported on his authority; but what their white ivy was is unknown to us, for Theophrastus mentions, that of this kind of ivy sometimes the fruit only was white, and sometimes the leaves also. Λευκὸς γὰρ ὁ μὲν τῷ καρπῷ μόνῳ, ὁ δὲ καὶ τοῖς φύλλοις εσί. The poetical ivy, or that which the ancients used in their garlands, appears, from the representation in antique sculpture, to be the Hedera helix of Linnæus.
e In the Linnæan system of botany this kind of inflorescence, where all the flower stalks spring from one common centre, is denominated an Umbel; and the Corymbus denotes that kind where all the flowers make the same general appearance at the top like the umbel, but, where the separate stalks of each flower are of different lengths, springing from different parts of the common stem, and not from a common centre; as the Achillea millefolium, &c.
In medio duo signa, Conon! et quis fuit alter,
D. Et nobis idem Alcimedon duo pocula fecit,
Si ad vitulam spectes, nihil est quod pocula laudes.
D. 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.
P. Dicite quandoquidem in molli consedimus herba; Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos, Nunc frondent sylvae, nunc formosissimus annus. Incipe, Damoeta; tu deinde sequere, Menalca. Alternis dicetis; amant alterna Camenae.
f This Conon was most probably a celebrated mathematician, the friend, or, as some say, the master of the famous Archimedes.
& Acanthus mollis of Linnæus.
h Crpheus was the son of Oeagrus, a king of Thrace, by the muse Calliope: there are other accounts of his origin, but this is the most conformable to Virgil's opinion of his parentage and descent.