Billeder på siden

Namque canebat, uti magnum per inane coacta
Semina terrarumque animaeque marisque fuissent,
Et liquidi simul ignis; ut his exordia primis
Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis ;
Tum durare solum, et discludere Nerea" ponto
Coeperit, et rerum paulatim sumere formas ;
Jamque novum terrae stupeant lucescere solem,
Altius atque cadant submotis nubibus imbres;
Incipiant sylvae cum primum surgere, cumque
Rara per ignotes errent animalia montes.
Hinc lapides Pyrrhae jactos," Saturnia regna,
Caucaseasquep refert volucres, furtumque Promethei.




n Nereus, a sea-god, and father of the Nereids, is here put for the waters, and Pontus is used for the cavity of the sea.

• Lapides Pyrrhae jactos. When the world was destroyed by a deluge, Deucalion only, with his wife Pyrrha, survived. They consulted the Oracle of Themis, in what manner mankind was to to be restored. The Oracle commanded them to throw the bones of their great mother behind their backs. By their great mother, they understood the earth, and their bones they appreher.ded to mean the stones. They obeyed his command, and the stones which Deucalion threw became men, and those which Pyrrha threw be ame The story is related in the first book of Ovid's Metamor



P Caucasus is a mountain between the Euxine and Caspian seas q Prometheus, the son of lapetus, having formed a man out of clay animated him with the fire which he had stolen, by applying a ferula to the chariot wheels of the sun. Jupiter, offended at his pre


His adjungit, Hylan nautae quo fonte relictum
Clamassent, ut litus, Hyla, Hyla, omne sonaret;

Et fortunatam, si nunquam armenta fuissent,
Pasiphaen nivei solatur amore juvenci.

Ah, virgo infelix, quae te dementia cepit !
Proetides implerunt falsis mugitibus agros :

At non tam turpes pecudum tamen ulla secuta est
Concubitus, quamvis collo timuisset aratrum,
Et saepe in levi quaesisset cornua fronte.
Ah, virgo infelix, tu nunc in montibus erras;
Ille, latus niveum molli fultus hyacintho,



Ilice sub nigra pallentes ruminat herbas;

sumption, ordered Mercury to chain him to a rock, on the mountain Caucasus, where an eagle or vulture is continually gnawing his liver.

9 Hylas was a young lad, who accompanied Hercules in the Ar gonautic expedition. He was lost in a fountain, where he went to draw water; whence he is said to have been carried away by a Naiad. The Argonauts called for him a long time in vain : whence it is said, that an annual custom was established, of calling aloud for Hylas.

Pasipha was the daughter of the sun, and wife of Minos, king of Crete. She is said to have been enamoured with a bull.

• Proetides. The daughter of Prœtus, king of the Argives, hav ing compared their beauty to that of Juno, were afflicted with madness, which made them fancy themselves to be cows, running about the fields and lowing. They were cured of this disease by Melampus, who received one of them in marriage for his reward.

Quid loquar, ut Scyllam Nisi, quam fama secuta est,. Candida succinctam latrantibus inguina monstris Dulichias vexasse rates, et gurgite in alto


Ah! timidos nautas canibus lacerasse marinis ?

Aut, ut mutatos Terei & narraverit artus;

Quas illi Philomela dapes, quae dona pararit,


Quo cursu deserta petiverit, et quibus ante
Infelix sua tecta supervolitaverit alis?
Omnia, quae, Phoebo quondam meditante, beatus:
Audiit Eurotas, jussitque ediscere lauros,

e Ut Scyllam Nisi. This passage alludes to fables of the two, Scyllæ. Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, whose story is told in the eighth book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Scylla, the daughter of Phorcus, related at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth books.

f Dulichium is one of those islands in the Ionian sea, called Echinades. It lies over against the mouth of the river Achelous, and was subject to the dominion of Ulysses.

g Tereus was a king of Thrace, and married Procne, by whom he had a son named Itys. Tereus afterwards violated Philomela, and cut out her tongue, to prevent her telling her sister Procne, his wife: she, however, divulged the secret; upon which the two sisters murdered Itys, and gave his flesh to his father to eat. When the banquet was over, they produced the head of the child, to shew Tereus in what manner they had entertained him. He, highly enraged, pursued them with his drawn sword, and was changed into a lapwing. Philomela became a nightingale, and Procne a swallow, with the feathers on its breast stained red.

Eu atas is a river, according to Strabo, which has its spring

Ille canit; pulsae referunt ad sidera valles :
Cogere donec oves stabulis, numerumque referre
Jussit, et invito processit Vesper Olympo.


near that of Alpheus; for both these rivers rise near Asca, a village belonging to Megalopolis, in the Peloponnesus. They both run under the ground for some furlongs, and break out again; the Alpheus then takes its course through the Pisatis, and the Eurotas through Laconia, runs by Sparta, and passes through a small valley at Helos, and falls into the sea at Gytheum, the maritime town of Sparta, and Acrææ.

i The planet Venus, when she goes before the Sun, is called Lucifer, or the morning star; but when she follows the Sun, she is called Hesperus, or Vesper; and by us the evening star.



M. FORTE sub arguta consederat ilice Daphnis, Compulerantque greges Corydon et Thyrsis in unum, Thyrsis oves, Corydon distentas lacte capellas; Ambo florentes aetatibus, Arcades ambo,

Et cantare pares, et respondere parati.

Huc mihi, dum teneras defendo a frigore myrtos, Vir gregis ipse caper deerraverat; atque ego Daphnin Adpicio; ille ubi me contra videt: ocius, inquit, Huc ades, o Meliboee; caper tibi salvus, et hoedi; Et, si quid cessare potes, requiesce sub umbra;



a In this Eclogue is represented an amebean contention between two Shepherds, Corydon and Thyrsis. They are described sitting under a tree, in company with Daphnis, who seems to have been appointed to judge between them. Mehbous happening to pass that way, in quest of a strayed goat, is spied by Daphnis, who calls him, and insists on his staying to hear the dispute.

No particular person appears to be described in this Eclogue. The subject is wholly pastoral, and Virgil's sole aim seems to be, an imitation of Theocritus. The verses of the two contending Shepherds, relate entirely to their own rural affairs, to their own friendships, or to their own amours.

« ForrigeFortsæt »