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Astrum, quo segetes gauderent frugibus ; et quo
Insere, Daphni, pyros; carpent tua poma nepotes."
L. Causando nostros in longum ducis amores.
the Julian family derived their descent. Julius Cæsar therefore being of this race, he is here called Dionaean Cæsari, as Æneas calls Venus his Dionaean mother, at the beginning of the third Æneid.
Virgil uses the word here, to denote a single star, by way of pre
g Bianor, surnamed Ocnus, son of the river Tiber, by the prophetess Manto, daughter of Tiresias, is said to have fortified Mantua, and to have given it the name of his mother.
h Urbem. Mantua.
Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedat) eamus;
M. Desine plura, puer; et, quod nunc instat, agamus, Carmina tum melius, cum venerit ipse, canemus.
EXTREMUM hunc, Arethusa, mihi concede laborem.
a Though the first Eclogue, in the order of publication, is not thought to be Virgil's first pastoral composition, yet this tenth is generally considered as his last. The subject of it is, an amour of his friend Gallus, whom Virgil represents under the character of a Shepherd, complaining of the cruelty of Lycoris, who deserted him.
b Arethusa. Virgil invokes a Sicilian nymph, because he writes in imitation of Theocritus.
c Meo Gallo, shews that Gallus was the intimate friend of Virgil.
d Lycoris. The commentators agree that Cytheris, an actress of those times, is meant under the fictitious name of Lycoris; and that Gallus himself celebrated her under the same name, in some poems which he had written in her praise.
e Cum fluctus subter labere, &c. Alpheus, a river of Peloponnesus, was in love with the nymph Arethusa, who, flying from his pursuit, was turned by Diana into a fountain. She made her escape under the sea to Ortygia, an island adjacent to Sicily,
Doris famara suam non intermisceat undam.
Quae nemora, aut qui vos saltus habuere, puellae
Naiades, indigno cum Gallus amore periret ?
Illum etiam lauri, etiam flevere myricae ;
where she rose up; but Alpheus pursuing her the same way, mix. ed his waters with her's. The Poet here wishes, that in her passage under the Sicilian sea, Doris, or the sea, may not mix the salt waves with her pure waters.
f Doris, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was married to her brother Nereus, by whom she became mother of the sea Nymphs, who, from their father, are called Nereids. Doris is here used for the sea itself. She is here called amara, because the sea water is brackish.
g Parnassi. A mountain of Phocis, sacred to Apollo and the Muses.
h Pindi. A mountain on the confines of Macedonia, Epirus, and Thessaly, whence it is equally ascribed to these three regions. i Aonia Agamppe. A fountain of Boeotia, sacred to the Muses, rising in the mountain Helicon, not far from Thebes.
k Lycaeus is a mountain of Arcadia, famous for sheep, and sacred to Pan, being accounted one of his habitations.
Stant et oves circum; (nostri nec poenitet illas
Et formosus oves ad flumina pavit Adonis)
Uvidus hiberna venit de glande Menalcas.
Omnes, unde amor iste, rogant, tibi? Venit Apollo :
Galle, quid insanis? inquit, tua cura Lycoris
Perque nives alium perque horrida castra secuta est.
Florentes ferulas et grandia lilia quassans.
Pan deus Arcadiae venit: quem vidimus ipsi
Atque utinam ex vobis unus, vestrique fuissem
1 Sambucus ebulus, fig. 22.
m This colour was probably vermilion, as the minium of the Romans was made from cinnabar, whereas our minium is the red calx of lead.