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Silvestris raris sparsit labrusca racemis.
Me. Montibus in nostris solus tibi certat Amyntas. Mo. Quid, si idem certet Phoebum superare canendo? Me. Incipe, Mopse, prior, si quos aut Phyllidis ignis, Aut Alconis habes laudes, aut iurgia Codri. Incipe; pascentis servabit Tityrus haedos. Mo. Immo haec, in viridi nuper quae cortice fagi Carmina descripsi et modulans alterna notavi, Experiar tu deinde jubeto ut certet Amyntas. Me. Lenta salix quantum pallenti cedit olivae, Puniceis humilis quantum saliunca rosetis, Iudicio nostro tantum tibi cedit Amyntas. Mo. Sed tu desine plura, puer; successimus antro. 7.] Labrusca,' 'wild vine'—the nuɛpic ßwwoa which grows over the cave of Calypso, Hom. Od. 5. 69. 'See yonder is the cave, embowered with wild vine.' 'Sparsit,' 'decks,' with reference to 'raris:' possibly also pointing to the contrast between the cave and the dark clusters of the vine. Comp. 2. 41, "sparsis etiam nunc pellibus albo ;" A. 7. 191, "sparsitque coloribus alas." Heyne well remarks that we are not to press 'raris,' as the poet is not thinking of the thinness of the shade as a good or bad quality, but simply intends to give a picture, as in 7. 46, "Et quae vos rara viridis tegit arbutus umbra."
8.] Menalcas compliments Mopsus as they walk together towards the cave. The older MSS. are for certat' against 'certet,' and it is clearly required by the sense. 'Certet' would imply that Menalcas thought Amyntas comparable to Mopsus.
9.] Quid si certet,' 'I suppose he will be doing so '-ironically, of course. Wagn. cites instances of this formula, especially from Plautus and Terence, e. g. Plaut. Poen. 5. 3. 43, "Quid si eamus illis obviam," I think we had better go and meet them.' 10.] Comp. 3. 52 note. Phyllidis ignis,' i. q., Phyllidis amorem,' 'love for Phyllis.' 'Ignis' is used in Hor. 3 Od. 7. 11 for a love: "et miseram tuis Dicens ignibus uri."
11.] Iurgia Codri,' invectives against Codrus;'-the objective genitive throughout. Phyllis is clearly a pastoral, not, as Serv. thinks, a historical person; though there would be nothing inappropriate in itself in making Mopsus' song legendary, like Silenus' in the next Ecl. and several of the Idyls of Theocritus. So Alcon may be either the sculptor of Ov. M. 13. 683, &c.,
the Spartan hero, or the archer of Val. Fl. 1.399. Codrus is doubtless the same as in 7. 22, 26, where he is the favourite of Corydon, the enemy of Thyrsis. There is no inconsistency in this transition from legendary to feigned personages. The subject in each case is pastoral: the hero may or may not be.
12.] Tityrus,' another herdsman; perhaps a servant of one of the others. Keightley. In Theocr. 1. 14 Thyrsis offers to look after the goats himself, while the goatherd is piping to him.
13.] Voss takes cortice' of bark stript from the tree, but 'viridi' is rather against this. Spohn refers to Calpurnius 1. 33 foll. where fifty-six verses are represented as having been cut on a tree, and to E. 10. 53, where see note.
14.] Setting them to music ('modulans') marked the alternations of the flute and voice (alterna notavi').'
15.] Mopsus still feels the mention of Amyntas, so Menalcas reassures him.
16.] Theocr. 5. 92. "Fully to understand the following comparisons, we must recollect that the leaves of the willow and the olive are of the same form, and of the same pale green colour, while the difference in the value of the trees is immense. The 'saliunca,' or Celtic reed, in like manner resembles the rose in odour, but is so brittle that it could not be woven into garlands, the great use made of the rose by the ancients." Keightley.
19-44.] Mo. Here we are in the cave. -At Daphnis' death the nymphs were in tears-his mother clasped his body and called reproachfully on heaven-the cattle were not fed or watered-the very lions roared out their grief. Yes-he was the tamer of tigers, the founder of the rural
Exstinctum Nymphae crudeli funere Daphnim
Frigida, Daphni, boves ad flumina; nulla nec amnem 25
25.] For 'nulla nec-nec' comp. 4. 55. 26.] Observe the words 'libavit' and 'attigit,' ' did not taste or touch,' much less drink or eat. 'Graminis herbam,' 'herba' being the generic term, as in 'herba fru
19.] Desine plura,' a confusion of 'de- menti.' sine loqui' and 'parce plura loqui.'
20.] Daphnis, the ideal shepherd, here allegorically represents Julius Caesar: see the Introduction. Daphnis was the favourite of the nymphs. Theocr. 1. 66, 141.
21.] Flebant' with a pause after it at the beginning of the verse, as in A. 6. 213, to give a melancholy effect.
23.] 'Atque-atque' for 'et-et.' Tibull. 2. 5. 73, "Atque tubas atque arma ferunt crepitantia caelo Audita." Sil. 1. 93, atque Ennaeae numina divae Atque Acheronta vocat Stygia cum veste sacerdos." 'Crudelia' seems best taken with vocat,' as Wagn., denounces their cruelty aloud.' 'Astra,' the birth-star. If Caesar is Daphnis, we may contrast 9. 46 foll., where Caesar has a constellation of his own. The position of mater' at the end of the sentence must not be overlooked in translation. Perhaps we may render while his mother, clasping to her heart the piteous corpse of her son, is crying out on the cruelty of the gods and the stars as only a mother can.'
24.] The variety of expression seems to show that the meaning is, the herdsmen did not think of feeding or watering their cattle, and the cattle cared nothing for food or water. This is confirmed by the sympathy of the lions, v. 27. The whole passage to v. 29 coincides with Theocr. 1. 71 -75, though the words are not similar; and there is also a general resemblance to Mosch. 3. 23 foll.
26.] Suetonius, Jul. 81 (quoted by Spohn), says that among the signs given to Caesar of his approaching death, the herds of horses which he had consecrated to the gods at the passage of the Rubicon, and left, as sacred animals, to range at large, refused to feed and shed floods of tears. Some find in what follows another historical allusion, viz., to Caesar's design of restoring Carthage: but the lions and the impropriety of introducing them (there being no lions in Sicily) are due to Theocr. 1. 72. 'Poenos' is merely a literary epithet: see note on 1. 55.
28.] Instances of 'loquor' for 'dico' in Cicero are given by Forcellini. Here however the word is emphatic: the mountains and woods echoed, and so told of the howling of the lions.
29.] Curru subjungere tigris,' like Bacchus. Daphnis teaching the swains to celebrate the Liberalia' is an emblem of the civil reforms of Caesar. For the Liberalia' see G. 2. 380 foll., and Dict. A.
30.] The old editors had Baccho,' 'in honour of Bacchus;' taking 'inducere thiasos' to be i. q. 'ducere thiasos,' like 'ducere choros.' But 'inducere' is 'to introduce.'
31.] They are called 'molles thyrsi' again in A. 7. 390. 'Mollibus' probably means 'waving' see 4. 28.
32, 33.] Theocr. 8. 79, Ta dovì rai βάλανοι κόσμος, τα μαλίδι μᾶλα· Τῷ βοϊ δ ̓ ἁ μόσχος, τῷ βωκόλῳ αἱ βόες αὐταί.
Ut gregibus tauri, segetes ut pinguibus arvis,
Comp. also Id. 18. 29 foll. For arboribus,'
34.] Tulerunt:' Heyne compares Hom. Il. 2. 302, ovç μǹ кñρes ïßaν Oavároto pépovoal. The word occurs again with 'fata' in a somewhat different sense, A. 2. 34, note.
35.] Apollo Nomius is joined with Pales G. 3. 1. Keightley remarks on the impropriety of associating a purely Italian with a Greek deity-a specimen of the confusion which we find in the Eclogues generally, and indeed in the whole of Roman culture.
36.] Large grains were selected for seed, G. 1. 197, as Voss observes; but the force of the epithet lies in the contrast between the promise of grain and the performance of weeds. The use of 'hordea' in the plural was ridiculed by Bavius and Maevius in the line "Hordea qui dixit, superest ut tritica dicat," quoted by Serv. on G. 1. 210, where the offence is repeated. It is noticed by Quinct. 1. 5. 16, "Hordea et mulsa non alio vitiosa sunt, quam quod singularia pluraliter efferunt ;" Pliny however uses it, 17. 10.
37.] Theophrastus on Plants, 8. 7, and Pliny 18. 44, are referred to by Voss, following Pierius, for the belief that barley actually degenerated into darnel and wild oats. 'Infelix is merely 'infecundus,' like 'steriles' ('infelix oleaster,' G. 2. 314), without any reference to the pernicious properties of darnel, which affects the head when ground into flour. Pliny, l. c., says "Lolium et tribulos et carduos lappasque non magis quam rubos, inter frugum morbos potius quam inter ipsius terrae pestes annumeraverim." The old reading was 'dominantur,' as in G. 1. 154: but'nascuntur' is found in almost all of the MSS. The difference of the passages quite accounts for the change of word: Virg. is here speaking of weeds growing instead of barley-there of their growing among the corn. 'Lolium' and 'avena are coupled
by Ov. F. 1. 691.
38.] "The bane has fallen not only on the fields, but on the produce of the garden." Voss. Molli' is opposed to the sharp and prickly thistle and Christ's thorn. 'Purpureus' is applied not only to purple or red, but to any bright colour. We have "purpureis ales oloribus," Hor. 4 Od. 1. 10; 'purpurea candidiora nive," Albinovanus 2. 62. So "purpureum lumen," A. 1. 590., 6. 540. Here accordingly it is used of the white narcissus. There was however a narcissus with a purple calyx (Pliny 21. 12): and so the author of the Ciris, v. 96, talks of "suave rubens narcissus."
39.] Paliurus,' Christ's thorn, a prickly shrub common in the south of Italy, recommended by Columella for making quickset hedges. In Theocr. 1. 132 foll. (imitated closely E. 8. 52) Daphnis' dying prayer is that thorns may produce violets, and juniper-bushes narcissus-not that a blight may fall on things, but that the course of nature may be changed.
40.] This line is alluded to in 9. 19, "quis humum florentibus herbis Spargeret aut viridi fontes induceret umbra?" Hence it would seem that 'foliis' should be interpreted flowers,' and 'umbras' ('viridi umbra ') as 'trees.' 'Sow the turf with flowers and plant trees beside (overshadowing) the spring,' as fitting monuments of Daphnis ('mandat fieri sibi talia Daphnis').
λλa is used for 'flowers,' Theocr. 11. 26., 18. 39. Spargite' may be either or 'deck'-in other words, the sower may be said either to sow the seed directly, or to adorn the turf indirectly with the flower
when sprung up. The latter is supported
by Lucr. 2. 33, "anni Tempora conspergunt viridantis floribus herbas," the parallel passage to which, 5. 1396, haspingebant.' It may be meant that Daphnis is to be buried under the trees. Wagn. quotes Cul. 387 foll. (of the grave of the Culex), "Rivum propter aquae viridi sub fronde latentem Conformare locum capit impiger."
41.] With mandat,' as applied to this
Et tumulum facite, et tumulo superaddite carmen :
Me. Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta,
Nos tamen haec quocumque modo tibi nostra vicissim 50
42.] Tumulum-tumulo' repeated as in A. 6. 380.
43.] Theocr. 1. 120. In silvis' answers to ὧδε. Hinc usque ad sidera,' 'from here to the stars,' is rather a flat expression. The exaggeration is paralleled by Heyne from Theocr. 7. 93: otherwise it seems to refer to Caesar rather than to the ideal Daphnis.
45-52.] Me. Your singing refreshes my very heart-your singing no less than your playing. The bucolic crown has descended to you. I will venture however to reply with a song on Daphnis as a god.'
45.] Imitated generally from Theocr. 1. 1 foll., 8. 81.
46.] Theocr. 8. 77. Per aestum' answers to 'fessis,' as that to 'nobis.'
48.] A compliment to Mopsus, whom he had previously praised for his piping, v. 2. 'Magistrum' can hardly be any one but Daphnis, whose minstrelsy is praised by Theocr. 1. c. So Moschus speaks of himself (3. 103) as having inherited the Doric Muse from Bion.
49.] Menalcas speaks with admiring envy, having before spoken of his own singing in comparison with Mopsus' piping. 50.] Vicissim:' 3. 28 note.
51.] Tollemus ad astra may be said only in the same sense as ad sidera notus'
(v. 43), and 'ferent ad sidera,' 9. 29,praise up to the skies,'-but more probably it means celebrate his ascent to heaven,' referring to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar. Comp. 5. 56 foll.
53-55.] 'Mo. By all means-the theme is a worthy one, and I know your poetical powers.'
53.] Tali munere,''y ,"your promised boon of song.' 'Nobis' answers to 'nobis,' v. 45.
54.] Ista carmina,' 'these strains of yours,' not necessarily implying that the verses which follow had been known and praised already.
56-80.] Me. Daphnis is in heaventhe shepherds and their gods rejoice-the beasts are at peace-the mountains proclaim him a god-he shall be honoured with libations, with song and with dance, as long as the course of nature remains the same, even as we honour Bacchus and Ceres.' 56.] Candidus,' 'in his (divine) beauty.' "Candida Dido," A. 5. 571. "Candide Bassareu," Hor. 1 Od. 18. 11. Daphnis is now entering heaven as a god-he looks down with wonder on the threshold as he crosses it, and sees the sky under his feet.' With limen Olympi' comp. Il. 1. 591, άπò Bλou OεOTEσioto, and the later use of Byλóc for the heaven.
58.] All nature rejoices at his apotheosis, as all nature had mourned at his death. The frisking of Pan and the Dryades answers to the weeping of the nymphs, and
Panaque pastoresque tenet Dryadasque puellas.
Ulla dolum meditantur; amat bonus otia Daphnis.
the departure of Pales and Apollo. We
59.] Virgil adopts the Greek form, 'Dryadas;' ' Hyadas,' A. 1. 744; Phaetontiadas,' E. 6. 62.
60.] The features of the description are taken from the golden age, as in E. 4. Comp. Theocr. 24. 84.
61.] Otia' as in 1. 6. 'Bonus,' of deities, as in 5. 65, A. 12. 647.
62.] The mountains and woods resound cries of joy, as before (v. 28) they resounded groans of sorrow. The words apparently are from Lucr. 2. 327 foll., “clamoreque montes Icti rejectant voces ad sidera mundi." Virgil means to attribute the joy to the mountains themselves, as in 10. 15 they are made to weep: but there may be a secondary reference to the actual mourners. 'Even the traveller on the uncleared mountain (intonsi'), even the vine-dresser under the rock (1. 57), shouts and sings for joy in my ears.' So in similar passages of the Old Testament, of which we cannot but be reminded in this as in the preceding Eclogue, joy is attributed indifferently to places and their inhabitants, e. g. Isaiah 42. 10, 11.
63.] 'Intonsi' is rightly explained by Serv. incaedui.' "Intonsaque caelo Attollunt capita," A. 9. 681, of oaks. The primary notion here of course is that the wildness of the mountains makes the demonstration more marked: but it is possible that we may be meant to conceive of them as exulting in their shaggy strength
now that a state of nature is restored, as in the well-known passage Isaiah 14. 7, 8, "The whole earth is at rest and is quiet, they break forth into singing: yea, the firtrees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.'
64.]Sonant carmina:' comp. Hor. 2 Od. 13. 26, "Et te sonantem plenius aureo, Alcaee, plectro dura navis, Dura fugae mala, dura belli." Deus, deus ille, Menalca,' is what the rocks and woods utter. We have a new god, a new god, Menalcas.' Forb. comp. Lucr. 5. 8, " deus ille fuit, deus, inclute Memmi."
65.] "Sis felix," A. 1. 330.
66.] Ara' is the genus: 'altare,' the specific kind of altar on which victims were offered. See Forcell. Daphnis, as a hero, has only libations offered to him, not victims. 'Duas altaria Phoebo,' 'two whereon to offer victims to Phoebus.' The birthday of Caesar fell on the Ludi Apollinares (3 Id. Iul.), but as the Sibylline books forbade the rites of any other god to be celebrated at the same time with those of Apollo, the birthday was kept 4 Non. Iul., that is the day before the Ludi Apollinares begun. The present reading was restored by Heins. from the best MSS. for 'duoque altaria.'
67.] These offerings are from Theocr. 5. 53 and 57, where they are made to the nymphs and Pan. 'Bina,' two in the year:' see below, v. 70. No distinction is meant between 'pocula bina' and 'duo crateres,' as the parallel passage shows.
68.] Some editors have crateres:' but Virg. follows throughout the Greek form, of which craterǎs' is the acc. pl. Wagn. 'Statuere' is appropriate both to crateras (from the size of the crater '), and to the act of sacrificing. A. 1. 728, "Crateras magnos statuunt." Hor. 2 S. 3. 199, "pro vitula statuis dulcem Aulide natam Ante aras." The milk would be appropriate to spring,