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The choir of Phoebus rose to honour him;
How shepherd Linus, with his locks adorn'd
With flowers and bitter parsley, in a verse
Divine, thus spake to him :-" Accept these pipes ;
The Muses give them thee, as erst (they did)
To the Ascræan sage; by playing which
He used to draw the tough ash from the hills.
The race of the Grynean grove play on them,
In such a way that there may be no other
Whereon Apollo more may pride himself."

Why should I speak of Scylla, Nisus' child,
(The hapless maid) whom fame reports, (while) girt
With monsters barking round her snowy waist,
Ulysses' ships to have wreck'd, and in the abyss
With sea-dogs to have torn the trembling crew?
Or how he told of Tereus' limbs transform'd?
What feasts and presents Philomel prepared him;
How quickly he the desert sought; with what
Wings he, first, hapless, flew o'er roofs once his.
All which the pleased Eurotas heard, and bade
Its laurels learn, when Phoebus play'd of old,
He sings; the vales, charm'd, echo to the stars,
Till Vesper warn'd (the shepherds) to enclose
The sheep within the folds, and number them;
Then t'wards Olympus, disinclined, advanced.









MEL. Forte sub arguta consederat ilice Daphnis,
Compulerantque greges Corydon et Thyrsis in unum,
Thyrsis oves, Corydon distentas lacte capellas,
Ambo florentes ætatibus, Arcades ambo,
Et cantare pares, et respondere parati.

Huc mihi, dum teneras defendo a frigore myrtos,
Vir gregis ipse caper deerraverat: atque ego Daphnin
Adspicio. Ille ubi me contra videt: "Ocius," inquit,
"Huc ades, o Melibœe: caper tibi salvus et hædi;
Et, si quid cessare potes, requiesce sub umbra.
Huc ipsi potum venient per prata juvenci ;



Hic virides tenera prætexit arundine ripas

Mincius, eque sacra resonant examina quercu.'

Quid facerem? neque ego Alcippen, nec Phyllida habebam,
Depulsos a lacte domi quæ clauderet agnos;


Et certamen erat Corydon cum Thyrside magnum.

Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo.

Alternis igitur contendere versibus ambo

Copere; alternos Musa meminisse volebant.

Hos Corydon, illos referebat in ordine Thyrsis.


COR. Nymphæ, noster amor, Libethrides, aut mihi carmen,

Quale meo Codro, concedite; proxima Phobi




MEL. Daphnis by chance sat 'neath a rustling oak; Thyrsis and Corydon their flocks had mix'd:

Thyrsis his sheep, and Corydon his goats

With milk distended; both in the flower of age;
Arcadians both; equally match'd in song;
Prepared alike to answer (challenges).

While I fenced here my myrtles from the cold,
The he-goat of the flock had stray'd away;
Daphnis I saw; he, seeing me, too, cries:
"Come hither, quickly, Melibus; safe

(Are) th' goats and kids; and, if you aught can stay, Rest 'neath this shade; your steers will of themselves Over the meadow hither come to drink.

Here Mincius has his verdant banks bespread
With slender reed, and from the sacred oak
(Now) swarms (of bees) resound." What could I do?
I neither Phyllis nor Alcippe had

At home to guard my lambs, wean'd from their milk
Here a great match 'twixt Corydon and Thyrsis.
Yet I postponed my business for their sport.
So each began in turn to vie in verse;

The Muses wish'd their lays to be alternate.
Corydon, these those Thyrsis sang in turn.


COR. Libethrian nymphs, my pride, or grant to me

A song such as ye Codrus taught, who makes





Versibus ille facit; aut, si non possumus omnes,

Hic arguta sacra pendebit fistula pinu.

THY. Pastores, hedera crescentem ornate poëtam,
Arcades, invidia rumpantur ut ilia Codro;

Aut, si ultra placitum laudarit, baccare frontem
Cingite, ne vati noceat mala lingua futuro.

COR. Sætosi caput hoc apri tibi, Delia, parvus

Et ramosa Micon vivacis cornua cervi.

Si proprium hoc fuerit, levi de marmore tota
Puniceo stabis suras evincta cothurno.

THY. Sinum lactis et hæc te liba, Priape, quotannis Exspectare sat est; custos es pauperis horti.

Nunc te marmoreum pro tempore fecimus; at tu,
Si fetura gregem suppleverit, aureus esto.

COR. Nerine Galatea, thymo mihi dulcior Hyblæ,
Candidior cycnis, hedera formosior alba,
Quum primum pasti repetent præsepia tauri,

Si qua tui Corydonis habet te cura, venito.

THY. Immo ego Sardoniis videar tibi amarior herbis, Horridior rusco, projecta vilior alga,

Si mihi non hæc lux toto jam longior anno est.

Ite domum, pasti, si quis pudor, ite, juvenci.

COR. Muscosi fontes, et somno mollior herba,

Et quæ vos rara viridis tegit arbutus umbra,






Verses next those of Phoebus, or, if all
We cannot do, here on this sacred pine
My tuneful pipe shall (ever silent) hang.

THY. Arcadian shepherds, crown your rising bard
With ivy, Codrus' sides with spite to burst;

Or, if he praise me 'yond what I desire,

Bind ye with lady-glove my brow, lest harm

His evil tongue do to your future bard.


COR. Young Mycon, Delia, (sends) this rough boar's head And of a long-lived stag the branching horns.

If this (success) be lasting, thou shalt stand

At thy full length in polish'd marble (carved),
Having thy legs with scarlet buskins bound.


THY. A pail of milk, Priapus, and these cakes "Twill satisfy thee yearly to expect;


Of a poor garden thou art guardian.

Of marble now I've made thee for a time,

But, if my stock increase, be thou of gold.

COR. Sweeter than Hybla's thyme, O Galatea,
Daughter of Nereus, whiter (far) than swans,
More beauteous than the silv'ry ivy-leaf,
Soon as the pastured steers regain their stalls,
Come, if thou care'st aught for thy Corydon.

THY. Nay, to thee than Sardinian herbs may I
Seem bitterer, more rugged than the furze,
More worthless than the weed cast from the sea,
If this day be not longer than a year.

Go home, fed steers; if shame ye have, go home.

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COR. Ye mossy founts, thou grass more soft than sleep, Green arbutus, that clothes you scant with shade,


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