Billeder på siden

70. carmina...] To 'draw down' the moon was a regular feat of witchcraft, cf. Ov. Am. 2. 1. 23 carmina sanguineae deducunt cornua lunae. vel, 'even.'

71. Circe] She 'changed the comrades of Ulysses' into swine; Hom. Od. 10. 203 seq.

72. rumpitur] To be taken literally, 'is made to burst,' 'bursts'; cf. Ov. Am. 2. 1. 25. cantando: used exactly like the instrumental abl. of a verbal noun by singing,' 'by using magic songs,' cf. 9. 56 causando 'by making excuses G. 2. 36 mollite colendo; 239 mansuescit arando; 250 lentescit habendo by the handling'; 3. 215 uritque videndo 'consumes by his seeing her'; 453 tegendo 'by concealment.' So too 9. 24 inter agendum; G. 3. 206 ante domandum 'before breaking in.'

74-80. Three threads of three hues I tie round thy image and thrice lead it round the altar: the uneven number has magic power. Weave, Amaryllis, three love-knots of triple


74. terna triplici colore] Probably Virgil indicates that each thread was composed of three differently-coloured strands and so was 'of threefold hue.' diversa would then describe the particoloured character of each thread, and not necessarily imply, as Servius thinks, that nine colours were used so that each triple thread was to consist of colours different from those composing the other triple threads.

Many editors say that terna is put poetically for tria and Virgil merely describes three single threads each of a single colour, but this neglects triplici, and see line 78 n.

tibi: ethic dat., 'against thee,' 'to prevail over thee': she addresses Daphnis or his image.

76. effigiem] In all enchantments that which is done to the image of a person is supposed to affect the person himself: the threads which bind the image will also bind Daphnis. So Aen. 4. 508 Dido proposes to burn the effigies of Aeneas and his exuviae; cf. too below line 92; Hor. Sat. 1. 8. 30.

numero deus inpare gaudet: 'in odd numbers the god delights.' deus is either divinity in general or the particular deity whose aid she is invoking: the vagueness of the word is intentional. Odd numbers being indivisible into equal halves were considered imperishable: three and its compounds have always been magic numbers, cf. Macbeth 4. 1. 1 Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.'

78. necte...] It seems clear from the use of the distributive ternos and necte twine' that each knot is to be twined with three colours. Many, however, render tie three colours (i.e.

[ocr errors]

three coloured strings) in three knots.' The question is of course insoluble, but the use of terna, triplici line 74 and ternos necte here certainly suggests that Virgil was not thinking of single threads but of threads each twined with three differently-coloured strands.

79. necte...modo] modo gives an impatient emphasis to the repeated necte; so in Plautus we often have modo with imperatives, e.g. i modo, tace modo, sequere hac modo.

81-90. As the fire works on this clay and this wax so may my love work on Daphnis, and as the fire consumes this laurel so may passion consume him. May he long for me as some young heifer longs for the steer, roaming everywhere in pursuit of him.

81. limus...] Some consider that two images of Daphnis are meant, one of clay and the other of wax, but this seems inconsistent with the singular effigiem line 76. She merely takes a piece of clay and a piece of wax and prays that as the fire makes the one hard and the other soft, so her love may render the heart of Daphnis hard to others and melting to herself. For liquescit cf. Theocr. 2. 28

ὡς τοῦτον τὸν καρὸν ἐγὼ σὺν δαίμονι τάκω

ὣς τάκοιθ ̓ ὑπ ̓ ἔρωτος ὁ Μύνδιος αὐτίκα Δέλφις.

The jingle of durescit liquescit is intentional, cf. Shakespeare's 'double double toil and trouble.'

82. eodemque] Scanned eodem by Synizesis. sic nostro supply durescat et liquescat, as this clay hardens and as this wax melts with..., so (let) Daphnis (harden and melt) with my love.'

83. molam] The mola salsa, a mixture of roasted barley meal and salt regularly used in sacrifice. fragiles, 'crackling,' i.e. when burned; cf. Theocr. 2. 24. bitumine: cf. Hor. Epod. 5. 81 amore sic meo flagres uti | bitumen atris ignibus.

84. ego hanc...] Supply uro, 'I burn this laurel on Daphnis.' It is doubtful whether in Daphnide should be taken literally as though the laurel were actually on Daphnis,' i.e. on his image, or whether the words mean 'in the case of Daphnis,' 'in dealing with Daphnis.' The latter view perhaps best suits with Theocr. 2. 23 Δέλφις ἔμ' ἀνίασεν, ἐγὼ δ ̓ ἐπὶ Δέλφιδι δάφναν | αἴθω, where ἐπὶ Δέλφιδι clearly means against Delphis,' to affect Delphis.'

[ocr errors]

86. Daphnim] The verb teneat does not occur till line 90, where the nom. is repeated; cf. line 1. qualis cum fessa...: Fully expressed this would be qualis amor tenet buculam cum

fessa...procumbit 'may such love possess Daphnis as (possesses a heifer) when a heifer weary with seeking the steer...sinks down.'

89. perdita] Note the full force of the position of this emphatic word at the end of the clause and the beginning of a line followed by a pause: after long, weary, and fruitless wandering at last she flings herself down-lost, worn out, hopeless.

The line is said by Macrobius to be taken from Varius, who says of a dog hunting

non amnes illam medii non ardua tardant,

perdita nec serae meminit decedere nocti,

where perdita goes with what follows and describes the utter recklessness of the dog's pursuit. Even if the statement of Macrobius is correct, it does not necessarily follow that we must, as many do, place the comma after ulva and remove it after perdita. A stolen gem may be improved by a new setting.

nec serae...]'nor does she take heed to give way to late night,' i.e. to seek the stall although the night is growing late. decedere nocti describes departing on the coming of night and leaving it to itself; cf. G. 3. 467 serae solam decedere nocti; 4. 23 decedere calori retire before the heat,' i.e. seek the shade.

91-100. Now I will bury under the threshold this raiment which he once wore, and essay the power of the Pontic herbs which Moeris the great wizard gave me.

92. exuvias] Anything once worn by a person was supposed to retain some connection with him and so could be used to obtain a magic influence over him (cf. Theocr. 2. 53). The burying of the clothes under the threshold is clearly meant somehow to attract their owner there. exuviae is a somewhat stately word (cf. Aen. 4. 507, 651); 'clothes' is too vulgar a translation, and 'relics' too dignified; perhaps 'raiment' will do.

93. pignora cara sui] 'dear pledges of himself.' He made her feel sure of his return by leaving them behind.

94. debent Daphnim] 'owe me Daphnis,' i.e. are bound to bring Daphnis back to me. For the construction cf. Hor. Od.

1. 3. 6 navis, quae...debes Vergilium.

96. Ponto] Probably put loosely for the neighbouring Colchis, Colchian poisons' being proverbial owing to the fame of Medea daughter of the king of Colchis as a sorceress.

98. his ego...] by means of these have I myself oft seen Moeris become a wolf': ego is emphatic, with my own eyes.'


The change of men into wolves (λukav@pwría) was an old superstition; see the story of Lycaon in Ovid Met. 1. 209. the middle ages a man thus transformed was called a werewolf."-Jerram.


100. satas alio...] This charming away of crops from one place to another is specially prohibited by a clause in the Twelve Tables against any one qui fruges excantassit.

them behind you into a
But, see, meantime the
Good luck to it!
He comes! Cease,

101-110. Take the ashes and cast running stream without looking back. ashes of themselves leap up in flame! dog barks! Is he coming or is it a dream? my song, cease.


102. cineres] The ashes of the various things which had been burnt. rivo, into a stream,' a common use of the dat. in Virgil, cf. G. 1. 23 satis (=in sata) demittitis; 2. 290 terrae defigitur, 4. 562.

103. nec respexeris] This caution is continually enjoined in dealings with the world of spirits; it clearly indicates a fear of arousing their anger by watching their actions. For instances

see Theocr. 24. 94; Hom. Od. 5. 349; Aesch. Cho. 98.

his] 'with these,' i.e. with the ashes, which are supposed to be more effective than any means she had used previously and likely to prevail, although 'naught cares he for gods, naught

for songs.

106. corripuit...] 'the ash itself of its own accord has caught the altar with bickering flames.'

107. dum ferre moror]' while I delay to carry it away'; ferre referring to fer cineres above.

109. credimus ?] 'Can I believe it?' The indicative is often used instead of the deliberative subjunctive to give greater vivacity, cf. Aen. 2. 322 quam prendimus arcem? 10. 675 accipio? quid ago? For qui amant cf. 2. 65 n.


This Eclogue describes the meeting of two shepherds Lycidas and Moeris. Moeris has been turned out of his farm and is taking some kids to market for the new occupant; Lycidas is astonished, for he had heard that Menalcas (i.e. Virgil) had secured the safety of the district by his poetry, but Moeris replies that, so far from that being so, he and Menalcas himself had barely escaped with their lives: they then proceed to recall passages of Menalcas' poetry, and go on their way singing.

The troubles referred to are those explained in the Introductions to Ecl. 1 and 6, and this Eclogue may have been a poetical appeal to Varus for assistance.

The general plan of the Eclogue is copied from the seventh Idyll of Theocritus.

1-16. L. Whither away? To town? M. That I should have lived to be turned out of my farm by a stranger! It is for him-bad luck to it !-that I am taking these kids. L. I had been told that Menalcas had saved the district by his songs. M. It was indeed so said, but songs are of no avail amid the clash of arms, and if I had not cut short any fresh quarrelling neither I nor Menalcas would be alive now.

1. Quo te...] Supply ducunt. In conversational phrases, where the meaning is perfectly clear, the verb can be omitted. urbem probably Mantua.

2. o Lycida...] Moeris does not reply to the question put to him but bursts out into an account of his woes-'have I lived to come to this that a stranger-a thing I never feared -as owner of my farm should say... The construction is pervenimus (eo) ut 'have I come alive to such a point that': the omission of eo is exceptional. vivus or vivus vidensque is commonly used when a person is describing something so dreadful that he would have expected to die before seeing it happen, cf. Cic. Sest. 27. 59 vivus, ut aiunt, est et videns cum victu ac vestitu suo publicatus.

advena nostri : these words are out of place, for the natural order would be ut advena, nostri possessor agelli, but Virgil wishes the broken order of the words to represent the broken sobbing utterance of the speaker (cf. 1. 67-69 n.), and advena is thrust forward because the idea which is before all others in his mind is that of a stranger' occupying his homestead: nostri is then attracted from its place to contrast more strongly with advena.

3. agelli] Affectionate diminutive.

5. nunc victi tristes...] Observe the Asyndeton and slow spondees expressive of sadness.

versat overturns,'' turns upside down.'

6. illi] 'for him,' the advena, who is sending the kids by Moeris probably to market. The rendering 'to him' seems wrong, for Moeris is going from the farm towards town, and it is natural to suppose that the stranger is on the farm. As well why should Moeris be sending kids to him?

quod nec vertat bene: 'and may it not turn out well,'

« ForrigeFortsæt »