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For mighty Mars, the dreadful god of arms,
Who wakes or stills the battle's dire alarms,
In love's strong fetters by thy charms is bound,
And languishes with an eternal wound.
Oft from his bloody toil the god retires
To quench in thy embrace his fierce desires.
Soft on thy heaving bosom he reclines,
And round thy yielding neck transported twine*;
There fix'd in ecstacy intense surveys
Thy kindling beauties with insatiate gaze,
Grows to thy balmy mouth, and ardent sips
Celestial sweets from thy ambrosial lips.
O while the god with fiercest raptures blest
Lies all dissolving on thy sacred breast,
O breathe thy melting whispers to his ear,
And bid him still the loud alarms of war.
In these tumultuous days the Muse in vain,
Her steady tenour lost, pursues the strain,
And Memmius's generous soul disu tins to tastft
The calm delights of philosophic rest;
Paternal fires his beating breast inflame,
To rescue Rome, and vindicate her name
HORACE, BOOK II. ODK X.
Ilectius vives, Licini
WoillDST thou through life securely glide,
Nor to allure the envious eye
The pine, that all the grove transcends,
The man, whose steadfast soul can bear
With unabating courage, brave Adversity's tumultuous wave; When too propitious breezes rjse, And the light vessel swiftly flies, With timid caution catch the gale, And shorten the distended sail.
HORACE, BOOK III. ODE XIII.
O Fons Biandusiae
BLANDIJSIA! more than crystal clear!
Their careless limbs diffused supine,
To thee a tender kid I vow,
When fiery Sirius blasts the plain,
As springs of old renown'd, thy name,
THE PASTORALS OF VIRGIL.
Non Ita ceriandi cupidus, qu-am propter amorera
MELIBCEUS, TITYRUS. Meliboeus. WHERE the broad beech an ample, shade displays, Your slender reed resounds the sylvan lays, O happy Tityrus! while we, forlorn, Driven from our lands, to distant climes are borne, Stretch'd careless in the peaceful shade you sing, And all the groves with Amaryllis ring.
* It ha« been observed by some critics, who have treated of pasto. ral poetry, tlwt, in every poem or this kind, it is proper that the scene or land-cape, connected with the lirth plot or fable on which ihe poem is founded, l>e delineated with at least as much acn.r.cv as i- sufficient to render the de>crip ion particular and pictur squc. How far Virgil has thought lit to attend to such a rule may appear fnm the If marks which the transistor has subjoined to every pastoral.
The scene <>f ti>e first pastoral is pictured out with ureal accuracy. The shepherds Melibceus and Tityrus are represented as conversing together beneath a spreading beech-tree. Flocks and herds are feeding h ird hy. At a little distance we behold, on the one hand a treat rock, and on the other a fence of flowering willows. The prospect as it widen- i- diver ilied with proves, and streams, and some fall Tees, particularly elms. Beyond ali these appear niarhhv grounds, and rocky hi.Is. The ragged and dropping Ho.-k of the unfortunate shepherd particularly the she-goat which he leads along, are no incon-iderable figures in this picture.—The time is the eveni'^r of a summerday, a little before sunset, feee of the original, >. l. 5. 9. 52. 54. 57. 59. 81, tkc.
I his pastoral is said to have been written on the following occasion. Augustus, in order to reward the services of his veterans, bv means o/ whom he had esUhiisbed himself n the Roman empire, dismbuud among them the lands that lay contiguous to Mantua and Cremona. To make way for the-e intruders, the rightful owners,of whom Virgil wis one, were turned out. But our poet, bv the intercession of Mecsenus, was reinstated in his possessions. Meliba-us here personates one of the unhappy exiles, and Virgil is represented under the character of Tityrus.
This peace to a propitious god I owe; None else, my friend, such blessings could bestow. Him will I celebrate with rights divine, And frequent lambs shall stain his sacred shrine. By him, these feeding herds in safety stray j By him, in peace I pipe the rural lay. Melibasus.
T envy not, but wonder at your fate,
Imperial Rome, while yet to me unknown,