Imágenes de páginas

But when sultry suns are high
Underneath the oak I lie,

As it shades the water's edge,
And I mark my line, away
In the wheeling eddy, play,

Tangling with the river sedge.
When the eye of evening looks
On green woods and winding brooks,

And the wind sighs o'er the lea, – Woods and streams, I leave you then, While the shadow in the glen

Lengthens by the greenwood tree.

These in their natures only are

Fit to emboss the border ; Therefore I'll take especial care

To place them in their order : Sweet-williams, campions, sops-in-wine,

One by another neatly : Thus have I made this wreath of mine,

And finished it featly.



HERE, damask roses, white and red,

Out of my lap first take I, Which still shall run along the thread ;

My chiefest flower this make I.

Among these roses in a row

Next place I pinks in plenty ; These double pansies then, for show,

And will not this be dainty?

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The pretty pansy then I'll tie

Like stones some chain enchasing ; And next to them, their near ally,

The purple violet, placing.

The curious, choice clove July-flower,

Whose kind, hight the carnation, For sweetness of most sovereign power,

Shall help my wreath to fashion ;

Whose sundry colors of one kind,

First from one root derived, Them in their several suits I'll bind :

My garland so contrived.

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass,
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors; the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves ; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven,
Their bases on the mountains — their white tops
Shining in the far ether— fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer's eye away.


I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays its coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air ?
O come and breathe upon the fainting carth
Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now,
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes !
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves !
The deep, distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs
And bearing on their fragrance ; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
Are stirring in his breath ; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod gayly to each other ; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

A course of cowslips then I'll stick,

And here and there (so sparely) The pleasant primrose down I'll prick,

Like pearls that will show rarely ;

Then with these marigolds I 'll make

My garland somewhat swelling ; These honeysuckles then I'll take,

Whose sweets shall help their smelling.

The lily and the fleur-de-lis,

For color much contending, For that I them do only prize,

They are but poor in scenting ;

The daffodil most dainty is,

To match with these in meetness ; The columbine, compared to this,

All much alike for sweetness.

Virgil's "Georgics."




Whether in after-times to be declared
The patron of the world, and Rome's peculiar guard,

Or o'er the fruits and seasons to preside,
The poet, in the beginning of this book, propounds the gen- And the round circuit of the year to guide ;

eral design of each Georgic ; and, after a solemn invoca-
tion of all the gods who are any way related to his sub-

Powerful of blessings which thou strew'st around, ject, he addresses himself in particular to Augustus, whom And with thy goddess mother's myrtle crowned. he compliments with divinity ; and after strikes into his

Or wilt thou, Cæsar, choose the watery reign, business. He shows the different kinds of tillage proper to different soils, traces out the original of agriculture, To smooth the surges, and correct the main ? gives a catalogue of the husbandman's tools, specifies Then mariners, in storms, to thee shall pray, the employments peculiar to each season, describes the changes of the weather, with the signs in heaven and

Even utmost Thule shall thy power obey ; earth that forebode them. Instances many of the prodi. And Neptune shall resign the fasces of the sea. gies that happened near the time of Julius Cæsar's death. And shuts up all with a supplication to the gods for the

The watery virgins for thy bed shall strive, safety of Augustus, and the preservation of Rome. And Tethys all her waves in dowry give.

Or wilt thou bless our summers with thy rays, THE SUBJECT STATED FARMING, SOILS, GRAIN, SHEEP, CATTLE, VINES, BEES.

And, seated near the balance, poise the days :

Where in the void of heaven a space is free, What makes a plenteous harvest, when to turn

Betwixt the scorpion and the maid, for thee. The fruitful soil, and when to sow the corn ;

The scorpion, ready to receive thy laws, The care of sheep, of oxen, and of kine ;

Yields half his region, and contracts his claws. And how to raise on elms the teeming vine ;

Whatever part of heaven thou shalt obtain, The birth and genius of the frugal bee,

For let not hell presume of such a reign; I sing, Mæcenas, and I sing to thee.

Nor let so dire a thirst of empire move INVOCATION TO VARIOUS DEITIES ; BACCHUS, CERES, PAN, Thy mind, to leave thy kindred gods above. MINERVA, ETC.

Though Greece admires Elysium's blest retreat, Ye deities ! who fields and plains protect,

Though Proserpine affects her silent seat, Who rule the seasons, and the year direct ;

And, importuned by Ceres to remove, Bacchus and fostering Ceres, powers divine,

Prefers the fields below to those above. Who gave us corn for mast, for water wine :

But thou, propitious Cæsar! guide my course, Ye fauns, propitious to the rural swains,

And to my bold endeavors add thy force. Ye nymphs that haunt the mountains and the plains, Pity the poet's and the ploughman's cares, Join in my work, and to my numbers bring

Interest thy greatness in our mean affairs, Your needful succor, for your gifts I sing.

And use thyself betimes to hear and grant our prayers. And thou, whose trident struck the teeming earth,

PLOUGHING. THE PROPER TIME FOR PLOUGHING. And made a passage for the courser's birth : And thou, for whom the Cæan shore sustains

While yet the spring is young, while earth unbinds Thy milky herds, that graze the flowery plains : Her frozen bosom to the western winds; And thou, the shepherd's tutelary god,

While mountain-snows dissolve against the sun, Leave, for a while, 0 Pan! thy loved abode ;

And streams, yet new, from precipices run ; And, if Arcadian fleeces be thy care,

Even in this early dawning of the

year, From fields and mountains to my song repair.

Produce the plough, and yoke the sturdy steer, Inventor, Pallas, of the fattening oil,

And goad him till he groans beneath his toil, Thou founder of the plough and ploughman's toil ;

Till the bright share is buried in the soil. And thou, whose hands the shroud-like cypress rear;

That crop rewards the greedy peasant's pains, Come, all ye gods and goddesses, that wear

Which twice the sun and twice the cold sustains, The rural honors, and increase the year.

And bursts the crowded barns with more than You, who supply the ground with seeds of grain ;

promised gains. And you, who swell those seeds with kindly rain :



But ere we stir the yet unbroken ground, And chiefly thou, whose undetermined state

The various course of seasons must be found ; Is yet the business of the gods' debate ;

The weather, and the setting of the winds, 1 The Roman emperor, Octavius Cæsar Augustus. The culture suiting to the several kinds

Lest soaking showers should pierce her secret seat,
Or freezing Boreas chill her genial heat ;
Or scorching suns too violently beat.


Of seeds and plants, and wbat will thrive and rise,
And what the genius of the soil denies.
This ground with Bacchus, that with Ceres suits ;
That other loads the trees with happy fruits ;
A fourth with grass, unbidden, decks the ground :
Thus Tmolus is with yellow saffron crowned ;
India black ebon and white ivory bears ;
And soft Idume weeps her od'rous tears.
Thus Pontus sends her beaver stones from far;
And naked Spaniards temper steel for war.
Epirus for the Elean chariot breeds
(In hopes of palms) a race of running steeds.
This is the original contract ; these the laws
Imposed by nature, and by nature's cause,
On sundry places, when Deucalion hurled
His mother's entrails on the desert world :
Whence men, a hard, laborious kind, were born.

Nor is the profit small the peasant makes, [rakes, Who smoothes with harrows, or who pounds with The crumbling clod : nor Ceres from on high Regards his labors with a grudging eye ; Nor his, who ploughs across the furrowed grounds, And on the back of earth inflicts new wounds; For he with frequent exercise commands The unwilling soil, and tames the stubborn lands.



Then borrow part of winter for thy corn ; And early with thy team the glebe in furrows turn. That while the turf lies open and unbound, Succeeding suns may bake the mellow ground. But if the soil be barren, only scar The surface, and but lightly print the share, When cold Arcturus rises with the sun : Lest wicked weeds the corn should over-run In watery soils ; or lest the barren sand Should suck the moisture from the thirsty land.

Ye swains, invoke the powers who rule the sky, For a moist summer, and a winter dry : For winter drought rewards the peasant's pain, And broods indulgent on the buried grain. Hence Mysia boasts her barvests, and the tops Of Gargarus admire their happy crops. When first the soil receives the fruitful seed, Make no delay, but cover it with speed : So fenced from cold ; the pliant furrows break, Before the surly clod resists the rake. And call the floods from high, to rush amain With pregnant streams, to swell the teeming grain. Then when the fiery suns too fiercely play, And shrivelled herbs on withering stems decay, The wary ploughman, on the mountain's brow, Undams his watery stores, huge torrents flow ; And, rattling down the rocks, large moisture yield, Tempering the thirsty fever of the field.



FALLOWS. - ROTATION. ASHES. Both these unbappy soils the swain forbears, And keeps a sabbath of alternate years : That the spent earth may gather heart again ; And, bettered by cessation, bear the grain. At least, where vetches, pulse, and tares, have stood, And stalks of lupines grew (a stubborn wood): The ensuing season, in return, inay.

bear The bearded product of the golden year. For flax and oats will burn the tender field, And sleepy poppies harmful harvests yield. But sweet vicissitudes of rest and toil Make easy labor, and renew the soil. Yet sprinkle sordid ashes all around, And load' with fattening dung thy fallow ground. Thus change of seeds for meagre soils is best ; And earth manured, not idle, though at rest.

And lest the stem, too feeble for the freight, Should scarce sustain the head's unwieldy weight, Sends in his feeding flocks betimes to invade The rising bulk of the luxuriant blade ; Ere yet the aspiring offspring of the grain O’ertops the ridges of the furrowed plain : And drains the standing waters, when they yield Too large a beverage to the drunken field. But most in autumn, and the showery spring, When dubious months uncertain weather bring; When fountains open, and impetuous rain Swells hasty brooks, and pours upon the plain ; When earth with slime and mud is covered o'er, Or hollow places spew their wat'ry store. Nor yet the ploughman, nor the laboring steer, Sustain alone the hazards of the year ; But glutton geese, and the Strymonian crane, With foreign troops, invade the tender grain : And towering weeds malignant shadows yield ; And spreading succory chokes the rising field.

ADVANTAGES OF BURNINGS. Long practice has a sure improvement found, With kindled fires to burn the barren ground; When the light stubble, to the flames resigned, Is driven along, and crackles in the wind. Whether from hence the hollow womb of earth Is warmed with secret strength for better birth ; Or when the latent vice is cured by fire, Redundant humors through the pores expire ; Or that the warmth distends the chinks, and makes New breathings, whence new nourishment she takes; Or that the heat the gaping ground constrains, New knits the surface, and new strings the veins,



The sire of gods and men, with hard decrees, Forbids our plenty to be bought with ease :



And wills that mortal men, inured to toil,
Should exercise, with pains, the grudging soil.
Himself invented first the shining share,
And whetted human industry by care :
Himself did handicrafts and arts ordain ;
Nor suffered sloth to rust his active reign.
Ere this, no peasant vexed the peaceful ground;
Which only turfs and greens for altars found :
No fences parted fields, nor marks nor bounds
Distinguished acres of litigious grounds :
But all was common, and the fruitful earth
Was free to give her unexacted birth.

Nor must we pass untold what arms they wield, Who labor tillage and the furrowed field : Without whose aid the ground her corn denies, And nothing can be sown, and nothing rise. The crooked plough, the share, the towering height Of wagons, and the cart's unwieldy weight; The sled, the tumbril, hurdles, and the flail, The fan of Bacchus, with the flying sail. These all must be prepared, if ploughmen hope The promised blessing of a bounteous crop.



GIES, AND ORIGINATE THE USEFCL ARTS. Jove added venom to the viper's brood, And swelled, with raging storms, the peaceful flood : Commissioned hungry wolves to infest the fold, And shook from oaken leaves the liquid gold. Removed from human reach the cheerful fire, And from the rivers bade the wine retire : That studious need might useful arts explore ; From furrowed fields to reap the fruitful store : And force the veins of clashing flints to expire The lurking seeds of their celestial fire.

Young elms with early force in copses bow, Fit for the figure of the crooked plough. Of eight feet long a fastened beam prepare, On either side the head produce an ear, And sink a socket for the shining share. Of beech the plough-tail, and the bending yoke ; Or softer linden hardened in the smoke. I could be long in precepts, but I fear So mean a subject might offend your ear.

NAVIGATION AND OTHER ARTS. Then first on seas the hollowed alder swam ; Then sailors quartered heaven, and found a name For every fixed and every wandering star : The Pleiads, Hyads, and the Northern Car. Then toils for beasts, and lime for birds, were found, And deep-mouthed dogs did forest walks surround : And casting-nets were spread in shallow brooks, Drags in the deep, and baits were hung on hooks. Then saws were toothed, and sounding axes made (For wedges first did yielding wood invade), And various arts in order did succeed :What cannot endless labor, urged by need ? —


FIELD-MOUSE, MOLE, WEASEL, ANT. Delve of convenient depth your threshing-floor : With tempered clay then fill and face it o'er : And let the weighty roller run the round, To smooth the surface of the unequal ground; Lest, cracked with summer heats, the flooring flies, Or sinks, and through the crannies weeds arise. For sundry foes the rural realms surround : The field-mouse builds her garner under ground, For gathered grain the blind, laborious mole In winding mazes works her hidden hole. In hollow caverns vermin make abode, The hissing serpent, and the swelling toad : The corn-devouring weasel here abides, And the wise ant her wintry store provides.



DARNEL, BIRDS. First Ceres taught, the ground with grain to sow, And armed with iron shares the crooked plough ; When now Dodonian oaks no more supplied Their mast, and trees their forest fruit denied. Soon was his labor doubled to the swain, And blasting mildews blackened all his grain. Tough thistles choked the fields, and killed the corn, And an unthrifty crop of weeds was born. Then burs and brambles, an unbidden crew Of graceless guests, the unhappy fields subdue : And oats unblest and darnel domineers, And shoots its head above the shining ears. So that unless the land with daily care Is exercised, and with an iron war Of rakes and harrows the proud foes expelled, And birds with clamors frighted from the field ; Unless the boughs are lopped that shade the plain, And heaven invoked with vows for fruitful rain, On other crops you may with envy look, And shake for food the long-abandoned oak.

Mark well the flowering almonds in the wood ; If odorous blooms the bearing branches load, The glebe will answer to the sylvan reign, Great heats will follow, and large crops of grain But if a wood of leaves o'ershade the tree, Such and so barren will thy harvest be : In vain the hind shall vex the threshing-floor, For empty chaff and straw will be thy store.



Some steep their seed, and some in cauldrons boil With vigorous nitre, and with lees of oil, O'er gentle fires ; the exuberant juice to drain, And swell the flattering husks with fruitful grain. Yet is not the success for years assured, Though chosen is the seed, and fully cured ; Unless the peasant, with his annual pain, Renews his choice, and culls the largest grain.

Thus all below, whether by nature's curse,
Or fate's decree, degenerate still to worse.
So the boat's brawny crew the current stem,
And, slow advancing, struggle with the stream :
But if they slack their hands, or cease to strive,
Then down the flood with headlong haste they drive.

There, as they say, perpetual night is found,
In silence brooding on the unhappy ground :
Or when Aurora leaves our northern sphere,
She lights the downward heaven, and rises there.
And when on us she breathes the living light,
Red Vesper kindles there the tapers of the night.



From hence uncertain seasons we may know; Nor must the ploughman less observe the skies, And when to reap the grain, and when to sow: When the Kids, Dragon, and Arcturus rise,

Or when to fell the furzes ; when 't is meet
Than sailors homeward bent, who cut their way To spread the flying canvas for the fleet.
Through Helle's stormy straits, and oyster-breeding Observe what stars arise, or disappear ;
But when Astræa's Balance, hung on high,


And the four quarters of the rolling year. Betwixt the nights and days divides the sky, But when cold weather, and continued rain, Then yoke your oxen, sow your winter grain ; The laboriug husband in his house restrain ; Till cold December comes with driving rain.

Let him forecast his work with timely care, Linseed and fruitful poppy bury warm,

Which else is huddled, when the skies are fair : In a dry season, and prevent the storm.

Then let him mark the sheep, or whet the shining Sow beans and clover in a rotten soil,

Or hollow trees for boats, or number o'er (share, And millet, rising from your annual toil :

His sacks, or measure his increasing store ; When with his golden horns, in full career,

Or sharpen stakes, or head the forks, or twine The Bull beats down the barriers of the year ;

The sallow twigs to tie the straggling vine ;
And Argos and the Dog forsake the northern sphere. Or wicker baskets weave, or air the corn,

Or grinded grain betwixt two marbles turn.

No laws, divine or human, can restrain
But if your care to wheat alone extend,

From necessary works the laboring swain.
Let Maia with her sisters first descend,
And the bright Gnosian diadem downward bend ;

Even holidays and feasts permission yield,
Before you trust in earth your future hope :

To float the meadows, or to fence the field, Or else expect a listless, lazy crop.

To fire the brambles, snare the birds, and steep Some swains have sown before, but most have found

In wholesome water-falls the woolly sheep. A husky harvest from the grudging ground.

And oft the drudging ass is driven, with toil, Vile vetches would you sow, or lentils lean,

To neighboring towns with apples and with oil : The growth of Egypt, or the kidney bean?

Returning late and laden home with gain Begin when the slow Wagoner descends ;

Of bartered pitch, and hand-mills for the grain. Nor cease your sowing till mid-winter ends.


The lucky days, in each revolving moon,

For labor choose : the fifth be sure to shun :
For this, through twelve bright signs Apollo guides
The year, and earth in several climes divides.

That gave the Furies and pale Pluto birth,
Five girdles bind the skies, the torrid zone

And armed against the skies the sons of earth. Glows with the passing and repassing sun.

With mountains piled on mountains, thrice they Far on the right and left, the extremes of heaven

To scale the steepy battlements of Jove : (strove To frosts and snows and bitter blasts are given.

And thrice his lightning and red thunder played, Betwixt the midst and these, the gods assigned

And their demolished works in ruin laid. Two habitable seats for human-kind :

The seventh is, next the tenth, the best to join And cross their limits cut a sloping way,

Young oxen to the yoke, and plant the vine. Which the twelve signs in beauteous order sway.

Then weavers stretch your stays upon the west : Two poles turn round the globe ; one seen to rise

The ninth is good for travel, bad for theft. O'er Scythian hills, and one in Libyan skies.

EVENING LABORS OF THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE. THE COCK. The first sublime in heaven, the last is whirled

Some works in dead of night are better done ; Below the regions of the nether world.

Or when the morning dew prevents the sun.

Parched meads and stubble mow, by Phoebe's light;

Which both require the coolness of the night ; Around our pole the spiry Dragon glides,

For moisture then abounds, and pearly rains
And like a winding stream the Bears divides ; Descend in silence to refresh the plains.
The less and greater, who, by fate's decree,

The wife and husband equally conspire,
Abhor to dive beneath the southern sea ;

To work by night, and rake the winter fire.



« AnteriorContinuar »