Imágenes de páginas


VOLSCI, DECII, MARII ; SCIPIO, CÆSAR. The inhabitants themselves their country grace ; Hence rose the Marsian and Sabellian race : Strong-limbed and stout, and to the wars inclined. And hard Ligurians, a laborious kind, And Volscians, armed with iron-headed darts. Besides an offspring of undaunted hearts, The Decii, Marii ; great Camillus came From hence, and greater Scipio's double name : And mighty Cæsar, whose victorious arms To furthest Asia carry fierce alarms; Avert unwarlike Indians from his Rome ; Triumph abroad, secure our peace at home.


For ploughing is an imitative toil,
Resembling nature, in an easy soil.
No land for seed like this, no fields afford
So large an income to the village lord :
No toiling teams from harvest-labor come
So late at night, so heavy laden home.
The like of forest land is understood,
From whence the surly ploughman grubs the wood,
Which had for length of ages idle stood.
Then birds forsake the ruins of their seat, (forget.
And, flying from their nests, their callow young

The coarse, lean gravel on the mountain sides
Scarce dew rage for the bees provides :
Nor chalk nor crumbling stones, the food of snakes,
That work in hollow earth their winding tracks.
The soil exhaling clouds of subtile dews,
Imbibing moisture which with ease she spues :
Which rusts not iron, and whose mould is clean,
Well clothed with cheerful grass, and ever green,
Is good for olives and aspiring vines ;
Embracing husband elms, in amorous twines;
Is fit for feeding cattle, fit to sow,
And equal to the pasture and the plough.

Such is the soil of fat Campanian fields, (yields, Such large increase the land that joins Vesuvius And such a country could Acerra boast, Till Clanius overflowed the unhappy coast. USE OF LIGHT SOILS; OF HEAVY SOILS; HOW TO KNOW A


Hail, sweet Saturnian soil ! of fruitful grain Great parent, greater of illustrious men. For thee my tuneful accents will I raise, And treat of arts disclosed in ancient days : Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring, And old Ascræan verse in Roman cities sing. NATURE OF SOILS; THE SOILS FOR OLIVES ; FOR GRAPES.

The nature of their several soils now see,
Their strength, their color, their fertility :
And first for heath, and barren hilly ground,
Where meagre clay and flinty stones abound;
Where the poor soil all succor seems to want,
Yet this suffices the Palladian plant.
Undoubted signs of such a soil are found,
For here wild olive shoots o'erspread the ground,
And heaps of berries strew the fields around.
But where the soil, with fattening moisture filled,
Is clothed with grass, and fruitful to be tilled :
Such as in cheerful vales we view from high ;
Which dripping rocks with rolling streams supply,
And feed with ooze ; where rising hillocks run
In length, and open to the southern sun ;
Where fern succeeds, ungrateful to the plough,
That gentle ground to generous grapes allow.
Strong stocks of vines it will in time produce,
And overflow the vats with friendly juice ;
Such as our priests in golden goblets pour
To gods, the givers of the cheerful hour,
Then when the bloated Thuscan blows his horn,
And reeking entrails are in chargers borne.

If herds, or fleecy flocks, be more thy care,
Or goats that graze the field, and burn it bare ;
Then seek Tarentum's lawns, and furthest coast,
Or such a field as hapless Mantua lost :
Where silver swans sail down the watery road,
And graze the floating herbage of the flood.
There crystal streams perpetual tenor keep,
Nor food nor springs are wanting to thy sheep.
For what the day devours, the nightly dew
Shall to the morn in pearly drops renew.

Fat crumbling earth is fitter for the plough,
Putrid and loose above, and black below:

I teach thee next the differing soils to know ;
The light for vines, the heavier for the plough.
Choose first a place for such a purpose fit,
There dig the solid earth, and sink a pit :
Next fill the hole with its own earth again,
And trample with thy feet, and tread it in ;
Then if it rise not to the former height
Of superfice, conclude that soil is light :
A proper ground for pasturage and vines.
But if the sullen earth, so pressed, repines
Within its native mansion to retire,
And stays without, a heap of heavy mire ;
'T is good for arable, a glebe that asks
Tough teams of oxen, and laborious tasks.

Salt earth and bitter are not fit to sow,
Nor will be tamed or mended by the plough.
Sweet grapes degen’rate there, and fruits declined
From their first flav'rous taste renounce their kind.
This truth by sure experiment is tried :
For first an osier colander provide
Of twigs thick wrought (such toiling peasants twine,
When thro' strait passages they strain their wine);
In this close vessel place that earth accursed,
But filled brimfull with wholesome water first :
Then run it through, the drops will rope around,
And by the bitter taste disclose the ground.

The fatter earth by handling we may find,
With ease distinguished from the meagre kind :

Poor soil will crumble into dust, the rich
Will to the fingers cleave like clammy pitch :
Moist earth produces corn and grass, but both
Too rank and too luxuriant in their growth.
Let not my land so large a promise boast,
Lest the lank ears in length of stem be lost.
The heavier earth is by her weight betrayed,
The lighter in the poising hand is weighed :
*T is easy to distinguish by the sight
The color of the soil, and black from white.
But the cold ground is difficult to know,
Yet this the plants that prosper there will show ;
Black ivy, pitch trees, and the baleful yew.


These rules considered well, with early care The vineyard destined for thy vines prepare : But long before the planting dig the ground With furrows deep, that cast a rising mound : The clods, exposed to winter winds, will bake ; For putrid earth will best in vineyards take, And hoary frosts, after the painful toil Of delving hinds, will rot the mellow soil.


Some peasants, not t' omit the nicest care, Of the same soil their nursery prepare With that of their plantation ; lest the tree, Translated, should not with the soil agree. Beside, to plant it as it was, they mark The heaven's four quarters on the tender bark ; And to the north or south restore the side Which at their birth did heat or cold abide. So strong is custom, such effects can use In tender souls of pliant plants produce. PROPER DISTANCE FOR VINE-STOCKS; COMPARED TO A

MARSHALLED ARMY. Choose next a province for thy vineyard's reign, On hills above, or in the lowly plain : If fertile fields or valleys be thy choice, Plant thick, for bounteous Bacchus will rejoice In close plantations there. But if the vine On rising ground be placed, or hills supine, Extend thy loose battalions largely wide, Opening thy ranks and files on either side ; But marshalled all in order as they stand, And let no soldier straggle from his band. As legions in the field their front display, To try the fortune of some doubtful day, And move to meet their foes with sober pace, Strict to their figure, though in wider space ; Before the battle joins ; while from afar The field yet glitters with the pomp of war, And equal Mars, like an impartial lord, Leaves all to fortune, and the dint of sword ; So let thy vines in intervals be set, But not their rural discipline forget : Indulge their width, and add a roomy space, That their extremest lines may scarce embrace : Nor this alone t' indulge a vain delight, And make a pleasing prospect for the sight :

But for the ground itself, this only way
Can equal vigor to the plants convey ; [display.
Which crowded, want the room their branches to

How deep they must be planted, wouldst thou
In shallow furrows vines securely grow.

[know? Not so the rest of plants ; for Jove's own tree, That holds the woods in awful sovereignty, Requires a depth of lodging in the ground; And, next the lower skies, a bed profound : Iligh as his topmost boughs to heaven ascend, So low his roots to hell's dominion tend. Therefore, nor winds, nor winter's rage, o'erthrows His bulky body, but unmoved he grows; For length of ages lasts his happy reign, And lives of mortal men contend in vain. Full in the midst of his own strength he stands, Stretching his brawny arms, and leafy hands; His shade protects the plains, his head the hills


EFFECTS. The hurtful hazel in thy vineyard shun ; Nor plant it to receive the setting sun : Nor break the topmost branches from the tree ; Nor prune, with blunted knife, the progeny. Root up wild olives from thy labored lands : For sparkling fire, from hinds' unwary hands, Is often scattered o'er their unctuous rinds, And after spread abroad by raging winds. For first the smouldering fame the trunk receives, Ascending thence, it crackles in the leaves ; At length victorious to the top aspires, Involving all the wood in smoky fires : But most, when driven by winds, the flaming storm of the long files destroys the beauteous form. In ashes then th' unbappy vineyard lies, Nor will the blasted plants from ruin rise ; Nor will the withered stock be green again, (plain. But the wild olive shoots, and shades th' ungrateful

TIMES FOR PLOUGHING. Bo not seduced with wisdom's empty shows, To stir the peaceful ground when Boreas blows. When winter frosts constrain the field with cold, The fainty root can take no steady hold. But when the golden Spring reveals the year, And the white bird returns, whom serpents fear ; That season deem the best to plant thy vines : Next that, is when autumnal warmth declines ; Ere heat is quite decayed, or cold begun, Or Capricorn admits the winter sun. REVIVIFYING ENERGIES OF SPRING; BIRDS, BEASTS, PLANTS.

The Spring adorns the woods, renews the leaves ; The womb of earth the genial seed receives. For then almighty Jove descends, and pours Into his buxom bride his fruitful showers ; And mixing his large limbs with hers, he feeds Her births with kindly juice, and fosters teeming



Then joyous birds frequent the lonely grove,
And beasts, by nature stung, renew their love.
Then fields the blades of buried corn disclose,
And while the balmy western spirit blows,
Earth to the breath her bosom dares expose.
With kindly moisture then the plants abound,
The grass securely springs above the ground;
The tender twig shoots upward to the skies,
And on the faith of the new sun relies.
The swerving vines on the tall elms prevail,
Unhurt by southern showers or northern bail.
They spread their gems the genial warmth to share,
And boldly trust their buds in open air.

But in their tender nonage, while they spread Their springing leaves, and lift their infant head, And upward while they shoot in open air, Indulge their childhood, and the nursling spare. Nor exercise thy rage on new-born lise, But let thy hand supply the pruning-knife ; And crop luxuriant stragglers, nor be loth To strip the branches of their leafy growth : But when the rooted vines, with steady hold, Can clasp their elms, then, husbandman, be bold To lop the disobedient boughs, that strayed Beyond their ranks : let crooked steel invade The lawless troops, which disciplino disclaim, And their superfluous growth with rigor tame.

THE CREATION IN SPRING; AN ACCOUNT OF IT. In this soft season (let me dare to sing) The world was hatched by heaven's imperial King : In prime of all the year, and holy-days of Spring. Then did the new creation first appear ; Nor other was the tenor of the year : When laughing heaven did the great birth attend, And eastern winds their wintry breath suspend : Then sheep first saw the sun in open fields ; And savage beasts were sent to stock the wilds : And golden stars flew up to light the skies, And man's relentless race from stony quarries rise. Nor could the tender new creation bear Th’excessive heats or coldness of the year : But, chilled by Winter, or by Summer fired, The middle temper of the Spring required. When warmth and moisture did at once abound, And heaven's indulgence brooded on the ground.

PROTECT VINES AGAINST CATTLE, COATS, ETC. Next, fenced with hedges and deep ditches round, Exclude the encroaching cattle from thy ground, While yet the tender germs but just appear, Unable to sustain th' uncertain year ; Whose leaves are not alone foul Winter's prey, But oft by summer suns are scorched away ; And, worse than both, become th' unworthy browse Of buffaloes, salt goats, and hungry cows. For not December's frost, that burns the boughs, Nor dog-days' parching heat, that splits the rocks, Are balf so harmful as the greedy flocks ; (stocks. Their venomed bite, and scars indented on the




For what remains, in depth of earth secure Thy covered plants, and dung with hot manure ; And shells and gravel in the grounds enclose; For through their hollow chinks the water flows : Which, thus imbibed, returns in misty dews, And, steaming up, the rising plant renews. Some husbandmen, of late, have found the way A hilly heap of stones above to lay, And press the plants with sherds of potter's clay. This fence against immoderate rains they found : Or when the dog-star cleaves the thirsty ground.

For this the malefactor goat was laid On Bacchus' altar, and his forfeit paid. At Athens thus old comedy began, When round the streets the reeling actors ran; In country villages, and crossing ways, Contending for the prizes of their plays : And glad with Bacchus, on the grassy soil, Leapt o'er the skins of goats besmeared with oil. Thus Roman youth, derived from ruined Troy, In rude Saturnian rhymes express their joy : With taunts and laughter loud, their audience please, Deformed with vizards, cut from barks of trees : In jolly hymns they praise the god of wine, Whose earthen images adorn the pine ; And there are hung on high, in honor of the vine : A madness so devout the vineyard fills, In hollow valleys and on rising hills ; On whate'er side he turns his honest face, (grace. And dances in the wind, those fields are in his To Bacchus therefore let us tune our lays, And in our mother-tongue resound his praiso. Thin cakes in chargers, and a guilty goat, Dragged by the horns, be to his altars brought ; Whose offered entrails shall his crime reproach, And drip their fatness from the hazel broach.



Be mindful, when thou hast entombed the shoot, With store of earth around to feed the root ; With iron teeth of rakes, and prongs, to move The crusted earth, and loosen it above. Then exercise thy sturdy steers to plough Betwixt thy vines, and teach the feeble row To mount on reeds, and wands, and, upward led, On ashen poles to raise their forky head. On these new crutches let them learn to walk, Till swerving upwards, with a stronger stalk, They brave the winds, and, clinging to their guide, On tops of elms at length triumphant ride.

THE DRESSING OF VINES ; MELLOWING THE SOIL. To dress thy vines new labor is required, Nor must the painful husbandman be tired :


vade ;

For thrice, at least, in compass of the year,

Vile shrubs are shorn for browse : the towering Thy vineyard must employ the sturdy steer, Of unctuous trees are torches for the night. [height To turn the glebe; besides thy daily pain

And shall we doubt (indulging easy sloth) To break the clods, and make the surface plain : To sow, to set; and to reform their growth? Tunload the branches, or the leaves to thin, To leave the lofty plants ; the lowly kind That suck the vital moisture of the vine.

Are for the shepherd, or the sheep, designed. Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain,

Ev’n humble broom and osiers have their use, And the year rolls within itself again.

And shade for sleep and food for flocks produce ; Ev’n in the lowest months, when storms have shed | Hedges for corn, and honey for the bees : From vines the hairy honors of their head,

Besides the pleasing prospect of the trees. Not then the drudging hind his labor ends,

USES OF THE CEDAR, PINE, AND OTHER TREES ; CYTORUS, But to the coming year his care extends :

NARYX, CAUCASUS. Ev'n then the naked vine he persecutes ;

How goodly looks Cytorus, ever green His pruning-knife at once reforms and cuts. With boxen groves, with what delight are seen

Narycian woods of pitch, whose gloomy shade VIXE-DRESSING; VINTAGE ; PRUNING; WEEDING ; LARGE AND

Seems for retreat of heavenly muses made ! Be first to dig the ground, be first to burn

But much more pleasing are those fields to see, The branches lopped, and first the props return

That need not ploughs nor human industry. Into thy house, that bore the burdened vines ;

Ev'n cold Caucasian rocks with trees are spread, But last to reap the vintage of thy wines.

And wear green forests on their hilly head. Twice in the year luxuriant leaves o'ershade Though bending from the blast of eastern storms, Th' encumbered vine; rough brambles twice in. Though shent their leaves, and shattered are their

arms; Hard labor both ! commend the large excess

Yet heaven their various plants for use designs : Of spacious vineyards ; cultivate the less.

For houses cedars, and for shipping pines. Besides, in woods the shrubs of prickly thorn, USES OF CYPRESS, WILLOWS, ELMS, MYRTLE, CORNEL, YEW, Sallows, and reeds, on banks of rivers born,

BOX, LINDEN, ALDER, ETC. - THE CENTAURS. Remain to cut ; for vineyards useful found,

Cypress provides for spokes and wheels of wains : To stay thy vines, and fence thy fruitful ground. And all for keels of ships, that scour the wat’ry


Willows in twigs are fruitful, elms in leaves ; Nor when thy tender trees at length are bound ;

The war from stubborn myrtles shafts receives : When peaceful vines from pruning-hooks are free,

From cornels javelins ; the tougher yew When husbands have surveyed the last degree,

Receives the bending figure of a bow. And utmost files of plants, and ordered ev'ry tree ;

Nor box, nor limes, without their use are made, Ev’n when they sing at ease in full content,

Smooth grained, and proper for the turner's trade ; Insulting o'er the toi they underwent ;

Which curious hands may carve, and steel with Yet still they find a future task remain ;

ease invade. To turn the soil, and break the clods again :

Light alder stems the Po's impetuous tide, And, after all, their joys are unsincere,

And bees in hollow oaks their honey hide. While falling rains on ripening grapes they fear.

Now balance, with these gifts, the fumy joys

Of wine, attended with eternal noise.
Quite opposite to these are olives found,

Wine urged to lawless lust the Centaur's train, No dressing they require ; and dread no wound ;

Through wine they quarrelled, and through wino

were slain. No rakes nor harrows need, but, fixed below, Rejoice in open air, and unconcern'dly grow.

CONGRATULATION TO FARMERS; THEIR VARIOUS HAPPINESS The soil itself due nourishment supplies :

DESCRIBED IN CONTRAST WITH THE LUXURY OF PALACES ; Plough but the furrows, and the fruits arise :

O happy, if he knew his happy state ! Content with small endeavors till they spring,

The swain, who, free from business and debate, Soft peace they figure, and sweet plenty bring :

Receives his easy food from Nature's hand, Then olives plant, and hymns to Pallas sing.

And just returns of cultivated land ! Thus apple-trees, whose trunks are strong to bear

No palace, with a lofty gate, he wants Their spreading boughs, exert themselves in air ;

T admit the tides of early visitants, Want no supply, but stand secure alone,

With eager eyes devouring, as they pass, Nor trusting foreign forces, but their own ; [groan.

The breathing figures of Corinthian brass.
Till with the ruddy freight the bending branches

No statues threaten, from high pedestals ;

No Persian arras hides his homely walls,
Thus trees of nature, and each common bush, With antic vests; which, through their shady fold,
Uncultivated thrive, and with red berries blush. Betray the streaks of ill-dissembled gold.


He boasts no wool, whose native white is dyed
With purple poison of Assyrian pride.
No costly drugs of Araby defile,
With foreign scents, the sweetness of his oil.
But easy quiet, a secure retreat,
A harmless life that knows not how to cheat,
With home-bred plenty the rich owner bless,
And rural pleasures crown his bappiness.
Unvexed with quarrels, undisturbed with noise,
The country king his peaceful realm enjoys :
Cool grots, and living lakes, the flowery pride
Of meads, and streams, that through the valley
And shady groves that easy sleep invite, [glide,
And, after toilsome days, a soft repose at night.
Wild beasts of nature in his woods abound;
And youth, of labor patient, plough the ground,
Inured to hardship, and to homely fare.
Nor venerable age is wanting there,
In great examples to the youthful train :
Nor are the gods adored with rites profane.
From hence Astræa took her flight, and here
The prints of her departing steps appear.

Ye sacred Muses, with whose beauty fired,
My soul is ravished, and my brain inspired ;
Whose priest I am, whose holy fillets wear ;
Would you your poet's first petition hear ;
Give me the ways of wandering stars to know :
The depths of heaven above, and earth below.
Teach me the various labors of the moon,
And whence proceed the eclipses of the sun.
Why flowing tides prevail upon the main,
And in what dark recess they shrink again.
What shakes the solid earth, what cause delays
The summer nights, and shortens winter days.
But if my heavy blood restrain the flight
Of iny free soul, aspiring to the height
Of nature, and unclouded fields of light;
My next desire is, void of care and strife,
To lead a soft, secure, inglorious life.
A country cottage near a crystal flood,
A winding valley, and a lofty wood ;
Some god conduct me to the sacred shades,
Where bacchanals are sung by Spartan maids,
Or lift me high to Hæmus' hilly crown ;
Or in the plains of Tempe lay me down :
Or lead me to some solitary place,
And cover my retreat from human race.

Nor, when contending kindred tear the crown,
Will set up one, or pull another down.

Without concern he hears, but hears from far,
Of tumults, and dissents, and distant war :
Nor with a superstitious fear is awed,
For what befalls at home, or what abroad.
Nor envies he the rich their heapy store,
Nor his own peace disturbs with pity for the poor.
He feeds on fruits, which, of their own accord,
The willing ground and laden trees afford.

COURTIERS, DEMAGOGUKS, MISERS, MONEY-GETTERS. From his loved home no lucre him can draw; The senate's mad decrees he never saw ; Nor heard, at bawling bars, corrupted law. Some to the seas, and some to camps resort, And some with impudence invade the court. In foreign countries others seek renown; With wars and taxes others waste their own, And houses burn, and household gods deface, To drink in bowls which glittering gems enchase : To loll on couches, rich with citron steds, And lay their guilty limbs in Tyrian beds. This wretch in earth entombs his golden ore, Hovering and brooding on his buried store. Some patriot fools to popular praise aspire, Of public speeches, which worse fools admire ; While from both benches, with redoubled sounds, Th' applause of lords and commoners abounds. Some through ambition, or through thirst of gold, Have slain their brothers, or their country sold ; And, leaving their sweet homes, in exile run To lands that lie beneath another sun.


The peasant, innocent of all these ills, With crooked ploughs the fertile fallows tills ; And the round year with daily labor fills. From hence the country markets are supplied : Enough remains for household charge beside ; His wife and tender children to sustain, And gratefully to feed his dumb, deserving train. Nor cease his labors till the yellow field A full return of bearded harvest yield ; A crop so plenteous, as the land to load, [abroad. O’ercome the crowded barns, and lodge on ricks THE PLEASURES OF EACH OF THE SEASONS. - RURAL

FELICITY. Thus every several season is employed : Some spent in toil, and some in ease enjoyed. The yeaning ewes prevent the springing year ; The laded boughs their fruits in Autumn bear : 'T is then the vine her liquid harvest yields, Baked in the sunshine of ascending fields. The Winter comes, and then the falling mast For greedy swine provides a full repast. Then olives, ground in mills, their fatness boast, And winter fruits are mellowed by the frost. His cares are eased with intervals of bliss ; His little children, climbing for a kiss,


Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws, Through known effects can trace the secret cause. His mind possessing in a quiet state, Fearless of fortune, and resigned to fate. And happy too is he, who decks the bowers Of sylvans, and adores the rural powers : Whose mind, unmoved, the bribes of courts can see; Their glittering baits, and purple slavery. Nor hopes the people's ise, nor fears their frown,

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