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He sharpens torches in the glimmering room :
SUMMER EMPLOYMENTS AND WINTER PLEASCRES. - SAILORS
But in warm weather, when the skies are clear, By daylight reap the product of the year : And in the sun your golden grain display, And thresh it out, and winnow it by day. Plough naked, swain, and naked sow the land, For lazy Winter numbs the laboring hand. In genial Winter swains enjoy their store, Forget their hardships, and recruit for more. The farmer to full bowls invites his friends, And what he got with pains, with pleasure spends. So sailors, when escaped from stormy seas, First crown their vessels, then indulge their ease.
The dikes are filled, and with a roaring sound
PROTECTIVE RELIGIOUS RITES TO CERES IN SPRING AND
WINTER OUT-DOOR WORK.
Yet that's the proper time to thresh the wood For mast of oak, your father's homely food ; To gather laurel-berries, and the spoil Of bloody myrtles, and to press your oil : For stalking cranes to set the guileful snare, To enclose the stags in toils, and hunt the hare : With Balearic slings, or Gnossian bow, To persecute from far the flying doe, Then, when the fleecy skies new-clothe the wood, And cakes of rustling ice come rolling down the
In fear of this, observe the starry signs ; Where Saturn houses, and where Hermes joins. But first to heaven thy due devotions pay, And annual gifts on Ceres' altars lay. When Winter's rage abates, when cheerful hours Awake the Spring, and Spring awakes the flowers, On the green turf thy careless limbs display, And celebrate the Mighty Mother's day. For then the hills with pleasing shades are crowned, And sleeps are sweeter on the silken ground : With milder beams the sun securely shines ; Fat are the lambs, and luscious are the wines. Let every swain adore her power divine, And milk and honey mix with sparkling wine : Let all the choir of clowns attend the show, In long processions, shouting as they go ; Invoking her to bless their yearly stores, Inviting plenty to their crowded floors. Thus in the Spring, and thus in Summer's heat, Before the sickles touch the ripening wheat, On Ceres call ; and let the laboring hind With oaken wreaths his hollow temples bind : On Ceres let him call, and Ceres praise, With uncouth dances, and with country lays.
FARMER'S WORK FOR AUTUMN AND SPRING ; RAINS. Now sing we stormy stars, when Autumn weighs The year, and adds to nights, and shortens days ; And suns declining shine with feeble rays : What cares must then attend the toiling swain ; Or when the lowering Spring, with lavish rain, Beats down the slender stem and bearded grain : While yet the head is green, or, lightly swelled With milky moisture, overlooks the field.
SIGNS OF HEAT, RAIN, WIND, ETC. - THE MOON ; SIGNS OF
A COMING STORM, THE SEA, THE WOODS, CORMORANTS, COOTS, HERONS, SHOOTING-STARS, CHAFF, THUNDER FROM THE NORTH.
TEMPEST IN HARVEST ; FLOODS ; THUNDER AND LIGHTNING ;
FRIGHT OF ANIMALS AND MEN ; NOISES. Ev'n when the farmer, now secure of fear, Sends in the swains to spoil the finished year : Er'n while the reaper fills his greedy hands, And binds the golden sheaves in brittle bands : Ost have I seen a sudden storm arise, From all the warring winds that sweep the skies : The heavy harvest from the root is torn, And whirled aloft the lighter stubble borne ; With such a force the flying rack is driven, And such a winter wears the face of heaven : And oft whole sheets descend of sluicy rain, Sucked by the spongy clouds from off the main : The lofty skies at once come pouring down, The promised crop and golden labors drown.
And that by certain signs we may presage Of heats and rains, and wind's impetuous rage, The Sovereign of the heavens has set on high The moon, to mark the changes of the sky : [swain When southern blasts should cease, and when the Should near their folds his feeding flocks restrain. For ere the rising winds begin to roar, The working seas advance to wash the shore : Soft whispers run along the leafy woods, And mountains whistle to the murmuring floods : Ev'n then the doubtful billows scarce abstain From the tossed vessel on the troubled main :
When crying cormorants forsake the sea,
While dared below the guilty Scylla lies.
WEATHER SIGNS BY THE MOON. Observe the daily circle of the sun, And the short year of each revolving moon : By them thou shalt foresee the following day ; Nor shall a starry night thy hopes betray. When first the moon appears, if then she shrouds Her silver crescent, tipped with sable clouds, Conclude she bodes a tempest on the main, And brews for fields impetuous floods of rain. Or if her face with fiery flushing glow, Expect the rattling winds aloft to blow. But four nights old (for that's the surest sign), With sharpened horns if glorious then she shine ; Next day, nor only that, but all the moon, Till her revolving race be wholly run, Are void of tempests, both by land and sea, And sailors in the port their promised vows shall pay.
SIGNS OF WET WEATHER ; CRANES, COWS, SWALLOWS, FROGS,
ANTS, ROOKS, SWANS, CROWS, LAMPS. Wet weather seldom hurts the most unwise, So plain the signs, such prophets are the skies : The wary crane foresees it first, and sails Above the storm, and leaves the lowly vales : The cow looks up, and from afar can find The change of heaven, and snuffs it in the wind. The swallow skims the river's watery face ; The frogs renew the croaks of their loquacious race. The careful ant her secret cell forsakes, And drags her eggs along the narrow tracks. At either horn the rainbow drinks the flood; Huge flocks of rising rooks forsake their food, And, crying, seek the shelter of the wood. Besides the several sorts of watery fowls, That swim the seas, or haunt the standing pools : The swans that sail along the silver flood ; Dive without stretching necks to search their food, Then lave their backs with sprinkling dews in vain, And stem the stream to meet the promised rain. The crow with clamorous cries the shower demands, And single stalks along the desert sands. The nightly virgin, while her wheel she plies, Foresees the storm impending in the skies, When sparkling lamps their sputtering light advance, And in the sockets oily bubbles dance.
WEATHER SIGNS BY THE RISING SUX.
SIGNS OF FAIR WEATHER IN THE STARS ; GOSSAMER, SOWS,
OWLS, NISUS AND SCYLLA (HAWK AND LARK), RAVENS; A THEORY
Then, after showers, 't is easy to descry Returning suns, and a serener sky : The stars shine smarter, and the moon adorns, As with unborrowed beams, her sharpened horns. The filmny gossamer now flits no more, Nor halcyons bask on the short, sunny shore : Their litter is not tossed by sows unclean ; But a blue, droughty mist descends upon the plain. And owls, that mark the setting sun, declare A star-light evening, and a morning fair. Towering aloft, avenging Nisus flies,
Above the rest, the sun, who never lies, Foretells the change of weather in the skies : For if he rise unwilling to his race, Clouds on his brow, and spots upon his face ; Or if through mists he shoots his sullen beams, Frugal of light, in loose and straggling streams : Suspect a drizzling day, with southern rain, Fatal to fruits, and flocks, and promised grain. Or if Aurora, with half-opened eyes, And a pale sickly cheek, salute the skies ; How shall the vine, with tender leaves, defend Her teeming clusters, when the storms descend? When ridgy roofs and tiles can scarce avail To bar the ruin of the rattling hail.
WEATHER SIGNS BY THE SETTING SU'Y.
But, more than all, the setting sun survey, When down the steep of heaven he drives the day. For oft we find him finishing his race, With various colors erring on his face ;
With Roman bodies, and just Heaven thought good
ADULATION OF AUGUSTUS AS A GOD.
Ye home-born deities, of mortal birth ! Thou, father Romulus, and mother Earth, Goddess unmoved! whose guardian arms extend O'er Tuscan Tiber's course, and Roman towers defend; With youthful Cæsar your joint powers engage, Nor hinder him to save the sinking age. 0! let the blood, already spilt, atone For the past crimes of curst Laomedon ! [know, Heaven wants thee there, and long the gods, we Have grudged thee, Cæsar, to the world below : Where fraud and rapine right and wrong confound; Where impious arms from every part resound, And monstrous crimes in every shape are crowned.
If fiery red his glowing globe descends,
NOISES, SPECTRES, SWEATING IDOLS, ETC.
Nor was the fact foretold by him alone :
C.X3AR'S DEATH ; FLOODS, SLACGHTER OF ROMANS AT PHARSALES AND PHILIPPI, IN MACEDONIA ; PLOUGHING UP OF BATTLE RELICS.
Then, rising in his might, the king of floods Rushed through the forests, tore the lofty woods ; And rolling onward, with a sweepy sway, Bore houses, herds, and laboring hinds, away. Blood sprang from wells, wolves howled in towns by And boding victims did the priests affright. [night, Such peals of thunder never poured from high, Nor forky lightnings flashed from such a sullen sky. Red meteors ran across the ethereal space ; Stars disappeared, and comets took their place. For this the Emathian plains once more were strewed
THE HORRORS OF WAR; IT DRAGS NATIONS TO RUIN. The peaceful peasant to the wars is prest; The fields lie fallow in inglorious rest : The plain no pasture to the flock affords, The crooked scythes are straightened into swords : And there Euphrates her soft offspring arms, And here the Rhine rebellows with alarms : The neighboring cities range on several sides, Perfidious Mars long plighted leagues divides, And o'er the wasted world in triumph rides. So four fierce coursers, starting to the race, Scour through the plain, and lengthen every pace : Nor reins, nor curbs, nor threatening cries, they fear, But force along the trembling charioteer.
ARGUMENT. The subject of the following book is planting. In handling
of which argument the poet shows all the different methods of raising trees; describes their variety ; and gives rules for the management of each in particular. He then points out the soils in which the several plants thrive best ; and thence takes occasion to run out into the praises of Italy. After which he gives some directions for discovering the nature of every soil ; prescribes rules for dressing vines, olives, etc. And concludes the Georgic with a panegyric on a country life.
THE SUBJECT. -THE VINE, TREES, THE OLIVE. Thus far of tillage, and of heavenly signs ; Now sing, my muse, the growth of generous vines : The shady groves, the woodland progeny, And the slow product of Minerva's tree.
INVOCATION TO BACCHUS.
Great father Bacchus ! to my song repair ; For clustering grapes are thy peculiar care : For thee large bunches load the bending vine, And the last blessings of the year are thine ;
To thee his joys the jolly Autumn owes,
OAK, ELM, CHERRY, BAYS.
MODES OF PROPAGATING PLANTS AND TREES.
These ways of planting Nature did ordain, For trees and shrubs, and all the sylvan reign. Others there are, by late experience found : Some cut the shoots, and plant in furrowed ground : Some cover rooted stalks in deeper mould : Some cloven stakes, and (wondrous to behold) Their sharpened ends in earth their footing place, And the dry poles produce a living race. Some bow their vines, which, buried in the plain, Their tops in distant arches rise again. Others no root require, the lab'rer cuts Young slips, and in the soil securely puts. Even stumps of olives, bared of leaves, and dead, Revive, and oft redeem their withered head. 'T is usual now an inmate graff to see With insolence invade a foreign tree : Thus pears and quinces from the crab-tree come ; And thus the ruddy cornel bears the plum.
But steer my vessel with a steady hand,
ING; TRANSPLANTING ; WILD SEEDLINGS.
ARBETE, ETC. Much labor is required in trees, to tame Their wild disorder, and in ranks reclaim. Well must the ground be digged, and better dressed, New soil to make, and meliorate the rest. Old stakes of olive-trees in plants revive ; By the same methods Paphian myrtles live : But nobler vines by propagation thrive. From roots hard hazels, and from scions rise Tall ash and taller oak that mates the skies ; Palm, poplar, fir, descending from the steep Of hills, to try the dangers of the deep. The thin-leaved arbute bazel-graffs receives, And planes huge apples bear, that bore but leaves. Thus mastful beech the bristly chestnut bears, And the wild ash is white with blooming pears ; And greedy swine from grafted elms are fed With falling acorns, that on oaks are bred.
BUDDING, GRAFTING, INOCULATIOX, ETC. But various are the ways to change the state Of plants, to bud, to graff, t' inoculate. For where the tender rinds of trees disclose Their shooting gems, a swelling knot there grows ; Just in that space a narrow slit we make, Then other buds from bearing trees we take : Inserted thus, the wounded rind we close, In whose moist womb th' admitted infant grows. But when the smoother bole from knots is free, We make a deep incision in the tree ; And in the solid wood the slip enclose, The battening bastard shoots again and grows ; And in short space the laden boughs arise, With happy fruit advancing to the skies. The mother-plant admires the leaves unknown, Of trees, and apples not her own.
ADVANTAGES OF BOTANICAL KNOWLEDGE.
Then let the learned gardener mark with care The kinds of stocks, and what those kinds will bear; Explore the nature of each several treo ; And known, improve with artful industry ; And let no spot of idle earth be found, But cultivate the genius of the ground. For open Ismarus will Bacchus please ; Taburnus loves the shade of olive-trees.
ADDRESS TO MÆCENAS, VIRGIL'S PATROX. The virtues of the several soils I sing, Mæcenas, now thy needful succor bring ! 0, thou ! the better part of my renown, Inspire thy poet, and thy poem crown ; Embark with me while I new tracks explore, With flying sails and breezes from the shore : Not that my song, in such a scanty space, So large a subject fully can embrace : Not though I were supplied with iron lungs, A hundred mouths, filled with as many tongues :
VARIETIES OF WILLOWS, ELUS, OLIVES, APPLE-TREES, ETC. Whose height above the feathered arrow soars, Of vegetable woods are various kinds,
Shot from the toughest bow, and by the brawn And the same species are of sev'ral minds.
Of expert archers with vast vigor drawn. Lotes, willows, elms, have different forms allowed, Sharp-tasted citrons Median climes produce : So funeral cypress, rising like a shroud.
Bitter the rind, but generous is the juice : Fat olive-trees of sundry sorts appear,
A cordial fruit, a present antidote Of sundry shapes their unctuous berries bear. Against the direful stepdame's deadly draught : Radii long olives, Orchites round produce,
Who mixing wicked weeds with words impure, And bitter Pausia, pounded for the juice.
The fate of envied orphans would procure. Alcinous' orchard various apples bears :
Large is the plant, and like a laurel grows, Unlike are bergamots and pounder pears.
And, did it not a different scent disclose,
A laurel were : the fragrant flowers contemn VARIETIES OF THE VINE; ITALIAN, LESBIAN, THASIAN, MA
The stormy winds, tenacious of their stem.
With this the Medes to laboring age bequeath Nor our Italian vines produce the shape,
New lungs, and cure the sourness of the breath. Or taste, or flavor, of the Lesbian grape.
ITALY ; ITS CLIMATE AND PRODUCTS PREFERRED. The Thasian vines in richer soils abound;
But neither Median woods (a plenteous land), The Mareotic grow in barren ground.
Fair Ganges, Hermus rolling golden sand, The Psythian grape we dry : Lagæan juice [duce. Nor Bactria, nor the richer Indian fields, Will stamm'ring tongues and stagg’ring feet pro- Nor all the gummy stores Arabia yields ; Rath ripe are some, and some of later kind,
Nor any foreign earth of greater name, Of golden some, and some of purple rind.
Can with sweet Italy contend in fame. How shall I praise the Ræthean grape divine,
No bulls, whose nostrils breathe a living flame, Which yet contends not with Falernian wine !
Have turned our turf, no teeth of serpents here The Aminean many a consulship survives,
Were sown, an armed host and iron crop to bear. And longer than the Lydian vintage lives,
But fruitful vines, and the fat olives' freight, Or [of Phanæus high] of Chian growth :
And harvests heavy with their fruitful weight, But for large quantities and lasting both
Adorn our fields ; and on the cheerful green The less Argitis bears the prize away.
The grazing flocks and lowing herds are seen. The Rhodian, sacred to the solemn day,
The warrior horse here bred is taught to train : In second services is poured to Jove ;
There flows Clitumnus through the flowery plain ; And best accepted by the gods above.
Whose waves, for triumphs after prosperous war, Nor must Bumastus his old honors lose,
The victim ox, and snowy sheep, prepare. In length and largeness like the dugs of cows.
Perpetual spring our happy climate secs ; I pass the rest, whose every race and name,
Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the trees; And kinds, are less material to my theme.
And summer suns recede by slow degrees.
Or grows unknown, or is, when known, refused.
Nor in so vast a length our serpents glide,
THE CITIES, SEAS, LAKES, AND MINES OF ITALY LAUDED ; The sallow loves the watery ground, and low ;
LAKES COMO, GARDA, LUCRINTS, AVERSOS; PORT JULIUS. The marshes, alders ; Nature seems t' ordain
Next add our cities of illustrious name, The rocky cliff for the wild ash's reign ;
Their costly labor and stupendous frame : The baleful yew to northern blasts assigns ;
Our forts on steepy hills, that far below To shores the myrtles, and to mounts the vines.
See wanton streams in winding valleys flow. Regard th’ extremest cultivated coast,
Our two-fold seas, that, washing either side, From hot Arabia to the Scythian frost :
A rich recruit of foreign stores provide. All sorts of trees their several countries know; Our spacious lakes : thee, Larius, first ; and next Black ebon only will in India grow :
Benacus, with tempestuous billows vext. And od'rous frankincense on the Sabæan bough. Or shall I praise thy ports, or mention make Balm slowly trickles through the bleeding veins of the vast mound that binds the Lucrine lake : Of happy shrubs in Idumaan plains.
Or the disdainful sea, that, shut from thence, The green Egyptian thorn, for med’cine good, Roars round the structure, and invades the fence. With Ethiop's hoary trees and woolly wood, There, where secure the Julian waters glide, Let others tell ; and how the Seres spin
Or where Avernus' jaws admit the Tyrrhene tide. Their fleecy forests in a slender twine.
Our quarries, deep in earth, were famed of old With mighty trunks of trees on Indian shores, For veins of silver, and for ore of gold.