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If a ewe-sheep for fee the muses gain,
Thou, shepherd I shalt a stall-fed lamb obtain ;
But if it rather please the tuneful Nine
To take the lamb, the ewe shall then be thine.
O wilt thou, for the nymph's sake, goatherd ! fill
Thy pipe with music on this sloping hill,
Where grow the tamarisks ? wilt sit, dear friend,
And play for me, while I thy goats attend?
We must not pipe at noon in any case ;
For then Pan rests him, wearied from the chase.
Him quick to wrath we fear, as us befits ;
On his keen nostril sharp gall ever sits.
But thou — to thee the griefs of Daphnis known,
And the first skill in pastoral song thine own
Come to yon elm, into whose shelter deep
Afront Priapus and the Naiads peep-
Where the thick oaks stand round the shepherd's seat :
There, sitting with me in that cool retreat,
If thou wilt sing, as when thou didst contest
With Libyan Chromis which could sing the best,
Thine, Thyrsis, this twin-bearing goat shall be, waza
That fills two milk-pails thrice a-day for me;
And this deep ivy-cup with sweetest wax
Bedewed, twin-eared, that of the graver smacks.
Around its lips lush ivy twines on high,
Sprinkled with drops of bright cassidony;
And as the curling ivy spreads around,
On every curl the saffron fruit is found.
With flowing robe and Lydian head-dress on,
Within a woman to the life is done-
An exquisite design! on either side
Two men with flowing locks each other chide,
By turns contending for the woman's love,
But not a whit her mind their pleadings move.
One while she gives to this a glance and smile,
And turns and smiles on that another while.
But neither any certain favour gains-
Only their eyes are swollen for their pains.
Hard by, a rugged rock and fisher old,
Who drags a mighty net, and seems to hold
Preparing for the cast: he stands to sight,
A fisher putting forth his utmost might.
A youth's strength in the gray-head seems to dwell,
So much the sinews of his neck outswell.
And near that old man with his sea-tanned hue,
With purple grapes a vineyard shines to view.
A little boy sits by the thorn-hedge trim,
To watch the grapes -two foxes watching him :
One thro' the ranges of the vines proceeds,
And on the hanging vintage slyly feeds;
The other plots and vows his scrip to search,
And for his breakfast leave him in the lurch.
Meanwhile he twines and to a rush fits well
A locust trap with stalks of asphodel;
And twines away with such absorbing glee,
Of scrip or vines he never thinks --not he !
The juicy curled acanthus hovers round
Th’ Æolian cup - when seen a marvel found.
Hither a Calydonian skipper brought it,
For a great cheese-cake and a goat I bought it ;
Untouched by lip - this cup shall be thy hire,
If thou wilt sing that song of sweet desire.
I envy not : begin ! the strain outpour;
'Twill not be thine on dim Oblivion's shore.
Begin, dear Muses ! the bucolic strain :
For Thyrsis sings, your own Ætneän swain.
Where were ye, Nymphs! when Daphnis pined away,
Where thro' his Tempe Peneus loves to stray,
Or Pindus lifts himself? Ye were not here-
Where broad Anapus flows or Acis clear,
Or where tall Ætna looks out on the main.
Begin, dear Muses ! the bucolic strain.
R. From out the mountain-lair the lions growled, Wailing his death-the wolves and jackals howled.
Begin, dear Muses ! the bucolic strain
Around him in a long and mournful train,
Sad-faced, a number of the horned kind,
Heifers, bulls, cows, and calves lamenting pined.
First Hermes from the mountain came and said, Juan “Daphnis, by whom art thou disquieted ? For whom dost thou endure so fierce a flame ?"
Then cowherds, goatherds, shepherds thronging came,
And asked what ailed him. E'en Priapus went,
And said: “Sad Daphnis, why this languishment ?
In every grove, by fountains, far and near,
Thee the loved girl is seeking everywhere.
Ah, foolish lover! to thyself unkind,
Miscalled a cowherd, with a goatherd's mind!
The goatherd when he sees his goats at play,
Envies their wanton sport and pines away.
And thou at sight of virgins, when they smile,
Dost look with longing eyes and pine the while,
Because with them the dance thou dost not lead."
No word he answered, but his grief did feed, And brought to end his love, that held him fast, And only ended with his life at last.
Then Cypris came-the queen of soft desire,
Smiling in secret, but pretending ire,
And said: "To conquer love did Daphnis boast,
But, Daphnis is not love now uppermost?"
Her answered he: "Thou cruel sorrow-feeder!
Curst Cypris! Mankind's hateful mischief-breeder!
'Tis plain my sun is set: but I shall show
The blight of love in Hades' house below.
'Where Cypris kiss'd a cowherd'—men will speak Hasten to Ida! thine Anchises seek.
Around their hives swarmed bees are humming here,
Here the low galingale― thick oaks are there.