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MENALCAS.

Begin you first; if either Alcon's praise,
Or dying Phyllis, have inspired your lays:
If her you mourn, or Codrus you commend,
Begin; and Tityrus your flock shall tend.

MOPSUS.

Or shall I rather the sad verse repeat,
Which on the beech's bark I lately writ?
I writ, and sung betwixt. Now bring the swain
Whose voice you boast, and let him try the strain.

MENALCAS.

Such as the shrub to the tall olive shows,
Or the pale sallow to the blushing rose;
Such is his voice, if I can judge aright,
Compared to thine, in sweetness and in height.

MOPSUS.

No more, but sit and hear the promised lay:
The gloomy grotto makes a doubtful day.
The nymphs about the breathless body wait
Of Daphnis, and lament his cruel fate.

The trees and floods were witness to their tears:
At length the rumour reach'd his mother's ears.
The wretched parent, with a pious haste,
Came running, and his lifeless limbs embraced.
She sigh❜d, she sobb'd; and, furious with despair,
She rent her garments, and she tore her hair,
Accusing all the gods, and every star.

The swains forgot their sheep, nor near the brink
Of running waters brought their herds to drink.
The thirsty cattle, of themselves, abstain'd
From water, and their grassy fare disdain'd.

The death of Daphnis woods and hills deplore;
They cast the sound to Libya's desert shore;
The Libyan lions hear, and hearing roar.
Fierce tigers Daphnis taught the yoke to bear,
And first with curling ivy dress'd the spear.
Daphnis did rites to Bacchus first ordain,
And holy revels for his reeling train.

As vines the trees, as grapes the vines adorn,
As bulls the herds, and fields the yellow corn;
So bright a splendour, so divine a grace,
The glorious Daphnis cast on his illustrious race.
When envious Fate the godlike Daphnis took,
Our guardian gods the fields and plains forsook:
Pales no longer swell'd the teeming grain,
Nor Phoebus fed his oxen on the plain:
No fruitful crop the sickly fields return;
But oats and darnel choke the rising corn:
And where the vales with violets once were
crown'd,

Now knotty burrs and thorns disgrace the ground.
Come, shepherds, come, and strow with leaves

the plain :

Such funeral rites your Daphnis did ordain. With cypress boughs the crystal fountains hide, And softly let the running waters glide.

A lasting monument to Daphnis raise,

With this inscription to record his praise :

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Daphnis, the fields' delight, the shepherds' love, Renown'd on earth, and deified above;

Whose flock excell❜d the fairest on the plains, But less than he himself surpass'd the swains.'

MENALCAS.

O heavenly poet! such thy verse appears,
So sweet, so charming to my ravish'd ears,

As to the weary swain, with cares oppress'd,
Beneath the silvan shade, refreshing rest;
As to the feverish traveller, when first

He finds a crystal stream to quench his thirst.
In singing, as in piping, you excel;

And scarce your master could perform so well.
O fortunate young man! at least your lays
Are next to his, and claim the second praise.
Such as they are, my rural songs I join,
To raise our Daphnis to the powers divine;
For Daphnis was so good, to love whate'er was
mine.

MOPSUS.

How is my soul with such a promise raised!
For both the boy was worthy to be praised,
And Stimicon has often made me long
To hear, like him, so soft, so sweet a song.

MENALCAS.

Daphnis, the guest of heaven, with wondering eyes
Views, in the milky way, the starry skies,
And far beneath him, from the shining sphere,
Beholds the moving clouds, and rolling year.
For this, with cheerful cries the woods resound,
The purple spring arrays the various ground,
The nymphs and shepherds dance, and Pan
himself is crown'd.

The wolf no longer prowls for nightly spoils,
Nor birds the springes fear, nor stags the toils;
For Daphnis reigns above, and deals from thence
His mother's milder beams, and peaceful influence.
The mountain tops unshorn, the rocks, rejoice;
The lowly shrubs partake of human voice.

Assenting Nature, with a gracious nod,
Proclaims him, and salutes the new-admitted god.
Be still propitious, ever good to thine!
Behold! four hallow'd altars we design;
And two to thee, and two to Phœbus rise;
On both is offer'd annual sacrifice.

The holy priests at each returning year,

Two bowls of milk, and two of oil, shall bear ; And I myself the guests with friendly bowls will cheer.

Two goblets will I crown with sparkling wine,
The generous vintage of the Chian vine:
These will I pour to thee,and make the nectar thine.
In winter shall the genial feast be made
Before the fire; by summer in the shade.
Damætas shall perform the rites divine;
And Lyctian Egon in the song shall join.
Alphesibous, tripping, shall advance,
And mimic satyrs in his antic dance.
When to the nymphs our annual rites we pay,
And when our fields with victims we survey;
While savage boars delight in shady woods,
And finny fish inhabit in the floods;

While bees on thyme, and locusts feed on dew-
Thy grateful swains these honours shall renew.
Such honours as we pay to powers divine,
To Bacchus and to Ceres shall be thine.

Such annual honours shall be given; and thou Shalt hear, and shalt condemn thy suppliants to their vow.

MOPSUS.

What present, worth thy verse, can Mopsus find? Not the soft whispers of the southern wind,

That play through trembling trees, delight me more; Nor murmuring billows on the sounding shore; Nor winding streams, that through the valley glide, And the scarce cover'd pebbles gently chide.

MENALCAS.

Receive you first this tuneful pipe, the same
That play'd my Corydon's unhappy flame;
The same that sung Neæra's conquering eyes,
And, had the judge been just, had won the prize.

MOPSUS.

Accept from me this sheep-hook in exchange;
The handle brass, the knobs in equal range.
Antigenes, with kisses, often tried

To beg this present, in his beauty's pride,
When youth and love are hard to be denied.
But what I could refuse to his request,
Is yours unask'd; for you deserve it best.

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