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The Argument.

Melibæus here gives us the relation of a sharp poetical contest between Thyrsis and Corydon, at which he himself and Daphnis were present; who both declared for Corydon.

BENEATH a holm, repair'd two jolly swains
(Their sheep and goats together grazed the plains),
Both young Arcadians, both alike inspired
To sing, and answer as the song required.
Daphnis, as umpire, took the middle seat;
And Fortune thither led my weary feet.
For, while I fenced my myrtles from the cold,
The father of my flock had wander'd from the fold.
Of Daphnis I inquired: he, smiling, said,

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Dismiss your fear, (and pointed where he fed :) And, if no greater cares disturb your mind, Sit here with us, in covert of the wind. Your lowing heifers, of their own accord, At watering time will seek the neighbouring ford. Here wanton Mincius winds along the meads, And shades his happy banks with bending reeds. And see, from yon old oak that mates the skies, How black the clouds of swarming bees arise.' What should I do? nor was Alcippe nigh, Nor absent Phyllis could my care supply,

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To house and feed by hand my weaning lambs, And drain the strutting udders of their dams. Great was the strife betwixt the singing swains; And I preferr'd my pleasure to my gains. Alternate rhyme the ready champions chose: These Corydon rehearsed, and Thyrsis those.


Ye Muses, ever fair, and ever young,
Assist my numbers, and inspire my song.
With all my Codrus, O! inspire my breast;
For Codrus, after Phoebus, sings the best.
Or, if my wishes have presumed too high,
And stretch'd their bounds beyond mortality,
The praise of artful numbers I resign,
And hang my pipe upon the sacred pine.


Arcadian swains, your youthful poet crown With ivy-wreaths; though surly Codrus frown. Or, if he blast my Muse with envious praise, Then fence my brows with amulets of bays, Lest his ill arts, or his malicious tongue, Should poison or bewitch my growing song.


These branches of a stag, this tusky boar
(The first essay of arms untried before),
Young Micon offers, Delia, to thy shrine:
But speed his hunting with thy power divine;
Thy statue then of Parian stone shall stand;
Thy legs in buskins with a purple band.


This bowl of milk, these cakes (our country fare), For thee, Priapus, yearly we prepare,

Because a little garden is thy care.

But, if the falling lambs increase my fold,
Thy marble statue shall be turn'd to gold.


Fair Galatea, with thy silver feet,

O, whiter than the swan, and more than Hybla Tall as a poplar, taper as the pole!

[sweet! Come, charm thy shepherd, and restore my soul. Come, when my lated sheep at night return, And crown the silent hours, and stop the rosy morn.


May 1 become as abject in thy sight,

As seaweed on the shore, and black as night;
Rough as a burr, deform'd like him who chaws
Sardinian herbage to contract his jaws;
Such and so monstrous let thy swain appear,
If one day's absence looks not like a year.
Hence from the field, for shame! the flock deserves
No better feeding, while the shepherd starves.


Ye mossy springs, inviting easy sleep, [keep, Ye trees, whose leafy shades those mossy fountains Defend my flock! The summer heats are near, And blossoms on the swelling vines appear.


With heapy fires our cheerful hearth is crown'd; And firs for torches in the woods abound:

We fear not more the winds and wintry cold, Than streams the banks, or wolves the bleating fold.


Our woods, with juniper and chesnuts crown'd, With falling fruits and berries paint the ground; And lavish Nature laughs, and strows her stores around.

But if Alexis from our mountains fly,

E'en running rivers leave their channels dry.


Parch'd are the plains, and frying is the field,
Nor withering vines their juicy vintage yield.
But, if returning Phyllis bless the plain,
The grass revives; the woods are green again,
And Jove descends in showers of kindly rain.


The poplar is by great Alcides worn;
The brows of Phoebus his own bays adorn;
The branching vine the jolly Bacchus loves;
The Cyprian queen delights in myrtle groves;
With hazle Phyllis crowns her flowing hair;
And, while she loves that common wreath to wear,
Nor bays, nor myrtle boughs, with hazle shall



The towering ash is fairest in the woods;
In gardens, pines; and poplars by the floods:
But if my Lycidas will ease my pains,
And often visit our forsaken plains,

To him the towering ash shall yield in woods,
In gardens, pines; and poplars by the floods.


These rhymes I did to memory commend, When vanquish'd Thyrsis did in vain contend; Since when 'tis Corydon among the swains; Young Corydon without a rival reigns.





The Argument.

This pastoral contains the songs of Damon and Alphesibous. The first of them bewails the loss of his mistress, and repines at the success of his rival Mopsus. The other repeats the charms of some enchantress, who endeavoured by her spells and magic to make Daphnis in love with her.

THE mournful muse of two despairing swains,
The love rejected, and the lovers' pains;
To which the savage lynxes listening stood;
The rivers stood on heaps, and stopp'd the run-
ning flood;

The hungry herd their needful food refuse-
Of two despairing swains, I sing the mournful



Great Pollio! thou, for whom thy Rome preThe ready triumph of thy finish'd wars, Whether Timavus or the' Illyrian coast, Whatever land or sea thy presence boast; Is there an hour in Fate reserved for me, To sing thy deeds in numbers worthy thee? In numbers like to thine, could I rehearse Thy lofty tragic scenes, thy labour'd verse; The world another Sophocles in thee, Another Homer should behold in me.

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