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I HAVE found it not more difficult to translate Virgil, than to find such patrons as I desire for my translation. For though England is not wanting in a learned nobility, yet such are my unhappy circumstances, that they have confined me to a narrow choice. To the greater part, I have not the honour to be known; and to some of them I cannot show at present, by any public act, that grateful respect which I shall ever bear them in my heart. Yet I have no reason to complain of fortune, since, in the midst of that abundance I could not possibly have chosen better, than the worthy son of so illustrious a father. He was the patron of my manhood, when I flourished in the opinion of the world; though with small advantage to my fortune, till he awakened the remembrance of my royal master. He was that Pollio, or that Varus, who introduced me to Augustus: and though he soon dismissed himself from state-affairs yet in the short time of his administration he shone so powerfully upon me, that, like the heat of a Russian summer, he ripened the fruits of poetry in a cold climate; and gave me wherewithal to subsist at least, in the long winter which succeeded. What I now offer to your lordship is the wretched remainder of a sickly age, worn out with study, and oppressed by fortune: without other support than the constancy and patience of a Christian, You, my lord, are yet in the flower of your youth, and may live to enjoy the benefits of the peace which is promised Europe. I can only hear of that blessing: for years, and, alove all things,

want of health, have shut me out from sharing in the happiness. The poets, who condemn their Tantalus to Hell, had added to his torments, if they had placed him in Elysium, which is the proper emblem of my condition. The fruit and the water may reach my lips, but cannot enter; and if they could, yet I want a palate as well as a digestion. But it is some kind of pleasure to me, to please those whom I respect. And I am not altogether out of hope, that these Pastorals of Virgil may give your lordship some delight, though made English by one, who scarce remem. bers that passion which inspired my author when he wrote them. These were his first essay in poetry, (if the Ceiras was not his :) and it was more excuseable in him to describe love when he was young, than for me to translate him when I am old. He died at the age of fifty-two, and I begin this work in my great climacteric. But having perhaps a better constitution than my author, I have wronged him less, considering my circumstances, than those who have attempted him before, either in our own, or any modern lan guage. And though this version is not void of errours, yet it comforts me that the faults of others are not worth finding. Mine are neither gros nor frequent, in those Eclogues, wherein my, mster has raised himself above, that humble style in which pastoral delights, and which I must confess is proper to the education and converse of shepherds: for he found the strength of his genius betimes, and was even in his youth preluding to his Georgics, and his Æneis. He could not forbear to try his wings, though his pinions were not hardened to maintain a long laborious flight. Yet sometimes they bore him to a pitch as lofty, as ever he was able to reach afterwards. . But when he was admonished by bis subject to descend, he came down gently circling in the air, and singing


In medio duo signa: Conon, et quis fuit alter Descripsit radio totum qui gentibus orbem. He remembers only the name of Conon, and forgets the other on set purpose (whether he means Anaximander or Eudoxus I dispute not); but he was certainly forgotten, to show his country swain was no great scholar.

After all, I must confess that the boorish dialect of Theocritus has a secret charm in it, which the Roman language cannot imitate, though Virgil has drawn it down as low as possibly he could: as in the Cujum Pecus, and some other words, for which he was so unjustly blamed by the bad critics of his age, who could not see the beauties of that Merum Rus, which the poet described in those expressions. But Theocritus may justly be preferred as the original, without injury to Virgil who modestly contents himself with the second place, and glories only in being the first who transplanted pastoral into his own country; and brought it there to bear as happily as the cherry-trees which Lucullus brought from Pontus.

to the ground. Like a lark, melodious in her his shepherds describes a bowl, or mazer, curiously mounting, and continuing her song till she alights: still preparing for a higher flight at her next sally, and tuning her voice to better music. The fourth, the sixth, and the eighth Pastorals, are clear evidences of this truth. In the three first he contains himself within his bounds; but addressing to Pollio, his great patron, and himself no vulgar poet, he no longer could restrain the freedom of his spirit, but began to assert his native character, which is sublimity. Putting himself under the conduct of the same Cumaan Sibyl, whom afterwards he gave for a guide to his Æneas. It is true he was sensible of his own boldness; and we know it by the Paulo Majora, which begins his fourth Eclogue. He remembered, like young Manlius, that he was forbidden to engage; but what avails an express command to a youthful courage which presages victory in the attempt? Encouraged with success, he proceeds farther in the sixth, and invades the province of philosophy. And notwithstanding that Phœbus had forewarned him of sing ing of wars, as he there confesses, yet he presumed that the search of nature was as free to him as to Lucretius, who at his age explained it aċcording to the principles of Epicurus. In his eighth Eclogue, he has innovated nothing; the former part of it being the complaint and despair of a' forsaken lover: the latter a charm of an enchantress, to renew a lost affection. But the complaint perhaps contains some topics which are above the condition of his person's; and our author seems to have made his ́ herdsmen somewhat too learned for their profession: the charms are also of the same nature; but both were copied from Theocritus, and had received the applause of former ages in their original. There is a kind of rusticity in all those pompous verses; somewhat of a holiday shepherd strutting in his country buskins. The like may be observed, both in the Pollio, and the Silenus; where the similitudes are drawn from the woods and meadows. They seem to me to represent our poet betwixt a farmer and a courtier, when he left Mantua for Rome, and dressed himself in his best habit to appear before his patron: somewhat too fine for the place from whence he came, and yet retaining part of its simplicity. In the ninth Pastoral he collects some beautiful passages, which were scattered in Theocritus, which he could not insert into any of his former Eclogues, and yet was unwilling they should be lost. In all the rest he is equal to his Sicilian master, and observes like him a just decorum, both of the subject and the persons. As particularly in the third Pastoral, where one of

Not even

Our own nation has produced a third poet in this kind, not inferior to the two former. For the Shepherd's Calendar of Spenser is not to be matched in any modern language. by Tasso's Amyntas, which infinitely transcends Guarini's Pastor Fido, as having more of nature in it, and being almost wholly clear from the wretched affectation of learning. I will say nothing of the Piscatory Eclogues, because no modern Latin can bear criticism. It is no wonder that rolling down through so many barbarous ages, from the spring of Virgil, it bears along with it the filth and ordure of the Goths and Vandals. Neither will I mention Monsieur Fontenelle, the living glory of the French. It is enough for him to have excelled his master Lucian, without attempting to compare our miserable age with that of Virgil or Theocritus. Let me only add, for his reputation,

-Si Pergama dextrâ

Defendi possent, etiam hâc defensa fuissent. But Spenser being master of our northern dialect, and skilled in Chaucer's English, bas so exactly imitated the Doric of Theocritus, that his love is a perfect image of that passion which God infused into both sexes, before it was corrupted with the knowledge of arts, and the ceremonies of what we call good manners.

My lord, I know to whom I dedicate; and could not have been induced by any motive to put this part of Virgil, or any other into unlearned bands.

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You have read him with pleasure, and I dare say, with admiration, in the Latin, of which you are a master. You have added to your natural endowments, which, without flattery, are eminent, the superstructures of study, and the knowledge of good authors. Courage, probity, and humanity are inherent in you. 'These virtues have ever

=been habitual to the ancient house of Cumberland, from whence you are descended, and of which our chronicles make so honourable mention in the long wars betwixt the rival families of York and Lancaster. Your forefathers have asserted the party which they chose till death, and died for its defence in the fields of battle. You have besides the fresh remembrance of your noble father; from whom you never can degenerate.

-Nec imbellem feroces
Progenerant aquila columbam.

It being almost morally impossible for you to be other than you are by kind; I need neither praise nor incite your virtue. You are acquainted with the Roman history, and know without my information that patronage and clientship always descended from the fathers to the sons, and that the same plebeian houses had recourse to the same patrician line, which had formerly protected them; and followed their principles and fortunes to the last. So that I am your lordship's by descent, and part of your inheritance. And the natural ¡nclination which I have to serve you, adds to your paternal right, for I was wholly yours from the first moment when I had the happiness and honour of being known to you. Be pleased therefore to accept the rudiments of Virgil's poetry: coarsely translated, I confess, but which yet retains some beauties of the author, which neither the barbarity of our language, nor my unskilfulness, could so much sully, but that they sometimes appear in the dim mirror which I hold before you. The subject is not unsuitable to your youth, which allows you yet to love, and is proper to your present scene of life. Rural recreations abroad, and books at home, are the innocent pleasures of a man who is early wise; and gives fortune no more hold of him, than of necessity he must. It is good, on some occasions, to think beforehand as little as we can; to enjoy as much of the present as will not endanger our futurity, and to provide ourselves with the virtuoso's saddle which will be sure to amble, when the world is upon the hardest trot. What I humbly offer to your lordship is of this nature. I wish it pleasant,

and am sure it is innocent. May you ever con

tinue your esteem for Virgil; and not lessen it, VOL XIX

for the faults of his translator; who is, with all manner of respect and sense of gratitude, my lord,

your lordship's

most humble and

most obedient servant, JOHN DRYDEN.





THE occasion of the first pastoral was this. When Augustus had settled himself in the Roman empire, that he might reward his veteran troops for their past service, he distributed among them all the lands that lay about Cremona and Mantua: turning out the right owners for having sided with his enemies. Virgil was a sufferer among the rest; who afterwards recovered his estate by Mæcenas's intercession, and as an instance of his gratitude composed the following pastoral; where he sets out his own good fortune in the person of Tityrus, and the calamities of his Mantuan neighbours in the character of Melibus.


BENEATH the shade which beechen boughs diffuse, You, Tityrus, entertain your sylvan Muse: Round the wide world in banishment we roam, Fore'd from our pleasing fields and native home: While stretch'd at ease you sing your happy loves; And Amaryllis fills the shady groves.

TIT. These blessings, friend, a deity bestow'd : For never can I deem him less than God.

The tender firstlings of my woolly breed
Shall on his holy altar often bleed.
He gave my kine to graze the flowery plain ;
And to my pipe renew'd the rural strain.

MEL. I envy not your fortune, but admire,
That while the raging sword and wasteful fire
Destroy the wretched neighbourhood around,
No hostile arms approach your happy ground.
Far different is my fate: my feeble goats
With pains I drive from their forsaken cotes:
And this you see I scarcely drag along,
Who, yeaning on the rocks, has left her young;
(The hope and promise of my failing fold.)
My loss by dire portents the gods for cold:
For had I not been blind, I might have seen
Yon riven oak, the fairest of the green,
And the hoarse raven, on the blasted bough,
By croaking from the left presag'd the coming


But tell me, Tityrus, what heavenly power
Preserv'd your fortunes in that fatal hour?

TIT. Fool that I was, I thought im perial Roitie Like Mantua, where on market-days we come, And thither drive our tender lambs from home.

So kids and whelps their sires and dams express:
And so the great I measur'd by the less.
But country towns, compar'd with her, appear
Like shrubs when lofty cypresses are near.
MEL. What great occasion call'd you hence to
[slow to come :
TIT. Freedom, which came at length, though
Nor did my search of liberty begin,
Till my black hairs were chang'd upon my chin.
Nor Amaryllis would vouchsafe a look,
Till Galatea's meaner bonds I broke.

Till then a helpless, hopeless, homely swain,
I sought not freedom, nor aspir'd to gain :
Though many a victim from my folds was bought,
And many a cheese to country markets brought,
Yet all the little that I got, I spent,
And still return'd as empty as I went.

MEL. We stood amaz'd to see your mistress
Unknowing that she pin'd for your return:
We wonder'd why she kept her fruit so long,
For whom so late th' ungather'd apples hung;
But now the wonder ceases, since I see
She kept them only, Tityrus, for thee.
For thee the bubbling springs appear'd to mourn,
And whispering pines made vows for thy return.

TIT. What should I do? while here I was enNo glimpse of godlike liberty remain'd; [chain'd, Nor could I hope in any place but there, To find a god so present to my prayer. There first the youth of heav'nly birth I view'd, For whom our monthly victims are renew'd. He heard my vows, and graciously decreed My grounds to be restor❜d, my former flocks to feed. MEL. O fortunate old man! whose farm remains For you sufficient, and requites your pains. Though rushes overspread the neighbouring plains, Though here the marshy grounds approach your And there the soil a stony harvest yields, [fields, Your teaming ewes shall no strange meadows try, Nor fear a rot from tainted company. Behold yon bordering fence of sallow trees [bees: Is fraught with flowers, the flowers are fraught with The busy bees with a soft murmuring strain Invite to gentle sleep the labouring swain. While from the neighbouring rock, with rural songs The pruner's voice the pleasing dream prolongs; Stockdoves and turtles tell their amorous pain, And, from the lofty elms, of love complain.

TIT. Th' inhabitants of seas and skies shall

And fish on shore, and stags in air shall range,
The banish'd Parthian dwell on Arar's brink,
And the blue German shall the Tigris drink:
Ere I, forsaking gratitude and truth,
Forget the figure of that godlike youth.


MEL. But we must beg our bread in climes unBeneath the scorching or the freezing zone. And some to far Oaxis shall be sold; Or try the Libyan heat, or Scythian cold. The rest among the Britons be confin'd; A race of men from all the world disjoin'd. O must the wretched exiles ever mourn, Nor after length of rolling years return? Are we condemn'd by fate's unjust decree, No more our houses and our homes to see? Or shall we mount again the rural throne, And rule the country kingdoms, once our own! Did we for these barbarians plant and sow,

On these, on these, our happy fields bestow? [flow! Good Heaven, what dire effects from civil discord

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Now let me graft my pears, and prune the vine;
The fruit is theirs, the labour only mine.
Farewel my pastures, my paternal stock;
My fruitful fields, and my more fruitful flock!
No more, my goats, shall I behold you climb
The steepy cliffs, or crop the flowery thyme!
No more extended in the grot below,
Shall see you browsing on the mountain's brow
The prickly shrubs; and after, on the bare,
Lean down the deep abyss, and hang in air.
No more my sheep shall sip the morning dew;
No more my song shall please the rural crew:
Adieu, ny tuneful pipe! and all the world adieu!

TIT. This night, at least, with me forget your care;
Chesnuts and curds and cream shall be your fare:
The carpet-ground shall be with leaves o'erspread;
And boughs shall weave a covering for your head.
For see yon sunny hill the shade extends :
And curling smoke from cottages ascends.




THE Commentators can by no means agree on the person of Alexis, but are all of opinion that some beautiful youth is meant by him, to whom Virgil here makes love in Corydon's language and simplicity. His way of courtship is wholly pastoral: he complains of the boy's coyness; recommends himself for his beauty and skill in piping; invites the youth into the country, where he promises him the diversions of the place, with a suitable present of nuts and ap ples but when he finds nothing will prevail, he resolves to quit his troublesome armour, and betake himself again to his former business.

YOUNG Corydon, th' unhappy shepherd swain,
The fair Alexis lov'd, but lov'd in vain:
And underneath the beechen shade, alone,
Thus to the woods and mountains made his moas.
"Is this, unkind Alexis, my reward,
And must I die unpitied, and unbeard?
Now the green lizard in the grove is laid,
The sheep enjoy the coolness of the shade;
And Thestylis wild thyme and garlic beats
For harvest hinds, o'erspent with toil and heats:
While in the scorching Sun I trace in vain
Thy flying footsteps o'er the burning plain,
The creaking locusts with my voice cespire,
They fry with heat, and I with fierce desire.
How much more easy was it to sustain
Proud Amaryllis and her haughty reign,
The scorns of young Menalcas, once my care,
Though he was black, and thou art heavenly far.
Trust not too much to that enchanting face;
Beauty's a charm, but soon the charm will pass :
White lilies lie neglected on the plain,
While dusky hyacinths for use remain.

My passion is thy scorn: nor wilt thou know
What wealth I have, what gifts I can bestow :

What stores my dairies and my folds contain; A thousand lambs that wander on the plain: New milk that all the winter never fails,

And all the summer overflows the pails: Amphion sung not sweeter to his herd,

See from afar the fields no longer smoke,

The sweating steers, unharness'd from the yoke,
Bring, as in triumph, back the crooked plough;
The shadows lengthen as the Sun goes low.
Cool breezes now the raging heats remove;

When summon'd stones the Theban turrets rear'd. Ah, cruel Heaven! that made no cure for love!

Nor am I so deform'd; for late I stood

Upon the margin of the briny flood:

The winds were still, and if the glass be true,
With Daphnis I may vie, though judg'd by you.
O leave the noisy town, O come and see
Our country cots, and live content with me!
To wound the flying deer, and from their cotes
With me to drive a-field the browzing goats:
To pipe and sing, and in our country strain
To copy, or perhaps contend with Pan.

Pan taught to join, with wax, unequal reeds,
Pan loves the shepherds, and their flocks he feeds:
Nor scorn the pipe; Amyntas, to be taught,
With all his kisses would my skill have bought.
Of seven sinooth joints a mellow pipe I have,
Which with his dying breath Damætas gave:
And said, This, Corydon, I leave to thee;
For only thou deserv'st it after me.'

His eyes Amyntas durst not upward lift,
For much he grudg'd the praise, but more the gift.
Besides two kids that in the valley stray'd,
I found by chance, and to my fold convey'd.
They drain two bagging udders every day;
And these shall be companions of thy play.
Both fleck'd with white, the true Arcadian strain,
Which Thestylis had often begg'd in vain:
And she shall have them, if again she sues,
Since you the giver and the gift refuse.
Come to my longing arms, my lovely care,
And take the presents which the nymphs prepare.
White lilies in full canisters they bring,
With all the glories of the purple spring.
The daughters of the flood have search'd the mead
For violets pale, and cropp'd the poppies' head;
The short narcissus, and fair daffodil,
Pansies to please the sight, and cassia sweet to
And set soft hyacinths with iron-blue,
To shade marsh marigolds of shining hue.
Some bound in order, others loosely strow'd,
To dress thy bower, and trim thy new abode.
Myself will search our planted grounds at home,
For downy peaches and the glossy plum :
And thrash the chesnuts in the neighbouring grove,
Such as my Amaryllis us'd to love.


The laurel and the myrtle sweets agree;
And both in nosegays shall be bound for thee.
Ah, Corydon, ah poor unhappy swain,
Alexis will thy homely gifts disdain :
Nor, should'st thou offer all thy little store,
Will rich lolus yield, but offer more.

What have I done to name that wealthy swain,
So powerful are his presents, mine so mean!
The boar amidst my crystal streams I bring;
And southern winds to blast my flowery spring.
Ah cruel creature, whom dost thou despise?
The gods to live in woods have left the skies.
And godlike Paris in th' Idean grove,
To Priam's wealth preferr'd none's love.
In cities which she built, let Pallas reign;
Towers are for gods, but forests for the swain.
The greedy lioness the wolf pursues,

The wolf the kid, the wanton kid the browse:
Alexis, thou art chas'd by Corydon;
All follow several games, and each his own.

I wish for balmy sleep, but wish in vain:
Love has no bounds in pleasure, or in pain.
What frenzy, shepherd, has thy soul possess'd,
Thy vineyard lies half prun'd, and half undress'd.
Quench, Corydon, thy long unanswer'd fire :
Mind what the common wants of life require:
On willow twigs employ thy weaving care;
And find an easier love, though not so fair."




DAMÆTAS and Menalcas, after some smart strokes of country raillery, resolve to try who has the most skill at a song, and accordingly make their neighbour Palæmon judge of their performances: who, after a full hearing of both parties, declares himself unfit for the decision of so weighty a controversy, and leaves the victory undetermined.


Ho, swain, what shepherd owns those ragged sheep?
DAM. Egon's they are, he gave them me to keep.
MEN. Unhappy sheep of an unhappy swain!
While he Neæra courts, but courts in vain,
And fears that I the damsel shall obtain

Thou, varlet, dost thy master's gains devour:
Thou milk'st his ewes, and often twice an hour;
Of grass and fodder thou defraud'st the dams;
And of their mother's dugs, the starving lambs.
DAM. Good words, young catamite, at least to


We know who did your business, how, and when. And in what chapel too you play'd your prize; And what the goats observ'd with leering eyes: The nymphs were kind, and laugh'd, and there your safety lies.

MEN. Yes, when cropt the hedges of the leys; Cut Micon's tender vines, and stole the stays.

DAM. Or rather, when beneath yon ancient oak, The bow of Daphnis, and the shafts you broke: When the fair boy receiv'd the gift of right; And, but for mischief, you had dy'd for spite.

MEN. What nonsense would the fool, thy master,


When thou, his kuave, canst talk at such a rate!
Did I not see you, rascal, did I not?

When you lay snug to snap young Damon's goat?
His mongrel bark'd, I ran to his relief,
And cry'd," There, there he goes, stop, stop the
Discover'd, and defeated of your prey, [thief!"
You skulk'd behind the fence, and sneak'd away.

DAM. An honest man may freely take his own; The goat was mine, by singing fairly won.

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