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I choose for you the very best I know ;
Now listen, since the Muses love you so :

The Loves, ill omen! sneezed on me, who dote On lovely Myrtis, as on spring the goat. A ratus, whom of men I love the best, Loves a sweet girl. Aristis, minstrel blest, And worthiest man, whom his own tripod near Phæbus himself would not disdain to hear Sing to the harp, knows that Aratus feels This scorching flame. Pan! whose rich music peals On Homolus, place in his longing arms Of her own will the blushing bloom of charms. So may the youth of Arcady forbear With squills thy shoulders and thy side to tear, When fails the chase. If thou wilt not, then weep, By nails all mangled, and on nettles sleep! Where Hebrus flows, in frost-time of the year Dwell on the mountains ’neath the polar bear ; In summer with swart Æthiop, at the pile Of Blemyan rocks, beyond the springs of Nile ! Ye loves ! from Hyetis and Byblis flown, Who make Dione's lofty seat your own;

Ye loves ! that are to blushing apples like,
The blooming Phyllis with your arrows strike-
Strike her, because she pities not my friend;
Though softer than a pear, her bloom shall end :
Ah, Phyllis ! Phyllis ! now the bachelors say,
Behold thy flower of beauty drops away!
Let us, my friend Aratus ! pace no more,
Nor keep our painful watch beside her door;
Let Chanticleer, that crows at dawn, behold
Some other lover there benumbed with cold :
Such watch be Molon's, and be his alone ;
But rest be ours -- and eke a friendly crone,
Who may by spitting and by magic skill
Quick disenchant us from fore-shadowed ill.”

Ended my song, he smiling as before The friendly muse-gift gave— the crook he bore ; Then turning to the left pursued the way To Pyxa ; speeding, presently we lay, Where Phrasidamus dwelt, on loosened sheaves Of lentisk, and the vine's new-gathered leaves. Near by, a fountain murmured from its bed, A cavern of the Nymphs : elms overhead,

And poplars rustled ; and the summer-keen
Cicadæ sung aloft amid the green ;
Afar the tree-frog in the thorn-bush cried ;
Nor larks nor goldfinches their song denied ;
The yellow bees around the fountains flew;
And the lone turtle-dove was heard to coo:
Of golden summer all was redolent,
And of brown autumn ; boughs with damsons bent,
We had; and pears were scattered at our feet,
And by our side a heap of apples sweet.
A four-year cask was broached. Ye Nymphs excelling
Of Castaly, on high Parnassus dwelling,
Did ever Chiron in the Centaur's cave
Give draught so rich to Hercules the brave ?
Thro' Polypheme did such sweet nectar glance,
That made the shepherd of Anapus dance,
The huge rock-hurler—as the generous foam,
Which, Nymphs, ye tempered at that harvest-home?
O be it mine again her feast to keep,
And fix the fan in good Damater's heap ;
And may she sweetly smile, while spikes of corn
And up-torn poppies either hand adorn!




The cowherd Daphnis and the shepherd Menalcas sing alternately.

A goatherd is the judge between them; he awards the prize to Daphnis.

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