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DAPHNIS ! begin the pastoral song for me;
Begin, and let Menalcas follow thee.
Meanwhile the calves the mother-cows put under,
Let the bulls feed — but not roam far asunder,
Scorning the herd — and crop the leafy spray ;
And leave the heifers to their frolic play.
Begin for me the sweet bucolic strain,
And let Menalcas take it up again.


“ Sweet low the cow and calf — the tones are sweet,
The pipe, the cowherd and myself repeat.
My couch is by cool water, and is strown
With skins of milk-white heifers ; them threw down,

While they cropt arbutus, the south-west wind
From the bluff crag. There stretched, no more I mind
The scorching summer than a loving pair
Their parents sage, who bid them each “beware!”

Thus Daphnis sweetly sung at my request ; Menalcas next his dulcet tones exprest.


“ Ætna! my mother! in the hollow rock
My pleasant mansion is ; I own a flock
Of many yearlings and of many sheep,
Numerous as those the dreamer sees in sleep.
Fleeces are lying at my head and feet ;
On an oak-fire are boiling entrails sweet ;
And on my hearth in winter-time I burn
Fagots of beech. I have no more concern
For winter -- than the toothless elder cares
For walnuts, whose old dame his pap prepares."


Both I applauded, and made gifts to both,
A crook to Daphnis—the spontaneous growth

Of my own father's field, yet turned so well,
None could find fault with it; a sounding shell
I gave Menalcas ; four besides myself
Fed on its flesh-I snared it from a shelf
Amid th’ Icarian rocks. The conch he blew,
And far abroad the blast resounding flew.

Hail, pastoral Muses ! and the song declare, Which then I chaunted for that friendly pair. “ On your tongue’s tip may pustules never grow, For speaking falsely what for false you know ! Cicale the cicale loves ; and ant loves ant ; Hawk, hawk; and me the muse and song enchant. Of this my house be full ! nor sudden spring, Nor sleep is sweeter ; nor to bees on wing The bloom of flowers more dear delight diffuses, Than to myself the presence of the Muses. On whomsoe'er they look and sweetly smile, Him Circe may not harm with cup or wile.”

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· Two reapers are the speakers in this Idyl. Battus is reproved by

Milon for his sluggishness in his work ; whereupon he confesses that he is enamoured of a certain singing-girl. Milon jeers him, and invites him to sing that he may forget his love. Battus complies, and praises his beloved ; at the conclusion of his song, the other rustic repeats some matter-of-fact proverbial sentences; and concludes with a taunt on the romantic folly of the love-sick Battus.

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