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DAPHNIS ! begin the pastoral song for me;
“ Sweet low the cow and calf — the tones are sweet,
While they cropt arbutus, the south-west wind
Thus Daphnis sweetly sung at my request ; Menalcas next his dulcet tones exprest.
“ Ætna! my mother! in the hollow rock
Both I applauded, and made gifts to both,
Of my own father's field, yet turned so well,
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.”
· 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.