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Hoc est, cur cantet vinctus quoque compede fossor,
Pastor, arundineo carmine mulcet oves.
Cum traheret silvas Orpheus et dura canendo
Me quoque Musa levat Ponti loca jussa potentem ;
Age and care subdue all things.
Jam mihi deterior canis aspergitur aetas,
1 Innitens. "With stooping back straining against the muddy sand." This describes the attitude of one who is hauling a boat against the stream from the bank or sand. For "bracchia," etc., compare Andrew Marvel"And all the way, to guide their chime, With falling oars they kept the time.'
2 Lyrnesside. "The maid of Lyrnessus," a city of Cilicia, the native place of Briseis, the handmaiden of Achilles, from whom Agamemnon carried her off by
violence. Below, "conjuge" is Eurydice. There is a biting satire by Pope, containing an allusion to Orpheus drawing the woods and beasts after him:
"So bright is thy beauty, so charming
As had drawn both the beasts and their
But such is thy avarice, and such is
That the beasts must have starved, and the poet have died."
3 Canis. "Grey hairs."
Jam vigor, et quasso languent in corpore vires:
Confiteor facere haec annos: sed et altera causa est
Nam mea per longos si quis mala digerat annos,
Friendship proved by adversity.
Thesea Pirithous 2 non tam sensisset amicum,
1 Pylio Nestore. Nestor, king of Pylos, was said to have lived through three centuries, or ages. Below, for "cernis, ut," see a previous note.
2 Pirithous. Theseus and Pirithous descended into Hades together, to carry off Proserpine from Pluto. Below, "Phocaeus" was Pylades of Phocis, a friend
of Orestes, who was driven mad by the Furies for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra. Nisus, the son of Hyrtacus, with Euryalus entered the camp of Turnus by night (Verg. Aen. ix.). The enemy was aroused, and Nisus endeavoured to save Euryalus at the cost of his own life.
Ut foret exemplum veri Phocaeus amoris,
Scilicet ut fulvum spectatur1 in ignibus aurum,
At simul intonuit, fugiunt; nec noscitur ulli,
Sincerity of affection.
Non procul a nobis locus est, ubi Taurica2 dira
Haec prius, ut memorant, non invidiosa nefandis,
There was a temple of Artemis here, in which human sacrifices were offered. The kingdom of Thoas, who reigned over the country, was not hateful even to the ill-disposed (by reason of its excessive wickedness), nor yet to be hankered after by the good (as supereminently excellent); it was neither very bad nor very good.
3 Virgo Pelopeia. Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, descendant of Pelops. When on the point of being sacrificed at Aulis, to put an end to the detention of the Greek fleet on its way to Troy, she was carried
Quo postquam, dubium pius an sceleratus, Orestes
Nec tamen hunc sua mors, nec mors sua terruit illum;
Alter ob alterius funera maestus erat.
Apollo tending the herds of Admetus. Pavit et Admeti tauros formosus Apollo; Nec cithara, intonsae profueruntve comae ; Nec potuit curas sanare salubribus herbis: Quidquid erat medicae, vicerat, artis, Amor.
Ah quoties, illo vitulum gestante per agros,
Delos ubi nunc, Phoebe, tua est: ubi Delphica Pytho?
Nempe Amor in parva te jubet esse casa.
Achilles, disguised as a woman, lies concealed at the court of Lycomedes.
Jam dea laudatae dederat sua praemia formae,
1 Duces. Apollo, being " from home," could supply no oracles as usual at Delphi and elsewhere. Below, "trepidis rebus" is "in their distress."
2 Horrere. "To be rough, unkempt." Below, noverca is Juno; for Apollo was son of Latona, by Jupiter.
3 Quaereret. "Would look in vain for." For this use of "quaerere," cf. Cic. in Verrem, v. 18: "Ut in uberrima parte Siciliae Siciliam quaereremus." Apollo was born at Delos
("Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung"),
and Pytho was the old name of Delphi.
4 Dea. Venus, to whom Paris awarded the prize of beauty, in preference to Juno and Pallas. In return, Venus gave to Paris Helen. Helen passed to Asia from Sparta in Europe (" diverso orbo," a remote portion of the globe).
5 Jurabant. "Jurare in verba alicujus is to swear to a form dictated by any one: hence