And birds obscene, and howling dogs divined.
'What rocks did Etna's bellowrag mouth expire
From her torn entrails ; and what floods of fire !
What clanks were heard, in German skies afiar^
Of arms and armies, rushing to the War !
Dire earthquakes rent the solid Alps below,
And from their summits shook th* eternal snow:
Pale spectres in the close of night were seen ;
And voices heard of more than mortal men,
In silent groves, dumb sheep and oxen spoke,
And streams ran backward, and tbair beds forsook :
The yawning Earth disclosed th' abyss of Hell :
The weeping statues did the wars foretel ;
And holy sweat from brazen idols fell.
Then rising in his might, the king of floods
RushM through the forests, tore the lofty woods ;
And rolling onward, with a sweepy sway,
'Bore houses, herds, and labouring hinds away.
Blood sprang from wells, wolves howPd in towns by
And boding victims did the priests aflright.
. .^6ch peals of thunder never pourM from high.
Nor forky lightnings AashM from such a sullen
Red meteors ran across th' ethereal space ; [sky.
Stars disappeared, and comets took their place.
For this, th* Emathian plains once more were strow'd
With Roman bodies, and just Heaven thotight good
To fatten twice those fields with Roman blood.
Then, after length of time, the labouring swains,
Who tura the turfs of those unhappy plains.
Shall rusty piles from the ploughM furrows ti^e,
And over.-cmpty b^meto past the rake.
AmazM at antique titles 6d the stonei,
And mighty relics of gigantic bones.
Ye homebom deities, of mortal birth !
Thou, ikther Romulus, and mothef Â£artb.
Goddess unmovM ! whose guardian arms esctend
O'er Tuscan Tiber's coarse, and Roman towera de-*
With youthful Caesar your joint powers engage,
Nor binder him to save the sinking age.
O ! let the blood, already spilt, atone
For the past crimes of curst Ijiomedon ! [know,
Heaven wants thee there ; and long the gtrfs, we
Have grudgM thee, Caesar, to the world below :
Where fraud and rapine, right and wrong confound !
Where impious arms fipora every part resoond.
And monstrous crimes in every shape are crown'd*
The peaceful peasant to the wars is prest j
The fields lie fallow in inglorious rest ;
The plain no pasture to the flock affords.
The crooked scythes are straightened into swords :
And there Euphrates her soft ofispring arms.
And here the Rhine rebellows with alarms;
The neighbouring cities range on several sides.
Perfidious Mars long plighted leagues divides.
And o'er the wasted world in triumph rides.
So four fierce coursers starting to the race,
Scour through the plain, and lengthen every paces
Nor reins, nor curbs, nor threatening cria they
But force along the trembling charioteer. [feÂ«ri
TBB 8ECO?Â«D BOOK OV
The subject of the following book is planting. In
handling of which argument, the poet shows all
the difierent methods of raising trees : describes
their variety ; and gives rules for the manage-
ment of each in particular. He then points
out the soils in which the several plants thrive
best : and thence Ukes occasion to run out into
the praises of luly. After which he gives some
directions for discovering tho tuture df every
, soil ; prescribes rules for dressing of vines, oliÂ«"es,
' fcc. and concludes the georgic with s pane-
gyric on a country life.
Thus far of tillage, and of heavenly tigos ;
Now sing, my Muse, the growth of generous vines J
The shady groves, the woodland progeny,
And the slow product of Minerva's tree.
Great father Bacdms ! to my song Tepah- ;
For clustering grapes are thy peculiar care :
For thee large bunches load the bending vkie.
And the last Messings of the year arc thine j
To thee his jo3r8 the jolly Autumn owes,
When the fermenting juice the vat o'erflows. ^
Come strip with me, mv god, come drench all o cr
Thy limbs in must of wine, and drink at every pwt^
Some trees their birth to bounteous Nature owe ,
For some without the pains of planting grow.
With Â©wers thus the banks of bitwks atÂ»â„¢' ^
Sprung from the watery genius of the groimd :
From the same principle gray wiOows come ;
Herculean poplar, and -the tender broom.
But some from seeds enclosM in earth srwc ;
For thu& ^e maslfbl chdMuit mmtSB the Â«Â«Â«â€¢*
Digitized by VjOOQIC
VIRGIL^S GEORGICS. BOOK 11.
Henofr ike the bfaocUng beech and vocal oak.
Where Jove of old oraculoujily spoke.
Sone from, the root a rising wood disclose ;
Thus elms, and thus the savage cherry grows :
Thus the greeo bay, that biiids the poet's brows.
Shoots, and is sheltered by the mother's boughs*
These ways of planting, Nature did ordain.
For (pees and shrubs, and ail the sylvan reign.
Others there are, by late experience found :
Some cut the shoot, and plant in furrow'd ground ;
Some cover rooted stalks in deeper mould :
Some doveo stakes, and (wondrous to behQld),Â«
Their fharpen'd ends in earth their footing place,
And the dry poles produce a living race.
Some bow their vines, which, bury'd in the plain.
Their tops in distant arches rise again.
Others no root require, the labourer cuts
Young slips, and in the s6il securely puts.
Ev^n stumps of olives, bar'd of leaves, and dead,
Kcvive, and oft redeem their withered head,
nis usual now, an inmate graff to see
With insolence invade a foreign tree :
Thus pears and quinces from the crah-tree come ;
And thus the ruddy cornel bears the plum.
Then let the learned gardener mark with care
The kinds of stocks, and what those kinds will bear,
Explore the nature of each several tree ;
And l^own, improve with artful industry ;
And let no spot of idle earth be found,
Bot cultivate the genius of the ground.
For open Ismarus will Bacchus please ;
Tabunms loves the shade of olive-trees.
The virtues of the several soils I sing.
MiE^enat, now thy needful succour bring !
O thou ! the better part of my renown.
Inspire thy ppet, and thy poem crown ;
Embark with me, while I new tracks explore, w
With flying saila and breezes firom the shore :
Not that my song, in such a scanty ^pace.
So l^ige a subject fully can embrace :
Not though I were aupply'd with iron lungs,
A hundred mouths, fill'd with as many tongues i
But steer my vessel with a steady hand.
And coast along the shore in sight of land.
Kor will I tire thy patience with a train
Of preCsoe, or what ancient poets feign.
The trees, which of themselves advance in air.
Are barren kinds, but strongly built and fair :
Because the vigour of the native Earth
Maintains ^e plant, and makes a manly birth.
Yet these, receiving grafls of other kind.
Or thence tranqulant^, change their savage mind ;
Their wildness lo^, and quitting Nature's part.
Obey the rules and discipline of art.
The same do trees, that, sprung from barren roots
In open ^ds, transplanted bear their fruits.
For where they grow, the native energy
Tam> all into the subsunce of the tree.
Starves and destroys the fruit, is only made
For brawny bulk, and for a barren shade.
The pl^nt that shoots from seed, a sullen tree
At leisure grows, for late posterity ;
The genero^a flavour lost, the fruits decay,
And savuge grapes are made the birds' ignoble prey.
Much labour is requir'd in trees, to tame
Thar wild disorder, and in ranks reclaim.
W^U most the ground be digg'd,aad better dreu'd,
New soil to make, and meliorate the resi.^ .
Old stakes of olive-trees in plants revive ;
By the same methods Paphian myrtles live ;
9a| nobler vines by propagation thrive.
From roots hard hazles, and from cyons rise
Tali ash, and taller oak that mates the skies :
Palm, poplar, fir, descendio;? from the steep
Of hills, to try the dangers of the deep.
TheJthin-leav'darbute, hazle-graffs receives.
And planea huge apples bear, that boie but
Thus mastful beeeh the bristly chesnut bears.
And the' wild ash is white with blooming pears,
And greedy swine from grafted elms are fed
With falling acorns, that on oaks are bred.
But various are the ways to change the state
Of plants, to bud, to grafl*, tMnoculate.
For where the tender rinds of trees disclose
Tlieir shooting gems, a swelling knot there grows;
J ust in that space a narrow slit we make.
Then other buds from bearing trees we take :
Inserted thus, the wounded rind we close.
In whose moist womb th' admitted infant grows.
But when the smoother bole from knots is free.
We make a deep incision in the tree ;
And in the solid wood the slip enclose,
The battening bastard shoots again and grows ;
And in short space the laden bou.^hs arise.
With happy fiiiit advancing to the skies.
7*he mother-plant admires the leaves unkxiown
Of alien treee, and apples not her own.
Of vegetable woods are various kinds.
And the same species are of several min^S*
Lotes, willows, elms, have different forms alfow^d.
So funeral cypress rising like a shroud.
Fat olive-trees of sundry sorts appear.
Of sundry shapes tha^ir unctuous berries bear.
I^dii long olives, orcbites round produce.
And bitter Pausta pounded for the juice.
Aloinoiis' orchard various apples bears :
Unlike are bergamots and pounder peart.
Nor our Italian vines pnxloce the shape.
Or ta^te, or flavour of the Lesbian grape.
The Thasian vines in richer soilsabuund.
The Meriotique grow in barren ground.
The Psythian grape we dry : Lagean juice
Will stammerins^ tongues and staggering feet pro^
Rath^ ripo are some, aud some of later kind
Of golden some, and some of purple rind*
How shall I praise the lUethean grape divine,
Which yet contends not with Falemian wine !
Th' Aminean many a consulship survives,
And lousier than the Lydian vintage lives,
Or high PhanÂ»us king of Chian growth :
But for large quantities and lasting both,
I'he less Argitis bears the prize away.
The Rhodian, sacred to the solemn day,
In second services is pour'd to Jove;
And best accepted by the gods, above.
Nor must Bumastos his old honours lose,
In length and largeness like the dugs of cowg.
I pass the rest, Whose every race and name.
And kinds, are less material to ray theme.
Which who would learn, as soon may tell the
Driven by the western wind on Lybian lands; /
Or number, when the blustring Eurus loars.
The billows beating on Ionian shores.
Nor every plant on every soil will grow :
The sallow loves the watery ground, and low ;
The marshes, alders ; nature seems t' ordain
The rocky cliff for the wild ash's reign ;
I The baleful yew to northern blasts assigns;
To shores the myrtles, and to mounts the Tinet.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
Kegard tb* eitrenert cnltivaied oout.
From hot Arabia to the Scythian frost :
All sorts of trees their several couotrief know,
Black ebon only vill in India flnrow :
And odorous frankincense on the Sabcan bough.
Balm slowrly trickles through the bleeding veins
Of happy shrubs, in Idumaaan plains.
The green Egyptian thorn, for medicine good;
With Ethiop's hoary trees and woolly wood,
Ijet others tell : and how the Seres spin
Their fleecy forest in a slender twine.
Wiih mighty trunks of trees on Indian shores,
Whose height above the femther'd arrow soars.
Shot from the toughest bow ; and by the brawn
Of expert archers with vast vigour drawn.
Sharp-tasted citrons Median climes produce :
Bitter the rind, but generous is the juice :
A cordial fiuit, a present antidote
Against the direful stept^ame's deadly draught :
Who, mixing wicked deeds with words impuro.
The fate of cnvyM orphans wonld procure.
Large is the plant, and like a laurel grows.
And did it not a different scent disclose,
A laurel were : the fragrant flowers contemn
The stormy winds, tenacious of their stem.
With this the Medes to labouring age bequeath
Kcw lungs, and cure the sourness of the breath.
But neither Median woods, (a plenteous land)
Fair Ganges, Hermus rolling golden sand.
Nor Bactria, nor the richer Indian fields,
-Kor all the gummy stores Arabia yields ;
Kiir any foreign earth of greater name.
Can with sweet Italy contend in fame.
No bulls, whose nostrils breath a living flame,
Have tumM our tnrf, no teeth of serpents here
Were sown, an armed host, an iron crop to
But fruitful vines, and the â‚¬at olive's freight.
And harvests heavy with their fruit&l weight,
, Adorn our fields ; and on the cheerful green.
The grazing flocks and lowing herds are seen.
The warrior horse, b^e bred, is taught to train ;
There flows Clitumnus through the flowery plain;
Whose waves for triumphs, after prosperous war.
The victim ox and snowy sheep prepare.
Perpetual spring our happy climate sees ;
Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the trees ;
And summer suns recede by slow degrees.
Our land is from the raice of tigers freed.
Nor nourishes the lion's angry seed ;
Nor poisonous aconite is here prodoc'd.
Or grows unknown, or is, when known, refused.
Nor in so vast a length our serpents glide.
Or raisM on such a spiry volume ride.
Next add our cities of illustrious name.
Their costly labour, and stupendoos frame;
Ourfortson steepy hills, that far below
See wanton streams in winding valleys flow.
Oar twofold seas, that, washing either sida,
A rich recruit of foreign stores provide.
Onr spacious lakes; thee, Larins, first; and next
Benacus, with tempestuous billows vext.
Or shall I praise thy ports, or mention make
Of the vast mound tliat binds the Lucrine lake ;
Or the disdainful sea, that, shut from thence.
Roars round the structure, and invades the fence;
There, where secure the Julian waters glide,
Or where Avemus' jaws admit the Tjrrrhene tide ;
Our quarries deep in Earth were fam'd of okl
For veois of silver, and for ore of gold, '
Th' inhabitants ibemselvm their coQDtiy graee ;
Hence rose the Marsian and Sabellian race;
Strong-limb*d and stout, and to the wars tocfin'd^
And hard liguriaBS, a laborious kind ;
And Volscians, arm'd with iron-headed darts^
Besides an ofiispring of undaunted hearts.
The Decii, Marii, great Caoiillus came
From hence, and greater Sdpio's doable name :
And mighty Cosar, whose victorious arms
To farthest Asia carry fierce alarms ;
Avert unwarlike Indians from bii Rome ;
Triumph abroad, secure our peace at home.
Hail, sweet Satumian soil ! of firuitful grain
Great parent, greater of illustrious men,
^or thee my tuneful accents will I rai9e.
And treat of artsdisclos'd in ancient days :
Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring.
And old Ascrcan verse in Roman cities sing.
The nature of their several soils now see.
Their strength, their colour, their fertility:
And first for heath, and barren hilly grronnd.
Where meagre clay and flinty stones abound;
Where the poor soil all succour seems to want.
Yet this suffices the Palladian plant.
Undoubted signs of such a soil are fbmid.
For here wild olive shoots overspread the gronnd.
And heaps of berries strew the fields around.
But where the soil, with fa^ening moisture flllM,
Is cloth'd with grass, and fruitful to be tiird.
Such as in cheerful vales we view from high ;
Which dripping rocks with rolling streams supply^
And feed with ooae, where rising hillocks ran
In length, and open to the southern Sun;-
Where fern succeeds, ungrateful to the ploogh.
That gentle ground to generous grapes allow ;
Strong stocks of vines it will in time produce.
And overflow the vats with friendly juice ;
Such as our priests in golden goblets pour
To gods, the givers of the cheerful hour ;
Then when the bloated Thubcan blows his horaâ€ž
And reeking entrails are in chargers borne.
If herds or fleecy flocks be more thy care.
Or goats that graze the field, and hum it bare.
Then seek 1'arentum's lawns and farthest coast.
Or such a field as hapless Mantna lost :
Where silver swans sail down the watery road,
And graae the floating herbage of the flood.
There crystal streams perpetual tenour keep,
Nor food nÂ«)r springs are wanting to thy sheep.
For what the day devoure, the nightly dew
Shall to the mom in peariy drops renew.
Fat crumbling earth is fitter for the plough.
Putrid and loose above, and black below ;
For ploughing is an imitative toil.
Resembling nature in an easy soil.
No land for seed like this, no fields aflbrd
So larce an income to the village-lord !
No toiling teams from harvest labour come
So late at night, so heavy laden home.
The like of forest land is understood,
From whence the suriy ploughman grubs the
Which had for length of ages idle stood. [wood.
Then birds ftnnsake the ruins of their seat, [forget
And flyirgfrom their nestt their callow young
The coarse lean gravel on the mountam sides.
Scarce dewy beverage for the bees psovides :
Nor chalk nor crumbling stones, the food of snakes.
That work in hollow earth4heir winding tracks.
The soil exhaling clouds of subtl* dews.
Imbibing maistAire which with ease she spews,
Digitized by VjOOQIC
VIRCIUS GEORGICS. BOOK IL
Which rusts not ifon, aod whose mould is clean.
Well dothM #ith cheerfnl grass, and crcr green,*
Is good lor olnres, and aspiring vines,
Embradng husband elmR, in amorous twines !
Is lie for fading cattle, fit to sow,
And equal to the pasture and the plough.
Such b the soil of fat Campanian fields,
Such large increase the land that joins Vesuvios
And soch a ooontry conM Acerra boast,
Tni Clanios overBow^d tb' unhappy coast.
I teach thee next the difiering soik to know ;
The light for vines, the heavier for the plough*
Choose first a place for such a purpose fit.
There dig the solid earth, Â«nd sink a pit.
^ext fill the hole with its own earth anin.
And trami'le with thy foet, and tread it in;
Then if it rise not to the former height
Ofsoperfice, conclude that soil is light s
A proper ground for pasturage and vines.
But if the sollen earth, so pressed, repines^
Within its native mansion to retire,
And stays without, a hmp of heavy mm ;
Tis good for arable, a glebe that asks
Tough teams of oxen, and laborious tasks.
>Salt earth and bitter are not fit to sow,
Kor will be tam*d and mended by the plough.
Sweet grapes degenerate there, anfi fruits, declinM
PhMD their first fiavorons taste, renounce their
This truth by sure experiment is try'd :
For first an osier colander provide
Of twigs thick wiought (such toiling peasants twine,
When through strait passages th^ strain their
Is this dose vessel place thmi earth accurs*d.
But fiird brhnfol with wholesome water first :
Then mn it through, the drops will rope around,
And by the bitter taste disclose the ground.
Hie foitcr earth by handKng we may find.
With ease distinguished 'from the meagre kind :
Poor soil will cmmble into dust, the rich
Will to the fingers deave like clammy pitch i.
Moist earth produces com and gratt, but both
Too rank and too luxuriant in their growth.
het not my land so large a promise boast.
Lest the lank ears in length of stem be lost
The heavier earth is by her weight betray'd.
The lighter in the poismg hand is weigh'd :
nis easy to distinguish by the sight,-
The cdour of the soil, sind black from white*
But the odd ground is difikuH to know.
Yet this the plants, that prosper ther^, wiUihow;
Black ivy, pitch trees, and the baleful yew
These rules considered well, with early care
The vineyard destfn'd for thy vines prepare :
But, long before the planting, dig the ground.
With furrows deep that cast a rising mounds
The clods exposed to winter winds will bake, *
For putrid earth will best m vineyards take,
And hoary frosts, after the painfol toil
Of ddving hinds, will rot the mellow sdl.
Some peasants not t* omit the nicest car^ ,
Of the same sdl their nursery prepare.
With that of their planUtion ; lest the tree
Translated, should not with the sdl agree.
Beside, to plant it as it was, they mark
The Heaven's four quarters on the tender bÂ«rk;
And to the north or south restose the side.
Which at theb bulh did heat oi c M M ik
So strong is custom, such eflecttcao me
fn tender souls of pliant plants produce.
Choose next a province for thy vineyard's rtigily
On hills above, or on the lowly plain:
If fertile fidds or vail ies be thy chdoe.
Plant thick, for bounteous Bacchus willrejdce
In close plantations there. But if the vine
On rising ground be plac'd, or hills supine.
Extend thy loose battalions lai^gely wide,
Opening thy ranks and files on dther side :
But marshaird all in order as they stand.
And let no soldier straggle from his band.
As legions in the field their front display.
To try the fortune of some doubtful day.
And move to meet their foa with sober pace.
Strict to thdr figure, though in wider space.
Before VSk battle joins ; while from afor
The field yet glitters with the pomp of war.
And equal Mars like an impartial lord.
Leaves all to fortune, and the dint of sword ;
So let thy vmes in intervals be set,
But not their rural discipline forget:
Indulge their width, and add a roomy space,
That their extremest lines may scarce embrace:
Nor this alone t' indulge a vain delight,
And make a pleasing prospect for the sight r
But for the ground itself, this only way
Can equal vigour to the plants convey ;
Which, crowded^ want the room their branches te
How deep they most be planted, would'st thou
In shallow furrows vines securely grow.
Not so the rest of plants $ for Jove's (ywn tree^
That hdds the woods in awftil sovereignty,
Reqdres a depth of lodging hi the ground ;
And, next the lower skies, a bed profound :
High as his topmast boughs to Heaven ascend.
So low his roots to HdPs dominion tend.
Therefore, nor winds, nor winter's rage o'arthiowi
His bulky body, but unmov*d he grows.
For length of ages lasts his happy reign.
And lives of mortal man contend in vain.
Full In the midst of his own strength he stands,
Stretching his brawny arms, and leafy hands ;
His shade protects the plams, his bead the hiUÂ»
The hnrtfbl hazle m thy vineyard shun ;
Nor plant it to receive the setting Sun :
Nor break the topmost branches from the tree ; \
Nor prune, with bluntsd knifo, the progeny.
Root up wild olives from thy labour'd lands :
For q>arkling fire from hiufk* unweary hands.
Is oftien scatter'd o'er then' onctoous rinds.
And aftec spread abroad by raging winds.
For firrt the smouldering flaoM the trunk reodvei^
Asoen(&ig thence, it crackles in the leaves |
At length victorious to the top aspires.
Involving all the wood in smoky &rtB,
But most, when driven by winds, the fiaming storm
Of the long files destroys the beauteous form.
In ashes then tb' unhappy vineyard lies.
Nor will the blasted plants from nrfn rise :
Nor will the withered stock be greeQ again,
But the wild dive shoots, and CHades th' ungrate-
Be not seduced wHh wisdom's empty shows,
To sthr the peaceful ground when Boreas blows.
When winter frosts constrain the fit^ld with cold^
Thefrioty root MA taketio steady hold. â€¢
Digitized by VjOOQIC
But when the gofdto ^>riiig revtah the ymr.
And the white bird returns, whom aerpeots femr;
That seafoo deem the best to plant thy vinei,
I^ext that, is when autumnal warmth declines ;
Ere heat is t)uite decayed, or cold begun.
Or Capricorn admits the winter Sun.
The spring adorns the woods, renews the leareii.
The womb of Earth the genial seed receiTea.
For then almighty Jove descends, and pours
Into his buxom bride his fruitful showers :
And, mixing his large limbs with hers, he feeds
Her birth with kindly juice, and fosters teeming
Then joyous birds frequent the lonely grove, Â«
And beasts, by Nature stung, renew their lov6b
Then fields the blades of bury*d coco discloae.
And, while the balmy western spirit blows,
^rth to the breath her bosom dares expose.
With kindly moisture then the plants abound.
The grass fecurely springs above the ground ;
* The tender twig shoots upward to the skies.
And on the faith of the new Sun relies.
The swerving vines on the tall elms prevail
Unhurt by southern showers or northern hail.
They spread their gems the genial warmth to share.
And boldly trust the buds in open air.
In this soft season (let me dare to sing)
The world was hatchM by Heaven's imperial king :
la prime of all the year, and holydays of spring.
Then did the new creation first appear;
Nor other was the tenour of the year:
When laughing Heaven did the great birth attend.
And eastern winds their wintery breath suspend :
Then sheep first saw the Sun in open fields ;
And ravage beasts were sent to stock the wilds :
And golden stars flew up to light the skies.
And man> relentless race firom stony quarries rise.
Nor could the tender, new creation, bear
Th' excessive heats or ooldness oÂ£ the year;