Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ancient errands






   How did this calamity befall us?
   Alas, the solace that your music brought us,
   Was it so nearly lost to us, Menalcus?
   Who else would sing of the Nymphs? And who would scatter
   The wildflowers on the ground or shade the springs
   With the green shade of trees?

   Tityrus, while I'm gone, please feed my goats
   (I won't be gone for long), and when you've fed them,
   Please drive them down to the water, and when you do,
   Be careful of the billy goat; he butts.

   So that your cows may feast on clover grass,
   That makes their udders prosper and be more ample,
   And so that your bees may avoid the Corsican yews,
   If you have any song to sing, begin.




















Eclogue IX
  extracts of Lycidas
40 - 35 BC
  translation
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999©


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