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The Eclogues

The Eclogues by Publius Vergilius Maro
By: (70-19 BC)

This book of poems, written between 42 en 39 BC, was a bestseller in ancient Rome, and still holds a fascination today. Held to be divinely inspired not only by the Romans themselves, but by the Medieval Catholic church, The Eclogues is one of the most beloved collections of Latin short poetry.

First Page:

37 BC


by Virgil



MELIBOEUS You, Tityrus, 'neath a broad beech canopy Reclining, on the slender oat rehearse Your silvan ditties: I from my sweet fields, And home's familiar bounds, even now depart. Exiled from home am I; while, Tityrus, you Sit careless in the shade, and, at your call, "Fair Amaryllis" bid the woods resound.

TITYRUS O Meliboeus, 'twas a god vouchsafed This ease to us, for him a god will I Deem ever, and from my folds a tender lamb Oft with its life blood shall his altar stain. His gift it is that, as your eyes may see, My kine may roam at large, and I myself Play on my shepherd's pipe what songs I will.

MELIBOEUS I grudge you not the boon, but marvel more, Such wide confusion fills the country side. See, sick at heart I drive my she goats on, And this one, O my Tityrus, scarce can lead: For 'mid the hazel thicket here but now She dropped her new yeaned twins on the bare flint, Hope of the flock an ill, I mind me well, Which many a time, but for my blinded sense, The thunder stricken oak foretold, oft too From hollow trunk the raven's ominous cry... Continue reading book >>

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