Excerpt: ... And accursed Envy there Shall dread the Furies, and thy ruthless flood, Cocytus, and Ixion's twisted snakes, And that vast wheel and ever-baffling stone. Meanwhile the Dryad-haunted woods and lawns Unsullied seek we; 'tis thy hard behest, Maecenas. Without thee no lofty task My mind essays. Up! break the sluggish bonds Of tarriance; ...
Excerpt: ... And accursed Envy there Shall dread the Furies, and thy ruthless flood, Cocytus, and Ixion's twisted snakes, And that vast wheel and ever-baffling stone. Meanwhile the Dryad-haunted woods and lawns Unsullied seek we; 'tis thy hard behest, Maecenas. Without thee no lofty task My mind essays. Up! break the sluggish bonds Of tarriance; with loud din Cithaeron calls, Steed-taming Epidaurus, and thy hounds, Taygete; and hark! the assenting groves With peal on peal reverberate the roar. Yet must I gird me to rehearse ere long The fiery fights of Caesar, speed his name Through ages, countless as to Caesar's self From the first birth-dawn of Tithonus old. If eager for the prized Olympian palm One breed the horse, or bullock strong to plough, Be his prime care a shapely dam to choose. Of kine grim-faced is goodliest, with coarse head And burly neck, whose hanging dewlaps reach From chin to knee; of boundless length her flank; Large every way she is, large-footed even, With incurved horns and shaggy ears beneath. Nor let mislike me one with spots of white Conspicuous, or that spurns the yoke, whose horn At times hath vice in't: liker bull-faced she, And tall-limbed wholly, and with tip of tail Brushing her footsteps as she walks along. The age for Hymen's rites, Lucina's pangs, Ere ten years ended, after four begins; Their residue of days nor apt to teem, Nor strong for ploughing. Meantime, while youth's delight Survives within them, loose the males: be first To speed thy herds of cattle to their loves, Breed stock with stock, and keep the race supplied. Ah! life's best hours are ever first to fly From hapless mortals; in their place succeed Disease and dolorous eld; till travail sore And death unpitying sweep them from the scene. Still will be some, whose form thou fain wouldst change; Renew them still; with yearly choice of young Preventing losses, lest too late thou rue. Nor steeds crave less selection; but on those Thou think'st to rear, the promise of...
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