VIRGIL'S Georgicks Englished. by Tho: May Esq

Lo: printed for Tho. Walkley in Brittains Burse R [...]ughan fecit 1628

To my truely judicious Friend, Christopher Gardiner of Ha­leng, Esquire.

I Cannot make a fitter choise of any Name to stand prefixed be­fore this Worke, than [Page] such a friends, who not onely vn­derstands but loves endeavours of this nature; one as far from pride as ignorance; and such a Reader, as I could wish all, but cannot hope to finde many. It is a Translation of such a Poet as in our age is no lesse admired, than hee was once honoured in his Romane world. To speake how learned the Poem is, how full of heights not improperly raised out of a meane subject, were needlesse to you, who so well vnderstand [Page] the originall of it, and the pattern of this originall, the Poem of He­siod. If there were any thing in my paines, which might either offend an honest eare, or justly suffer a great condemnation from a learned Censurer, I should bee fearefull to commend it to you, whose Religion, Life, and Lear­ning, are so well known vnto me. This Worke may informe some, delight others, it can hurt none; it is no new thing, (being a Tran­slation) but an old Worke of such [Page] a Poet, who in the Opinion of his owne times was an ho­nest man, as well as an able writer. Whose Poem if I have truely rendered, I thinke it bet­ter than publishing mine owne fancies to the World, especi­ally in an Age so much cloyed with cob-webbe Inventions, and vnprofitoble Poemes. How much I have failed in my vndertaking, (as missing the sense of Virgil, or not expressing of him highly and plainely e­nough) [Page] they onely are able Iudges who can conferre it; and such are you to whose iudge­ment I leave it, and rest

Your true Friend THOMAS MAY.


TIllage, in all her severall parts, is showne,
Her favouring gods, her first invention,
Her various seasons, the celestiall signes;
And how the Plow-mans providence divines
Of future weather: what presages bee
From Beasts and Birds by wise antiquity
Drawne into rules insallible; from whence
The Plow-man takes despaire, or confidence.
It hat tooles th' industrious husband's works a [...] vaile▪
Fro whence our Poet sadly doth bewaile
That crooked Sickles turn'd to Swords, so late
Had drunke the blood of Romes divided State▪
And in few yeares with her unnaturall wounds
Had twice manur'd Aemathiae [...] fatal grounds.
What makes rich crops; what season most enclines
To plowing th'earth, & marrying elms with vines?
[Page 2]What care of Neat, or Sheep is to be h [...]d;
Of frugall Bees what trials may be made
I sing, Mecoena [...], here. You lights most cleare,
Whose heavenly course directs the sliding yeare▪
Bacchus, and fostring Ceres, if first you
Did for Chaonian Mast rich Corne bestow,
And temper'd waters with invented (b) wine:
You tillage-favouring gods; ye (c) Fauns divine,
And virgin Dryades be present now:
I sing your bounties: and, great (d) Neptune, thou,
Whose tridents stroke did first frō th'earth produce
A warlike horse: thou that the woods dost use,
Whose full three hundred snow-white Bullocks run
Grazing rich (e) Caeas pasture fields upon,
Sheep-ke [...]ping Pan, with favour present bee
(If thy M [...]nalian flocks be deare to thee)
Leaving Lycaeus, and faire Arcady:
Minerva foundresse of the Olive tree:
Thou (f) youth inventer of the crooked plow:
And thou that mak'st the tender Cypresse grow
Vp from the root, (g) Silvanus: all that love
Tillage, both gods, and goddesses above,
That growing plants can foster without seed,
And them from heaven with raine sufficing feed:
[Page 3]And thou, great Caesar, whom tis yet not plaine
What ranke of gods shall one day entertaine;
Whether the World thy deity shall feare,
As Lord of fruits, and seasons of the yeare,
Of lands and townes (with Venus myrtle tree
Crowning thy head) or thou the god wilt bee
Of the vast Sea, and Thules farthest shore,
And thee alone the Saylors shall adore,
As Thetis sonne-in-law with all her Seas
Giuen for a Dower; or else that thou wilt please
To adde one signe to the slow moneths, and be
Betwixt the ballance, and (h) Erig [...]ne;
The fiery Scorpion will contract his space,
And leaue for thee in heauen the greater place.
What ere thou'lt be (for hell despaires to gaine
Thee for her King: nor thirst thou so for reigne,
Though Greece so much th' Elysian fields admire,
And sought Proserpin [...] would not retire
Thence with her mother) view with gracious eies,
And prosper this my ventrous enterprise.
Pity the Plow-mens errours, and mine too,
And use thy selfe to be inuoked now.
When first the spring dissolues the mountaine snow
When th'earth grows soft again, & west winds blow,
[Page 4]Then let your Oxen toile in furrowes deepe,
Let use from rusting your bright plowshares keep.
Those crops, which twice have felt the sun, & twice
The cold; will Plow-mens greediest wish suffice.
Harvests from thence the crowded barnes will fill.
But least the fields we ignorantly till,
To know how different lands and climates are,
All windes and seasons, let it be our care;
What every Region can, or cannot beare;
Here corn thrives best: vines best do prosper there;
Some Lands are best for fruit, for pasture some;
From Tmolus see how fragrant saffrons come:
'Mongst the Sabaeans frankincense doth grow;
Iron the naked Chalybes bestow:
India sends ivory, Pontus beavers stone,
Epire swift horse, that races oft haue wonne▪
These severall vertues on each land and clime,
Nature bestow'd even from the point of time,
When stones in th' empti'd world Deu [...]alion threw,
Frō whēce th' hard-harted race of mankind grew.
Therefore when first the yeare begins, do thou
Thy richest grounds most deep and strongly plow,
That Summers piercing Sun may ripen more,
And well digest the fallow gle [...]e; but poore,
[Page 5]And barren grounds about October plow
Not deepe; in one, lest weedes, that rankly grow,
Spoile the rich crop: in tother, lest the dry
And sandy grounds quite without moisture ly.
And let thy [...]ield each other yeare remaine
Fallow, and ear'd, to gather heart againe.
Or else thy corne thou there mayst safely sow
Where in full codds last yeare rich pease did grow,
Or else where tares, or lupines last were sowne,
Lupines that sadnesse cause; (for tis well knowne
That oates, hempe, flaxe, and poppy causing sleep
Do burne the soile) but best it is to keep
The ground one yeare at rest; forget not than
With richest dung to hearten it againe,
Or with unsifted ashes; so tis plaine
That changing seedes gives rest unto a field;
And tis no losse to let it lye untill'd.
Fires oft are good on barren earshes made
With crackling flames to burne the stubble blade.
Whether the earth some hidden strength do gaine
From thence, or wholesome nourishment obtaine:
Or that those fires digest, or purge, or dry
All poisonous humours that in th' earth did ly:
Or else that heat new pores, and caverns opes,
[Page 6]Through which good iuice comes to the following crops▪
Or else it knits the earths too open veines,
And makes them more compact, lest falling raines
Soake them too farre, lest Boreas piercing cold,
Or Phoebus heat should dry the parched mold.
And wholesome husbandry twas euer found
Often to breake and harrow barren ground,
And well rewarded still at Ceres hand.
Nor is 't unwholesome to subdue the Land
By often exercise: and where before
You broke the earth, againe to plow it ore
Crosse to the former. Let the Plow-mens prayer
Be for moist sol [...]ices, and winters faire.
For winters dust doth cheere the land, and draw
So great an haruest, that rich Maesia
For all her skill obtaines not greater store,
Nor Ida's hil [...] do boast their plenty more.
What shall I say to him that sowes his Land
Immediately, scattering the barren Sand?
Then brings in watering streames that wil suffice?
And when in scorched fields all Herbage dyes:
Lo, he from higher bending hillocks drawes
In furrowes wate [...]s down, which gliding cause
Among the pebble stones a murmuring sound,
[Page 7]And with their streams refresh the thirsty ground▪
Or him, that least ranke eares should ouerlade,
And lodge the stemme, he in the tender blade,
Eates off the rankenes? Or that draines his ground
With thirsty sand, when moisture doth abound?
When in the Spring, or Autume specially
(Vnconstant seasons) riuers swell'd too high
Haue fill'd the drenched fields with slime, and yet
The draining trenches with warm moisture sweat.
Nor are these things (though they mens labors be
And beasts) not subiect to the iniurie
Of [...]ose, Strymonian Cranes, the shade of Trees,
And growing bitter-rooted Suckoryes.
For Ioue himselfe, loath that our liues should proue
Too easie, first caus'd men the ground to moue,
Fill'd mortall hearts with cares, nor sufferd he
The world to fall into a Lethargy.
Before Ioues reign no Plow-men till'd the ground▪
Nor was it lawfull then their Lands to bound:
They liu'd in common all: and euery thing
Did without labour from earths bosome spring.
Ioue Venome first infus'd in Serpents fell,
Taught Wolues to prey, and stormy Seas to swell:
Rob'd leaues of honey, and hid fire from men,
[Page 8]And banish'd wine, which run in rivers then,
That th' arts by neede might so in time be found;
Corne might be sought by tilling of the ground,
And hidden fire from flints hard veines be drawn.
Then Aldern boates first plow'd the Ocean:
The Sailers number'd then, and nam'd each starre
The Pleiads, Hyads, and the Northren carre.
Deceiving bird-lime then they learn'd to make:
And beasts by hunting, or by toyles to take:
Drag-nets were made to fish within the deep:
And casting nets did rivers bottomes sweep.
Then iron first, and sawes were understood;
For men before with wedges clef [...] their wood.
Then th' arts were found; for all things conquer'd be
By restlesse toyle, and hard necessity.
First yellow Ceres taught the world to plow
When woods no longer could afford enow
Wilde crabs and acorns, and Dodona lent
Her mast no more: then miseries were sent
To vexe the art of tillage: blastings kill'd
The stalks, and fruitlesse thistles in the field
Prevailing, spoyl'd the corne: rough weeds did grow,
Of burs and br [...]mbles troubling it, and now
Within the fields among the harvest graine
[Page 9]Corne-v [...]xing darnell, and wilde oates did reigne.
That now unlesse thou exercise the soile,
Fright birds away, and with continuall toile
Lop off the shadowing boughes, and pray for raine
Devoutly still, thou mayst behold in vaine
Thy neighbours heape of corne with envious eies
Labouring with mast thy hunger to suffice.
The hardy plow-mens tooles must now be shown,
Without which corne can nor be reapt nor sown.
The flaile, fled, coulter, share, and crooked plow,
The iron harrow, Ceres wagons slow,
Celeus poor wicker houshold-stuffe, and than
Harrowes of wood, with Bacchus misticke Van.
All these before hand must be got by thee
If fame thou seeke in noble husbandry.
Fetch from the woods a fitting elme, and bow
The same with skill, till of a crooked plow
It take the forme; to that fasten a beame
Eight foot in length, two eares; not far from them
The wood that holds the share; but tile-tree take,
Or lofty beech the Oxens yokes to make,
And tailes of plowes, which all the course do guid,
When smoke the goodnesse of the wood hath tri'd▪
Many of the ancients rules I here could show
[Page 10]Vnlesse thou scorne to study Arts so low;
Let thy Barns floore be digg'd, and sodder'd than
With tuffest Clay, and then rowl'd hard againe,
Lest it should turne to dust, or grasse should grow.
Many mishaps may fall; the mouse below
Oft makes her house, and garner under ground,
And there as oft the blinde-borne moles are found:
There Toades, and many earth-bred Monsters ly:
There little Weeuills heapes of corne destroy,
And frugall Ants, that toyle for times to come.
Consider thou, when Nut-trees fully bloome,
And with their fragrant blossomes bend the tree,
As those nuts thriue, so will thy harvests be,
And corne in great abundance gathered.
But if those trees in broad leaues only spread,
Then ears, though great, but little grain wil yeeld.
Some I haue seene, before they sow their field,
Their seedes with lees of oyle, and nitre still
To macerate, which makes full graines, to fill
The flattering huskes; or else their seedes to boile.
Seedes I haue seene chosen, and pick'd with toile,
Yet grow ill corne, unlesse the man for feare
Cull with his hand the greatest every yeare.
So all things of themselues degenerate,
[Page 11]And change to worse even by the law of Fate;
No otherwise than when a man doth row
Against a violent streame with much adoo,
If ere he chance from rowing to refraine,
His Boate is hurry'd downe the streame againe.
Plow-men had need each starre as well to know
The Kids, the Dragon, and Arcturus too
As Sailors neede, who in rough stormes are wont
To passe the Oyster-breeding Hellespont.
When Libra first diuides the world, twixt light
And darknesse, equalling the day and night,
Then exercise your teames, and barley sow
Till winter to extremity do grow.
While yet tis dry thy hempe, and poppie sow
Before the Winter too tempestuous grow.
Sow beans i'th'Spring, Claue grasse in rotten soile,
And Willet, that requires a yearely toile,
When with his golden hornes bright Taurus opes
The year, & downward the crosse Dog-star stoops.
But if thou plow to sow more solid graine
A wheat or barley harvest to obtaine,
First let the morning Pleiades be set,
And Ariadnes shining coronet,
Ere thou commit thy seed to ground, and there
[Page 12]Dare trust the hope of all the following yeare.
Some that before the fall o'th' Pleiades
Began to sow, deceived in th' increase
Have reapt wilde oates for wheat. But if that thou
Disdain not Fesels, or poor Vech to sow,
Or care to make Aegyptian lentils thrive,
Falling Boòtes then to thee will give
Signes not obscure. Begin to sow, and till
The midst of winter hold on sowing still.
And therfore through twelve signes bright Phoebus guides
The world, and th' earth in severall climes divides.
Five zones divide the heavens, the torrid one
Still red, still heated by the burning sun.
On either side are two extreamely cold,
Which ice, and frosts, and stormes perpetuall hold:
Twixt that and these, to comfort mans estate,
The gods have plac't two zones more temperate
Twixt both these two, a line i'th' midst is put,
Which by the Zodiack is obliquoly cut.
And as the world is elevated to
The Scythian North, it does declining go
Down to the Libyan South. The North's still high
To us, the South vnder our feet doth lye,
Seen by the ghosts, and balefull Styx below.
[Page 13]The mighty dragon there windes to and fro,
And like a crooked river doth passe through
And compasse round the great and lesser Beare,
Which to be dipped in the Ocean feare.
There (as they say) an ever silent night
Remaines, and darknesse never pierc'd by light,
Or else the morne returnes to them, when gone
From us, and brings them day; when th'Eastern su [...]
Doth in the morne salute our haemisphere,
Darke night compels them to light candles ther [...].
Hence we in doubtfull skies may stormes foresee,
When a fit harvest or seed time will bee;
Or when to plow th' uncertain [...]eas tis fit
With cares, or when to rig an armed fleet,
And when pine trees are seasonably fell'd.
Nor can this speculation vaine be held,
How th'heavenly signes doe rise and fall, and here
Into foure seasons do divide the yeare.
When storms within doores keep the husbandman
They give him leisure to make ready than
What they would hasten in faire weather more,
To grinde their plowshares dulled edge, to bor [...]
And hollow tree [...] for boates; the husbandmen
Then measure corne, and marke their cattell then.
[Page 14]Some horned forkes prepare, some sharpen stakes,
Bonds for the limber vines another makes:
Panyers sometimes of Rubean twigs they make,
Sometimes they grinde their corne, somtimes they bake:
For all diuine and humane Lawes allow
On greatest holy-daies some workes to do,
To digge a dike, or fence about the corne;
To catch the harmefull birds, brambles to burne:
To wash the bleating flocks in riuers cleare
By no Religion was forbidden ere.
Some driue their Asses to the market towne
With oyle and apples, who returne anone
Laden with pitch and grinding stones againe.
The Moone did not all daies alike ordaine
Happy for euery worke. The fift Moone fly,
Then hell and furies first began to be.
Then did the earth an impious birth produce
Typhoeus, Caeus, and Iapetus,
That durst conspire the towers of heauen to rase.
Thrice they indeavour'd with strong hand to place
The mountain Ossa on high Pelion,
On that Olympus: thrice great Ioue threw downe
Their worke with thunder. But the fourteenth day
Is best to plant your vineyards, and assay
[Page 15]Your new-tam'd Oxen. Then best spinning thriues;
The ninth is safe to travell, free from Theeues.
Some works by night are happiest brought to pass,
Or when the morning starre bedeawes the grasse.
By night your stubble and dry Meadowes mow,
For night faire moisture doth on them bestow.
Some sit up late at winter-fires, and fit
Their sharp edg'd tools; the while their wiues do sit
Beside them carding Wooll, and there make light
With songs the tedious labour of the night.
Or boyle new wine from crudities, and skim
The bubbling froth off from the Caldrons brim.
But reape thy corne in the daies heat and drought,
For dry-reap't corne will thresh more cleanly out.
In Summer naked plow thy ground, and sow:
Cold Winter rest on plowmen doth bestow.
Then they enioy what they before did gaine,
And with glad feasts each other entertaine.
The geniall Winter to free ioy inuites
From care. Such are the Mariners delights,
When laden ships long absent from their home
Now deckt with garlands to the hauen come.
Besides the Winter is a season fit
To gather ackorns, and ripe berries get
[Page 16]Of bayes, of olive trees, and myrtles red.
To catch wilde cranes in sprindges, and to spred
Toiles for red Deere; the long-ear'd Hare to start,
And fallow Deere with a loop'd Spanish dart
Wel thrown to kil, whē with deep snow the ground
Is hid, and rivers with strong ice are bound.
The stormes of Autumne why should I relate?
When daies grow shorter, and more moderate
The heat? what care good husbands entertaine?
Or when the show [...]ry spring doth promise raine?
Whē all the fields with green ear'd corn are proud
And tender blades the swelling graine do shroud?
[...]oft have seen, when corne was ripe to mow,
And now in dry, and brittle straw did grow,
Windes from all quarters oppositely blow.
By whose dire force the full-ear'd blades were torn
Vp by the roots, and into th' aire were born:
No otherwise than when blacke whirle windes rise,
And tosse dry straw and stubble to the skies.
Oft fall huge gusts of water from the sky.
And all the full-swell'd clouds whirle from on high
Black showers & stormes about: the thunders noise
Even rends high heaven, & falling raine destroyes
All crops, and all that th' Oxens toile has done.
[Page 17]Dikes fill: with sound the swelled rivers run;
The seas with troubled agitations move.
In midst of that tempestuous night, great Iove
From a bright hand his winged thunder throwes:
Which shakes the earth; beasts flye; sad terror goes
Through mortal breasts. His burning dart doth aw
Rhodope, Athos, th' high Ceraunia.
The showery South windes double now, and round
The woods do murmur, and beate shores resound.
For fear [...] of this observe the moneths and signes:
Marke to what house Saturns cold star inclines:
And with what planet Mercurie doth ioyne.
But first give worship to the powers divine:
Offer to (i) Ceres yearely sacrifice
With feasts upon the grasse, when winter is
Quite spent, and now the spring doth fresh appear.
Then lambs are fat, then wines are purg'd & clear:
The shady mountaines then sweet sleeps afford.
Let her by all thy plowmen be ador'd:
Let honey, milke, and wine be offered
To her, and th' happy sacrifice be led
About the new corne thrice, whilst every one
Followes with ioyfull acclamation,
Imploring Ceres favour; and let none
[Page 18]Presume to thrust a sickle into corne,
Vnlesse with oaken wreathes he first adorne
His head, and dance unartificially
With hymnes of praise to Ceres Deity.
And that by certain tokens we might know
When heat will come, when raine, when winds shal blow,
Great Ioue ordained monethly what the Moone
Should teach, what signes foretell, when winds go down,
That husbandmen, marking what oft befals
Know when to keep their cattell in the stals.
Iust ere the windes arise, the Sea swels high,
Great noise is heard from all the mountaines nigh,
Then hollow murmurs through the woods you hear,
And all the shoares resounding far and near.
Then Seas are ill to Saylers evermore
When Cormorants fly crying to the shore
From the mid-sea, when Sea fowle pastime make
Vpon dry land, when Herns the ponds forsake,
And mounted on their wings do flye aloft.
You may discerne, when windes are rising, oft
The stars in heauen do seeme to fall, and make
Through nights dark ayre a long and fiery tracke.
Oft straw and wither'd leaues in th' aire fly vp,
And feathers swimme upon the waters top.
[Page 19]But when it lightens from the boistrous North,
And th' East, and Western houses thunder forth,
The Lands oreflow'd, the Dikes fill'd every where,
And Marriners wet sayles on th' Ocean beare,
The storme can nere thee unawares surprise,
For from the Vallies, ere it thence arise,
The Cranes do fly, the Bullock vpward throwes
His head, and snuffs the ayre into his nose;
The subtle Swallow flyes about the brooke,
And querulous Frogs in muddy pooles doe croke.
Th' industrious Ant through narrow paths doth role
Her egges along from out her little hole.
The Rain-bow seemes to drink the waues, & home
The Crowes in mighty sholes from feeding come,
And clap their wings aloud; Sea-fowles, and those
That feed along where faire Cayster flowes
Through th' Asian meadowes, you may often see
Bathing themselues in water greedily.
They oft diue downe, and swimming to and fro
A glad, though vaine, desire of washing show.
Then with full throats the wicked Rooks call on
The raine, and wander on the shores alone,
Offring their heads to the approaching showres.
As maids in spinning spend the nights late howres,
[Page 20]Their burning lamps the storm ensuing show,
Th' oile sparkles, theeves about the snuffe do grow.
By no lesse true, and certaine signes may we
Faire daies and sunshine in a storme foresee.
For then the stars aspects are cleare to us,
Nor does the moone arise obnoxious
Vnto her brothers rayes, nor ore the sky
Do little clouds like woolly fleeces fly:
The Theus-lov'd Kings-fishers spread not then
Their wings against the sun; nor Hogs uncleane
Prepare them heapes of straw to ly upon.
But to the lowest vales the clouds fall down.
The fatall owle high mounted at sun set
Does not the balefull evening song repeat.
Nisus his wings in th' ayre aloft displayes,
And for his purple lock false Scylla payes.
Where ever Scylla through the ayre doth fly,
Nisus, her fierce and cruell enemy,
With eager flight pursues; from thence where he
Appeares, with fearfull wing doth Scylla flye.
The ravens with a loud, and strained throate
From their high nest do oft repeat their note,
And 'mongst the leaves they croak together all
As taken with a ioy unusuall;
[Page 21]It does them good, the storme now spent, to see
Their nests of young ones, and dear progeny.
I do not think that all these creatures have
More wisedome than the fates to mankinde gave;
But thus; as tempests, as th' unconstant skies
Do change their course, as severall windes arise
In th' aire, and do condense, or ra [...]ifie,
[...]ust so their natures alter instantlie.
Their breasts receive impressions different;
As some by calmes, so some by stormes are sent.
Hence that consent of ioy or wo doth slow
Which croaking ravens, fowle, and cattell show.
But if that to the swiftly moving sun
Thou look for signes, or to the following moone,
The next daies weather thou maist know, nor be
Deceiv'd by a faire evenings treacherie.
Be sure great stormes by sea and land ensue
When first the Moon doth her wan'd light renue,
If then her dulled hornes dark ayre embrace.
But if a rednesse hide her virgin face
It will be windy; that complexion
In her shewes winde. But in the fourth new Moon
(For that's the certain'st author) if most cleare,
And free from dimnesse her bright horns appeare,
[Page 22]That day, and all the following daies shall be
Till the moneths end, from rain and tempests free▪
To Panopaea, Glancu [...], Inoe [...] boy
The saued Marriners shall pay with ioy
Their vowes upon the shore. But sur'st of all,
And best the Sunne, when he doth rise, or fall
Into the Ocean, doth those rules bestow,
When he or yeelds to night, or morne doth show.
When full of spots the rising Sunne doth seeme,
Hid in a cloud, and in his middle dimme,
Suspect great raine; the moist Southwinde is nigh
To cattell, corne, and trees an enemy.
Or when thick clouds the morning Sunne do hide,
Yet [...]ound about his shining rayes are spi'de,
Or when Aurora with a count'nance pale
Leaues Tithons rosie bed, then ill from haile,
Which leapes into all houses rattling hard,
Can thinne vine leaues (alas) the clusters guard▪
These signes more surely may obserued bee
About the setting Sunne; for oft wee see
His face with various colours is orespred;
Azu [...]e betokens raine: a fiery red
Shewes winde. But if that rednesse mix'd appeare
And full of little spots, then every where
[Page 23]Both winde and raine together shall be seen▪
In such a night, when that sad signe hath been,
Shall no perswasions make me venture ore
The Seas, or loose my Cables from the shore.
But when his Orbe both even and morne is bright,
Then let no feare of stormes thy minde a [...]fright.
The woods no windes but dry North windes shall moue.
And last of all how all the night shal proue,
Frō whēce dry clouds the north [...]ē wind shal driue,
And what moist seasons the south winds shall giue,
The Sun shall perfectly declare to thee,
And who dares taxe the Sunne of falsitie?
He oft forewarnes us of blinde tumults nigh,
Of growing wars, and secret treachery.
He pitying Rome, when Caesar murder'd dy'd,
In sable darknesse his bright head did hide,
And night eternall threaten'd th' impious age.
Then besides him did th' earth and seas presage:
The Dogs and fatall birds sad signes did yeeld.
How often then into the Cyclop [...] field
Did Aetna's burning caverne overflow,
And globes of fire, and melted stones did throw?
The trembling Alps did shake; ore all the sky
A noise of arms was heard in Germany.
[Page 24]In solitary groves were often heard
Affrighting voices, and pale ghosts appear'd
When night began; the beasts 'gainst nature spake;
Hoods stopt their courses; the cleft earth did make
Wide chinks; on statues, which our temples kept,
The brasse did sweat, the mourning ivory wept.
Swelling Eriadnus the king of floods▪
With violence orethrew the lofty woods,
And ore the fields both beasts and stals did beare.
Beasts entrailes sad, and threatning did appeare.
The Wels were fill'd with bloud; in depth of night
The howling Wolves did greatest Towns affright▪
Nere flew more lightning through a welkin faire,
Nor mo portentuous comets fill'd the aire.
Therefore with equall ensignes once againe
Two Romā hoasts fought on Philippi Plain.
The gods were pleas'd that our blood-dropping woūds
Should twice (k) manure Aemathiaes fatal grounds.
Rust eaten piles and swords in time to come,
When crooked plows dig up earth's fertile womb;
The husbandman shal oft discover there,
And harrowes i [...]on teeth shall every where
Rake helmets up; plowmen in graves so old
Such large-siz'd bones shall wonder to behold.
[Page 25] Romulus, Ve [...]a, and ye native gods
That keep by Tuscan Tyber your abodes,
And Romes high pallaces, take not away
Young Caesa [...], now the only ayde and stay
Of this distressed age; enough have we
Already pay'd for Troyes old periury.
The court of heaven already envies us
Caesar, for thee, that thou vouchsafest thus
Poor earthly triumphs to regard below.
For when such mischiefes, and dire wars did flow
Ore all the world, & right with wrong confound,
The plowes neglected lay, the fruitlesse ground
Ore-grown with weeds, for want of tillers mournd,
And crooked sickles into swords were turnd.
Euphrates here, there Germany in arms
Was up; on tother side the loud alarms
F [...]ight neighbouring cities; all accords are broke,
And all the world with impious war is shooke.
So when swift charriots from the lists are gone,
Their furious hast increases as they run.
In vaine the charrioter their course would stay;
Th'ungovern'd horses hurry him away.
Finis libri primi.

Annotations upon the first BOOKE.

IT is not unknowne to any man, who is an able iudge of this worke, that Virgil, though Prince of the Roman Poets (for that title his own age freely affoorded him, and the judgement or modesty of succeeding times ne­ver detracted from him) did help his inuenti­on by imitation of the Grecian Poets; & in this work of his Georgicks, (to speak nothing of his Aeneids, or Bucolicks) he has taken his sub­ject from Ascraean Hesiod; as his own verse in the second booke modestly acknowledges.

Ascraeuin (que) cano Romana per oppida carmen. In this subiect (though the learning of Vir­gil must needes carry him vpon other mat­ters than Hesiod treated of, and his own in­tent to honour his natiue Italy, which was then mistresse of the conquer'd world, and to [Page 27] whose climate and properties hee especially proportions this discourse of husbandry) hee retaines in many things the Grecian way; bee invokes their gods (men whose ancient worth had deis [...]ed them to posterity) he builds upon many stories, which either the Gre [...]kes inuented, or the distance of time has made posterity not to credit them as truths, but in­title them poeticall stories. Some of these histories which are shortly mentioned in this Werks, I haue thought fitting to relate here for th [...] ease or delight of the English reader, [...]treating all Readers to pardon me for stri­ving onely to please them: (for to mee it can adde nothing, since all men of iudgement can tell how easily, and where I find them.) I haue not mentioned them all; nor made a large comment upon the worke to extend it to an unnecessary bulke; but mentioned such only as I thought fitting.

[Page 28] (b) Staphylus the son of Sithneus, and chiefe Shepheard to Oeneus king of Aetolia, had obserued that one of his goates did often in feeding separat it selfe from the rest of the flocke, and by that feeding was growne fatter and better in liking than all the rest. He upon a day resolved to watch this goate, and found it feeding on a cluster of grapes: he gathered some of the grapes, & wondring at the novel­tie and rarenesse of the fruit, presented it to the King his Master. The King tasted it, and wondrously pleased, and cheared with the juice of it, began to esteeme it of great value; insomuch as not long after it so happened, that the great Bacchus returning from his Indian conquests, was entertained at the court of this Oeneus; who presented to Bacchus his new-found fruit. Bacchus, who before had learned the use of it, instructed the king [Page 29] how to continue the race, and the maner how to dresse, and perfect his vines; and ordained withall that the wine in the Greeke language should be called [...], in honour of Oeneus, and the grape [...], after the name of Sta­phylus the kings shepheard.

(c) These Faunt are accounted the coun­try Gods, and are thought alwaies to inhabite in the woods. The first of them was Faunus king of the Aborigines, the son of Picus, & grandchilde of Saturne, who first reduced the inhabitants of Italy to a ciuill life: hee built houses, and consecrated woods; in ho­nour of so great a merit as this, he was by his thankefull posterity (as the custome was of those times) consecrated a god, and his ora­cle with great devotion kept in Abbunea an Italian wood. Of his name all Temples were afterwards called Fanes; hee married his [Page 30] sister Fauna, whom the Romans in after times honoured with great deuotion, and cal­led her Bona; Shee gaue Oracles to the wo­men, as her husband Faunus did unto the men.

(d) The Fable is thus; When the famous City of Athens was founded, and Neptune and Minerva were in great contention who should have the honour of naming the place, it pleased the gods to appoint it thus, that the honour should accrew to that deity, who could bestow the greatest benefit upon mankinde. Vpon which sentence Neptune with his tri­dent striking the shore, immediately a furious horse provided, and armed for the war, was created by that stroke: Minerva casting her javelin from her, of that javelin produced an Olive tree; which being a fruitfull and good plant, and the embleme of peace, was iudged [Page 31] more usefull and profiable to mankinde. The cause why our Author invoketh Neptune in this place, is, because hee intendeth to speake of horses in the third Booke of this Worke. Which had beene else unfit in a discourse con­cerning affaires of Land to have invoked a god of the Sea.

(c) Aristaeus, who is here invoked was re­ported the son of Apollo, and the Nymph Cyrene: This Aristaeus the father of Actae­on, who transformed into a stag (as Ovid's fable delivers it) was devoured by his doggs, grieved for his sons death, departed from Thebes to the Iland Caea, which was then de­stitute of inhabitants by reason of a pestilence which had there happened: This Caea is an I­land in the Aegaean sea; from whence hee sailed into Arcadia, & there ended the residue of his life. In Arcadia hee was honoured [Page 32] as a god after his death for teaching the people that strange mysterie of making Bees.

(f) This youth here named the invent [...]r of the Plow, is by most thought to be Osiris the King, and afterwards god of the Aegyp­tians. He was the first that ever taught the Aegyptians his country-men the use of Oxen for p [...]owing of their ground. He was honou­red by them as a god after his death for this great benefit; and worshipped in the forme of an Ox [...], which was called Apis, in the City of Memphis. And in memory of this also Isis the wife of that Osiris was honoured as a goddesse, and had solemne sacrifices, in which an care of corne was carryed before the pompe, and all plowmen in harvest time sacri­fied to her with the straw of wheat.

(g) The history of the birth, life, and deity of this god Sylvanus is thus reported; A shep­heard, [Page 33] whose name was Cratis, abused to his lust ash [...]e-Goat of his flocke: and when up­on a time Cratis was sleeping by a river [...] side; that hee-Goat, which used the compa­ny of the shee-Goat, in a jealous fury, assaul­ted Cratis with his hornes, and tumbled him into the river; from whose name the flood was afterwards called Cratis. This monstrous issue of he Shepheard and the Goat, when it was brought to light, resembled them both, and was a Goat in the nether parts, but in the upper it carryed the shape of a man. Being afterward brought up and growing in the woods, the Shepheards asto­nished at so strange a shape, began to honour and adore him for a god, calling him Sylva­nus, from the woods wherein he lived. This god Sylvanus was extreamely enamoured on a beauteous youth named Cyparissus, [Page 34] who with great care had brought up a tame Deere; and when on a time the youth un­happily trying his Bow, had mist the marke, and slaine unawares his beloved Deere, out of extremity and impatience of griefe he dy­ed. Sylvanus lamenting the death of his minion Cyparissus, fell downe weeping upon the dead body, and vowed never to part from those imbraces: which he continued so long [...]ntill the gods in pitie to Sylvanus, trans­formed the body of Cyparissus into a tree, called, from him, the Cypresse tree, which ever after was a tree of mourning, and garnished great mens houses at funerals, as all the Po­ets mention; and Sylvanus is accounted the god protector of that tree.

(h) Erigone the virgin was the daughter of Icarus an Athenian shepheard, whose pie­ [...]ie to her father was much renowned: inso­much [Page 35] as that when her father was slaine (as shall bee afterwards declared) shee never parted from the dead body, but dyed with him; and by the pitie of the gods, as Poets say, was taken up into heaven, and made a signe in the Zodiacke, called Virgo.

(i) The Husbandmen in ancient time sa­crificed to Ceres the goddesse of Corne. They killed a fat Hog as the sacrifice it selfe, a creature whose rooting endamages the corne. About this sacrifice the whole Chorus of the husbandmen danced in a rude inartificiall maner (for such dances in Reli­gion were accepted) and sang songs in ho­nour of the goddesse Ceres, who first inven­ted Corne. They wore upon their heads branches of Oaken trees, in a thankefull re­membrance of their old food: for before her bounti [...] to mankinde had taught them the [Page 36] wayes of tilling and harvest, the people lived upon Mast and Acorns.

(k) For twice in that countrey the Ro­mans fought in civill warre: first Iulius Caesar against Pompey the Great, after­ward Octavius Caesar and Marcus Anto­nius against Marcus Brutus and Caius Cassius.



THis Booke the nature of all trees defines,
Of fat-rin'd Olives, of heart-cheering Vine [...],
And other lesse-fam'd plants; to every tree
Its proper climate, growth, and quality
Assignes; and teaches how to propagate,
How to engraffe, transplant, enoculate.
With what rich fruit some happy lands are blest,
Which others want: and here 'bove all the rest
Our Poet doth inferre the praises high
Of his owne native f [...]uitfull Italy;
Her meadowes, heards, faire townes, and rivers knowne
To all the world; her nations of renowne,
And men of honour'd name. Last, it doth shew
The blisse of plowmen, if their blisse they knew.
THus much of tillage, and coelestiall signes;
Thee, Bacchus, now Ile sing; & with thy vines
[Page 38]Other wilde Plants, and Olives slowly growing.
Hither, ô Father (for thy gifts are flowing
Ore all things here; the vineyards by thy care
With rich Autumn all fruit full laden are,
And vinetages oreflow) o [...] hither daine
To come, great Bacchus, and when thou hast tane
Thy buskins off, oh then vouchsafe with me
In new sweet wine to dip thy bared thigh.
Nature on trees doth different births bestow;
Some of themselves without mans aide do grow;
And round the fields, and crooked rivers come,
As limber Osiers, Poplars, tender broome,
And grey-leav'd Willowes; some from seed arise;
Such are the lofty Chest nuts, and those trees,
Which Iove his greatest holds, th' high Aesculus,
And th' Oak by Greekes esteem'd oraculous.
Some from their own great roots make young ones rise
About them round, as Elmes and Cherry trees;
And young Parnas [...]ian bayes do often so
Vnder their mothers shadow shelter'd grow.
These waies of planting nature first did bring:
So trees, so herbs, and sacred woods did spring.
But other waies experience since hath found.
Some plant yong shoots cut off frō trees in groūd,
[Page 39]Some graffe young rooted stalks in deeper mould;
And sharp crosse-cloven stakes: some bow their old
Vines into ranges, propagating young,
Which thence in arches on both sides have sprung.
Some need no roots; the Pruner young slips cuts,
And them into the earth securely puts.
And (wondrous to be told) an Olive tree
Out from a dry cut trunke oft springs we see.
And often are the branches of one tree
Into another grasfed prosperously;
So from an Apple stocke ripe Peares do come,
And hard red cornoiles from a stock of Plumme,
Therefore be carefull, husbandmen, to know
What art belongs to every tree, and how
To make wilde trees by dressing better grow.
Keep no ground barren: Ismarus will please
Bacchus, Taburnus will beare Olive trees.
And thou, (a) Mecaenas, to whose grace I ow
My fame and glory, be propitious now;
Lend thy free favour to this subiect plaine.
I dare not hope this Poeme should containe
All parts of it, had I an hundred tongues,
To them an hundred mouthes, and iron lungs.
Wa [...]t me from shore: the earth's description's plain.
[Page 40]Nor will I here, Maecenas, thee detaine
With Poets fictions, nor oppresse thine eare
With circumstance, and long exordiums here.
Those trees, which of thēselves shoot up in th' aire,
Do grow unfruitfully, but strong and faire;
For in the soile their nature is; but these
If thou do take, and gra [...]fe in other trees,
Or else transplant them well, they'le quite forsake
Their barren nature, and most aptly take
By dressing oft, what forme thou wouldst bestow.
The like those trees, that spring from roots, wil do,
If them to th' open fields thou do remove;
But now their mothers leaves, and boughes above
Oreshadow them and make them barren trees.
But all those plants, which do from seedes arise,
Grow slow, and shade to our grand-children give.
They still degenerate the more they live.
Good grapes turne birds meate, grown extreamly bad,
And apples lose the first good iuice they had.
They must be mended all, well digg'd, and drest,
And by much labour tam'd; the Olive best,
And Venus Myrtle set in trunks do live,
And Vines the best by propagation thrive.
From small slips set do Fil [...]erts grow, we see,
[Page 41] Iove's Oake, and great Alcides (b) Poplar tree,
The stately Ashes, lofty Palmes, and Firs
Employ'd at sea by ventrous Marriners.
Rough arbute slips into a hazell bough
Are oft ingraffed; and good Apples grow
Out of a Plaine trees stocke: the Chestnut beares
Ingraffed Beech: in tall wilde Ashes Peares
Do flourish best; from Elmes Oak-acorns fall
To Hogs; nor are the wayes alike in all
How to ingraffe, how to inoculate.
For where the tender rinde opening of late
Shot forth a bud, iust at that knot they cut
A little hole; into that hole they put
A budding shoot [...]ane from another tree;
The rinde then closing makes them prosperously
Together grow. But if the trunke be free
From knots, they cleave the trunke of such a tree
With wedges, putting fruitfull slips therein;
Within short time th' ingrafted slips begin
To grow to prosperous height; the tother tree
Wonders such stranger fruit, and leaves to see.
Nor are the waies alike in all of these,
In Willowes, Lotes, Idaean Cypresses,
And sturdy Elmes; nor in one maner do
[Page 42]All kindes of Olives, the long Radii grow,
Nor Olives orchites, or Pausia nam'd,
Nor apples, nor Alcinous fruit so fam'd.
Nor must all shootes of peares alike be set,
Crustumian, Syrian peares, and wardens great.
Nor hang the vines upon our trees as do
Those that in Lesbian Methymna grow.
The Thasian vines in barren soile abound:
The Ma [...]otike thrive in richer ground;
The Psithian grapes are best of all to dry.
Besides these, strong Lagaean wines there be,
Whose strength makes drunkards stagger, & doth tye
Their tongues; [...]ath-ripe, & purple grapes there be;
But in what verse shall [...] enough commend
The Rhetian grape? yet let it not contend
With the Tabernian. Aminean vines
There are besides, which beare the firmest wines.
Cilician, and Phanaean grapes there are,
And white grapes lesse than those; none may com­pare
With these for store of iuice, and lasting long.
Nor will I passe thy vintage in my song
O Rhodes, for feasts and sacrifices fam'd;
Nor that great grape from a Cowes udder nam'd.
But all the kindes, and names of grapes that are
[Page 43]Tis numberlesse and needlesse to declare.
Which he that seekes to do, as soon may know
How many Libyan sands the West winds blow;
Or when fierce Eurus 'gainst the Sailers rores,
How many waves rowle to th' Iônian shores.
Nor can all grounds bring forth all plants we see;
By rivers Willowes prosper: th' Alder tree
O [...] mo [...]ish grounds: on rocky mountaines grow
Wilde Ashes: Myrtles on the shores below;
Vines love warm open heights; the Northren cold
Makes Yew trees prosper. And again behold
The conquer'd worlds farthest inhabitants,
Easterne Arabians, painted Scythians.
See there all trees their proper countries know;
In India only does black Eben grow:
None but Sabaea boasts of Frankincense.
Why should I name that fragrant wood, frō whence
Sweet Balsam sweats? the berries or the buds
Of Bears-foot ever greene? those hoary woods
Of Aethiopia cloath'd with snowy wooll?
Or how the Seres their rich fleeces pull
From leaves of trees? or those fair woods, wch grow
Neere to the Indian sea, whose highest bough
No Arrowes flight can reach? none shoot so high,
[Page 44]Although that Nation no bad Archers be.
Slow-tasted Apples Media doth produce,
And bitter too, but of a happy use;
Than which no surer Antidote is known,
T' expell a poyson-temper'd potion,
When cruell step-dames their sad cups have us'd,
With cha [...]ming words, and banefull herbs infus'd.
The tree is faire, iust like a Laurell tree,
And were indeed a Laurell perfectly,
But that their smels far differ; no winds blast
Shakes off her leaves, her blossomes still stick fa [...]t.
With this the Mede short-winded old men eases,
And cures the lungs unsavory diseases.
But not the richest land, not Median woods,
Not golden Hermus, nor faire Ganges sloods
May ought for praise contend with (c) Italy,
Nor faire Panchaia fam'd for spice [...]y,
Bactia, nor India; no Bulls, that blow
Fire from their nostrels, did that Region plow:
No Dragons teeth therein were sow'd, to beare
A crop of Souldiers arm'd with shield and speare.
Besides this land a spring perpetuall sees,
Twice breeding Cattell, twice fruit-bea [...]ing trees.
And summers there in moneths unusuall shine;
[Page 45]But no wilde Tigers in that coast are seene,
No savage Lions breed, nor in that land
Do poisonous (c) herbs deceive the gatherers hand.
No huge and s [...]aly snake on those faire grounds
Makes fearful tracks, or twines in hideous rounds.
Adde to all these so many structures faire
Of beauteous Cities, of strong Townes, that are
Fenced with rocks impregnable, and how
Vnder those Antient walls great Rivers flow.
Shall I insist on those two seas that flow
'Bout Italy, above it and below?
Or her great lakes? thee mighty Larius?
Or thee tempestuous sea-like Benacus?
Or praise her havens? or the Lucrine lake?
Where the imprison'd Iulian waters make
A loud & wrathfull noise, through which the great
Sea-tides into Avernus lake are let?
Besides the land abounds with mettals store,
With veines of [...]ilver, gold and brazen ore;
It nurturs Nations bold, the Marsians,
The [...]i [...]ce Sabellians, dart-arm'd Vol [...]cians,
Hardy Ligurians; in particular
The Decii, Marii, those brave names of war,
The great Camilli, valiant Scipio's,
[Page 46]And thee, great Caesar, now victorious
In Asia's utmost bounds, whose conquering powers
From flying Indians guard the Roman towers.
Haile Saturns land in riches great, and great
In men; for thee I will presume t' entreat
Of th' ancient praised arts, ope sacred springs,
And through Romes townes A [...]crean poems sing.
Now all soiles severall natures let us see,
Their strengths, their colours, and fertility.
First barren hils, and hard unfruitfull ground,
Where clay is scarce, and gravell doth abound,
Is good for Pallas long-liv'd Olive tree.
For in such soiles we by experience see
Wilde Olive trees do in abundance grow,
And all the fields with their wilde Olives strow.
But ground more fertile, with sweet moisture fill'd,
Well cloath'd with grasse, and fruitfull to be till'd,
(Such as in valleyes we doe oft espy,
Whither the waters flow from hils on high,
Leaving a fruitful slime) where South-winds blow,
And Brakes, great hinderers of all plowing, grow,
Will yeeld thee spreading vines, and full of iuice,
And lusty wines, such as we sacrifice
In golden goblets to the gods, as soon
[Page 47]As the swoln Tuscan trumpeter has done
His sounding at the Altar, which we load
With reeking entrailes brought in chargers broad.
But if thou rather Heards, or Calves wouldst keep,
Or Goats, whose grazing burns the fields, or sheep;
Then seek Tarentums lawnes, and farthest coast,
Such fields as happlesse Mantua has lost,
Where snowy Swans feed in the meadowes neere
The rivers side; nor grasse, nor water there
Thy Heards can want; what grasse they eat by dayes,
The dewy night back to the field repayes.
But ground in colour blacke, and fat below,
Putrid and loose (for such we wish to plow)
Is best for co [...]ne; for from no ground do come
Mo l [...]den waggons, and tir'd Oxen home.
Or where of late the plowman grubb'd up wood,
Which quiet there for many yeares had stood,
And birds old nests has from the roots orethrown;
They [...]est of dwellings now from thence are flown;
The new-made ground once plow'd most fruitfull grows.
Course barren sand, & hilly scarce bestows
Casia, and [...]lowers for Bees to feed upon,
Nor chaulk, nor that so soft though rugged stone
Eat by black snakes; no ground on snakes so good
[Page 48]Close holes bestowes, nor such delicious food.
But that rich land, which doth exhale like smoakes
Thin vapors up, that showrs of raine in soakes,
And when [...]he lists returns them forth againe,
Whose mould with [...]ust the iron doth not staine,
Which cloaths herselfe in her own grassie greene [...]
That Land (as well in tillage may be seene)
Is good to pasture cattell good to plow,
There Vines and Olives prosperously grow.
Such Lands by Capua, by Vesuvius high,
And Clanius, that o [...]e [...]lowes Acerrae, ly.
[...] How to discerne each soile [...]le teach thee now,
Which mould is thick and which is loose to know.
(For one [...]aeus, tother Ceres loves:
Vines love loose grounds, corne best in thickest proves)
Choose with thine eie that piece that is most plain;
There digge a pit, and then throw in againe
The clods and earth, and tread them strongly in;
If they'le not fill the pit, the soile is thin,
And best for Vineyards, and for pasture grasse;
But if the clods do more than fill the place,
The earth is thick and solid; try that soile,
And plow it well, though hard and full of toile.
That earth that's salt, or bitter, bad for sowing,
[Page 49](For that will never be made good by plowing,
Nor vines, nor apples planted there, abide
In their first generous tast) may thus be tride;
Take a thick-woven Osiar colander,
Through wch the pressed wines are strained clear,
And put a piece of that bad earth into it
Well mixt with water, & then strain them through it,
You shall perceive the struggling water flow,
And in great drops will through the Osiars goe,
But by the tast you may discerne it plaine;
The bitternesse will make the taster straine
His countenance awry. So you may know
By handling, whether ground be fat or no;
Leane earth will crumble into du [...]t▪ but thicke
Like pitch fat earth will to your fingers sticke.
Moist land brings forth tall grasse, and oft is found
Too rich; oh give not me so rank a ground,
Nor let it co [...]ns yong husks too richly raise.
Earth that is heavy her own weight betrayes,
And so of light; our eyes do iudge aright
The colour of the land or black or white▪
But to finde out that cursed quality
Of cold in grounds, of all, will hardest be;
Yet that the trees, which prosper there, will shew,
[Page 50]Pitch trees, black Ivie, and the balefull Yew.
These things consider'd well, remember thou
Long before hand in furrowes deep to plow
And breake the earth; then let it lye thus broke
Expos'd to North-cast-windes and winters shock,
Before thou plant thy fruitfull Vines therein,
For they thrive best in rotten ground, and thin.
The Windes and hoary Frosts, after the toile
Of digging (Husbandmen) wil rot the soile.
But he, that throughly vigilant will be,
Must finde a place out for a nurcerie
Iust like the place he plants in, left a tree
Transplanted do not with the soile agree.
And he, to plant it as it was, must marke
The Heavens four quarters on the tender ba [...]ke,
To know how every tree did stand, which side
Endur'd the South, which did the North abide,
And let their former situation stand.
Consider then if Plaine or mountaine Land
Be best for Vines; if plain good ground thou choose
Then plant them thicke; the Grapes can nothing loose
By their thick standing there; if on a Hill
Thou plant, with measure, and exactest skill,
Set them in rowes by equall distance held;
[Page 51]As when an Army's ranged in the field,
And stand [...] for triall of a mighty day;
In equall squadrons they themselves display
Ore the broad field, which seemes with glittering armes
To move, before the battels fierce alarmes
Do [...]ound, and Mars to both stands doubtfull yet.
So trees at equall distance ranked set,
Not only to delight thy prospect there,
But cause the ground can no way else conferre
To all an equall vigour, nor can they
Have roome at large their branches to display.
Perchance how deep to digge thy furrowes now
Thou'dst learne. Thy Vines in shallow ones, will grow
But other trees more deeply digg'd must be;
Chiefly th' Aesculean Oake, who still more high
He lifts his branches in the ayre, more low
His root doth downward to Avernus go.
Therefore no windes, nor winter stormes orethrow
Tho [...] Trees; for many yeares unmov'd they grow,
And many ages of mankinde outweare,
And sp [...]ing their fair branches here and there,
Themselves [...] do make a stately s [...]ade.
Let not thy Vineyards to the West be made,
Nor plant t [...]ou [...]asels 'mongst thy Vines, nor yet
[Page 52]Lop off their highest branches, which are beat
With winds, nor prune them with blunt knives, nor yet
Wilde Olive trees 'mongst other Olives set.
For unawares fire oft is scattered;
Which in the dry fat [...]inde conceal'd, and fed
Seizes the tree, the leaves and branches takes,
And through the aire a crackling noise it makes,
Till on the top it reigne with victory
Involving all the wood in [...]lames, and fly
Like a black pitchy cloud up to the sky,
Especially if stormy windes do ly
Vpon the wood, the [...]lames about to beare.
When this doth chance, the Olives burned there
Spring from the root no more in their first state,
But to wilde Olives do degenerate.
Let none perswade thee then, how wise so ere,
When Boreas blowes, the harden'd earth to stir;
Winter congeales the ground, and suffers not
The trees new set in th' earth to spread their root.
But when the golden spring doth first appeare,
And that white bird is come, whom serpents feare,
Is the best time of all to plant thy vines:
The next is when the Autumnall cold beginnes;
When now the [...] short [...]ns the daies, and done
[Page 53]The Summer is, yet winter not begun.
The Spring's the time that cloaths the woods with leaves;
The earth then swells, and seed with ioy receives.
The Iove Almighty down descends, and powers
Into the earths glad bosome fruitfull showers,
And mixt with her great body, he doth feed
All births of hers, and foster every seed.
Each bush with loudly chirping birds is grac'd;
Beasts at set times the ioyes of Venus tast:
The ground stirr'd up by Zephyres warmer winde
Opens her selfe, and brings forth fruit in kinde.
Young blooming trees dare trust themselves unto
The Sun new mounted; the vine branches now
Feare not the rising Southren windes, nor yet
The North-East-winde, that causes tempests great.
But shoot their blossoms forth, & spread their leafe.
No other daies but such (tis my beliefe)
When first the world beginning had, were known▪
Th' earth had no other t [...]nor; Spring alone,
And that perpetual, the great world enioy'd;
No East-windes winter blasts that age annoy'd,
When first all Cattell their beginning had,
When of the earth mankindes hard race was made,
When wilde Beasts fill'd the woods, & stars the sky.
[Page 45]Nor could the tender creatures easily
Endure this change; but heaven to make amends
Twixt heat and cold this temper'd season sends.
What plants so ere thou setst in th' earth, be sure
Cover them well, and with fat dung manure;
Put shells, and sandy stones therein; twixt them
Moisture will flow, and thin exhalings steame;
From whence the plants will gather hart. Some lay
Great stones at top, & vessels of thick clay,
Which from all stormes will guard and fence them sound,
This when the dog-star cleaves the thirsty ground.
And when thou plantst thy Vines dig round about
To bring good store of earth to every root;
Or exercise thy struggling Steeres, to plow
The ground in surrowes deep twixt every row.
Then get light reeds, smooth wands, & ashen stakes
With horned forkes, whose supportation makes
Young Vines contemne the windes, and to the top
Of Elmes to clime by broad-spred branches up▪
But when their leaves do first begin to bee,
And new-growne branches from supporting free
Shoot loose into the Ayre; then spare to use
Thy pruning knife so soone, and rather choose
The leaves superfluous with thy hands to pull.
[Page 55]But when embracing Elmes with armes more full
And strong, they grow; then confidently pare
Their leaves and branches too; before they fear [...]
The p [...]uning knife; then do not spare the same;
But their superfluous growth with rigour tame.
Then make strong hedges to keep cattell out,
Young beasts especially, and yet unwrought.
Wilde Bulls and greedy Goates more harm will do
Than scorching Summers, and cold Winters too.
There Sheep will browze, and feeding Heifers go.
The Winters hoary Frosts, and falling Snow,
And parching Suns that burne the hardest rocks,
Endammage Vines lesse than those greedy flock [...]
Their browzing teeth do venome leave behinde,
And killing scars upon the stocke and rinde.
No other fault there was, that (d) Goates did d [...]
At Bacchus Altars, and th' old Comaedie
Was celebrated, that th' Athenian playes
In Villages, and all crosse-meeting wayes
Were grac'd; and men, ore meadowes in their po [...]
Did dance about th' annointed (e) skins of Goat [...]
Th' Italian Nations also sprung from Troy
Singing Saturnian rythms with open ioy
And laughter loose, horrid disguises wor [...]
[Page 56]Of hollow'd barks of trees, and did adore
With hymnes of mirth, Bacchus, thy power divine,
And virgins (f) statues on the lofty pine
Did hang. Then vineyards fruitfully did beare,
All vales, and lawnes were fertile every where,
Where ere the god his beauteous head do show.
Therefore let us these rites to Bacchus do
In our own mother language, offering
Full cups, and wafers; and to th' altar bring
A guilty goat led by the hornes, and his
Fat entrailes rost on spits of cornoile trees.
Besides in dressing vines more paines is showne,
To which there never can enough be done;
For every yeare the ground must digged be
Three or foure times, and plow'd eternally;
The leaves must oft bee gathered; all the paine,
That husbandmen bestow, returnes againe;
His own steps back the circling yeare doth tread.
And when the vines their leaves in Autumn shed,
And all the woods of cloathing robbed are
By North-east-windes: even then th'industrious care
Of th'husbandman unto the following yeare
Extends it selfe; then he begins to pare
The vine with Saturn's crooked hooke, and right
[Page 57]By skilfull pruning to refashion it.
First dig the ground: first burne the shreds cut off:
And lay thy rests up dry within thy roofe;
Gather thy vintage last. Leaves twice oreshade
The vines, as twice the ranke-grown weeds invade
Yong corn. Both which require great toil to mend.
Till thou a little farme, though thou commend
A great one. And besides sharpe twigs of thorne
From woods, and reedes on bankes of rivers born,
Thou for thy vines must cut, and carefull be
For willow groves, which else neglected ly.
Now when the vines are bound, & prun'd, and all:
And th' husband sings about the vineyard wall;
Yet there remaines a care, to dust them there,
And storms, even when the grapes are ripe, to fear.
Contrariwise unto the Olive tree
No dressing doth belong, nor needeth shee
The crooked hook, nor harrow, when once faire
Shee stands in ground, and once has felt the ayre▪
The earth it selfe, when furrow'd by the plow,
Doth food enough on her, and corne bestow.
Therefore the fat and fruitfull Olive nourish.
So th' Apple tree in a full stock doth flourish,
And once full grown up to the sky she towres
[Page 58]By her own strength, and needes no helpe of ours
So of themselves wilde Woods, and every Bush
Beare fruit, and with Vermilion berries blush;
Low shrubs are shorn brāds on high trees do grow,
That feede the nightly fire, and light bestow.
And doubt men yet to plant, and care bestow?
(To leave great trees) Willowes and Broom so low
Do cooling shades to Sheep and Shepheards give,
Hedges for corne, and food for Bees to live.
How pleasantly with Boxe Cytorus stowes?
With her Pitch trees how faire Maricia showes?
Oh how it pleases me those fields to see,
That need no plowes, nor humane industrie!
Those barren Woods on Caucasus high hill,
Which strong East-windes do wave, and rattle still,
Have each their severall use; Pines for the Seas;
For Houses Cypresse, and tall Cedar trees.
From hence the Plowmen Spokes for wheeles doe take [...]
Covers for Waines, & Keeles for Ships they make.
Willowes do usefull twigs afford, Elmes shade;
Of Cornoile trees, and Myrtles darts are made:
Yew trees, to make strong Parthian Bowes, are bow'd;
Tile trees, & pliant Boxe may be bestow'd
Hollow'd, or turn'd, in formes, and uses good;
[Page 59]Light alderne barks do swim the Po's rough floud;
In rotten-holme stocks, and the rindes of trees
You oft may finde the hony-combes of Bees.
What benefits like these come from the Vine?
That causes guilt. The Centaures fill'd with wine
Great Rhaetus, Pholus, and Hylaeus dy'd,
When they with pots the Lapithees defi'd.
Oh too too happy, if their blisse they knew,
Plaine Husbandmen; to whom the earth with true
And bounteous iustice, free from bloody war
Returnes an easie food; who, though they are
Not early wak'd in high-roof'd Pallaces
When waiting Clients come; though they possesse
No Poasts, which Indian shels adorne in state,
No gold embroidred cloaths, Corinthian plate,
Nor rich Assyrian scarlet; nor abuse
With sweetest Casia the plaine simple use
Of oyle; yet rest secure, a harmelesse life
Enrich'd with severall blessings, free from strife,
Coole caves, dark shady groves, & fountains clear,
Vntroubled sleeps, and cattells lowing there,
And pleasant huntings want not; there they live
By labour and small wealth; honour they give
Vnto their gods and parents; iustice tooke
[Page 60]Her last step there, when she the earth forsooke.
But let the sacred Muse, whose priest I am,
Me above all with her sweet love inflame;
Teach me each star, each heavenly motion,
The oft eclipses of the Sun and Moone,
The cause of Earthquakes: why the swelling main
Rises, and fals into it selfe againe:
Why Winter suns so soone hast to the sea:
What makes the Summer nights so short to be.
But if dull bloud, which 'bout my heart doth flow,
These parts of nature will not let me know;
Then let me (famelesse) love the fields and woods,
The fruitfull water'd vales, and running floods.
Those plains, where clear Sperchius runs, that moūt
Where Spartan Virgins to great Bacchus wont
To sacrifice, or shady vales that lye
Vnder high Haemus, let my dwelling be.
Happy is he that knowes the cause of things!
That all his feares to due subiection brings,
Yea fare it selfe, and greedy Acheron!
Yea happy sure is he, who ere has known
The [...]urall gods, Sylvanus, and great [...]an,
And all the sister Nymphs! that happy man
Nor peoples voices, nor kings purple move:
[Page 61]Nor dire ambition sundring brothers love:
Nor th' Istrian Dacians fierce conspiracies:
Nor Romes estate, nor falling monarchies.
He sees no poore, whose miserable state
He suffers for; he envies no mans fate;
He eats such fruits as of their own accord
The willing grounds, and laden trees afford;
He sees no wrangling courts, no lawes undone
By sword, nor peoples forc'd election.
Some search the Seas hid pathes, some rush to war,
In Courts of Kings others attendants are.
One would his country, and dear gods destroy,
That he himselfe might drink in gemmes, and ly
On purple beds; another hoards up gold,
And ever wakes his hidden wealth to hold.
The pleading bars another doth admire,
And high applause from every seat desire
Plebeians, and Patritians; some for goods
Their guilty hands embrue in brothers bloods.
Some from their houses and dear countries rome
In banishment, to seek a forreine home:
Whilest the industrious husband plowes the soile,
And takes the profit of his yearly toyle.
With which his house and country too he serves,
[Page 62]And feedes his Heards, & th'Oxe that wel deserves▪
No fruitlesse time; young Cattell still are bred,
Or Corne is reap'd, or fruits are gathered,
Corne that the surrowes lades, and barnes doth fill.
When Winter comes, Oyle in the Olive mill
They make; and Porkers fat with Acorns grow;
The Woods yeeld Crabs but Autumne does bestow
All kindes of pleasant fruit; the grapes hang by
Hot sunny walls, and ripen perfectly.
Meane while his pretty children kissing cull
His neck: his house is chast; with Vdders full
His Kine come home; and in the flowery Meades
His frisking Kids do butt with tender heads.
He feasts himselfe upon the grassie ground,
Whilst 'bout the fire carowling cups are crown'd;
And Bacchus is invok'd in sacrifice;
Then mongst his herdsmen makes a darting prize,
And s [...]ts the mark upon an Elme; or they
Prepar'd for wrastling, their hard lims display.
Such lives as this the ancient Sabines led,
And so were Romulus and Remus bred;
So grew renowned Tuscany to fame,
So Rome the greatest of all lands became,
And in one wall did seven great hils containe.
[Page 63]And thus before Dictaean love did reigne,
And impious nations on slaine cattel fed,
His life on earth the golden Saturne led▪
No classicks sounded then, nor mortall blade
Of swords, the Smiths laborious anvile made.
But we enough have now produc'd our course,
And time it is to ease our wearyed horse.

Annotations upon the second BOOKE.

CAius (a) Mecaenas, that famous che­risher of good learning, to whom our Poet in this place acknowledges so much, was a Gentleman of Etruria, in high favour with Augustas Caesar, and in great imployment of State under him. Hee was in his friend­ship with learned men, not onely bountifull, but judicious in the placing of his bountie, [Page 64] and above all others fortunate in the choise of the men. Among all the Poets, in that wise age wherein he lived, Virgil and Ho­race were the onely two, which I can finde, whose meane fortunes needed his liberalitie, as well as their vertues deserved his ac­quaintance: how liberall he was, their often acknowledgements in their Works, have te­stified to the world: how judicious or fortu­nate he was in those mens acquaintance, no age of the world hath since beene ignorant; his name having beene generally used for the love of learning, no lesse than Caesar's for Imperiall dignity (though there were, both in that and the following ages, as Iuve­nal witnesseth in his seventh Satyr, other men of honourable name and esteeme in Rome, who were lovers of such things, as Fabius, Cotta, Proculeius, Lentulus, &c.) Those [Page 65] Lords eyther fayled in judgement in the choyse of their friends, or the injury of their times affoorded them not wits able enough to raise their fames; since wee finde not any such manifest honour done to their memories as to this Mecaenas. whose fortune it was, that Virgil and Horace should live in his time; and in such estates, as to need his bounty for his owne honour: which is not a thing incident to every age, though wittie Martial in an Epigram of his could speake thus,

Sint Mecaenates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones. yet the contrary by experience hath oft been found. Maroes have beene borne when no Mecaenases have lived to cherish them (as Homer the wonder of posteritie, in his owne time little esteemed) and Mecaenases have lived and wanted Maroes. What Monarch [Page 66] in the world was ever more desirous of fame in that kinde, and more able to requite than Alexander the Great? Hee that so much honoured the memory of Homer, and at the sacking of Thebes spared all the posteritie of the Poet Pindarus, found in his owne time no able Poet to celebrate his fame. There were in his time (as Arianus witnesseth in the life of Alexander) many Poets, who would have written of him, and stirred up by the greatnesse of his actions, or moved with hopes form his known bounty, had writ­ten in the praise of him; but such and so poore were their inspirations, they neyther de­serued the acceptation of Alexander, nor the sight of posterity.

(b) The Poplar is called the tree of Hercules for this reason, as the Poets faine: When Hercules had entred into Hell, redee­med [Page 67] Theseus from prison there, and retur­ned victorious, leading out Cerberus in tri­umph after him; the first tree that he espy­ed was a Poplar tree, of which he made him­selfe a Garland, and crowned himselfe after his new conquest.

(c) Our Poet, after the description of those severall trees of strange natures, which enrich the severall climates of the earth, takes an occasion, by way of comparison, to extoll in all kinds the fruitfulnesse, and with­all the happinesse of his native Italy, the magnificence of the Italian Cities, the mul­titude and bravery of her people: Of the po­pulousnesse of Italy thus Plinius at one place speaketh. This is that Italy, which, when Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Caius Atti­lius were Consuls upon the fame of the tu­mult of Gallia, armed presently of her owne [Page 68] forces, without the aide of any forreyners, and without mustering of any Italians beyond the river of Po, thirty thousand horsemen, and seventy thousand foot: and Diodorus Siculus speaking of Rome before the second Carthaginian warre, sayes that the Senate as it were foreseeing the comming of Anni­bal with a warre so bloudy, tooke a generall survey of themselves and their tributaries, and found the number of men fit to beare armes, to be ten hundred thousand. And speaking also of the populousnesse of the Iland of Sicily, esteemed then as a part of Italy (for it was all called magna Graecia) bids us not wonder at those mighty armies of Ninus, Se­miramis, Darius, or Xerxes, since Diony­sius the tyrant, out of Syracusae onely, armed an hundred and twenty thousand footmen, with twelve thousand horsemen, and a navy [Page 69] of foure hundred ships out of one haven.

(d) The sacrifices, which in ancient times were offered to the gods, were alwayes chosen eyther for likenesse or contrariety: for like­nesse some were offered, as to Pluto the King of the darke world a blacke sheepe or steere were offered in sacrifice. Others for contra­rietie and hatred; as a Sow, because she roo­teth up land and spoyleth corne, was offered unto Ceres: the Goat, because he browzeth the Vines, was offered to Bacchus: the Goat was likewise offered to Aesculapius the god of health, because the Goat is never without a fever.

(e) In those old playes which the Atheni­ans instituted in the honour of Bacchus, the people danced with wine bottles made of Goat-skinnes, to insult as it were over the Goats after they were dead. Of these Goat-skinnes [Page 70] [...] in Greeke signifieth a [...] up first the name of Tragaedies.

() These playes were instituted to Bac­chus by the Athenians for this reason; Bacchus bestowed a bottle of sweet wine up­on Icarus an Athenian Shepheard. This Icarus coming to the company of some other labouring people of the country, set his bottle of wine before them. The plaine labourers not knowing the quality of the liquor, but de­lighted with the sweetnesse of it, drunke in­temperately, and feeling themselves much altered in their braines, and their whole bo­dies, they killed Icarus, supposing that he had given them poyson. The dog of Icarus re­turning home to Erigone his daughter, con­ducted her, who followed the dogge, unto her fathers dead body. Erigone impatient of griefe, hanged her selfe upon a pine tree, and [Page 71] the dogge parting not from the two bodies, starved himselfe: for which piety both Eri­gone and the dogge were taken and made signes in heaven. But not long after, for these murders unrevenged, the Athenians were visited with a great pestilence, and the virgins of Athens were possessed with a strange frenzie, and in their fits hanged themselves. The Oracle, being asked the cause of this pestilence, returned them an­swer, that it should cease when they in devo­tion had interred the bodies of Icarus and Erigone, and revenged their murders: this being done, the plague ceased, and the people in honour of Bacchus celebrated yearely playes, and in remembrance of their former frenzy, upon pines or other trees were hanged up the images of virgins.



THe art of grazing, with the different cares
Of different cattell, this third book declares;
Of warlike Horses, of the labouring Oxe,
Shag-bearded Goats, and snow-white woolly flocks:
Their breeding, feeding, profitable use,
Last their diseases, and the cures it shewes.
But by the way our Poet promising
This subiect done, great Caesar's deeds to sing,
Makes present mention of them, and declares
His glorious triumphs, and late finish'd wars,
Which Nile, swift Tigris, and Euphrates saw,
And Crassus ensignes fetch'd from Parthia.
OF thee, great Pales, and Apollo now
Thou fam'd Amphrysian Shepheard, and of you
Arcadian woods & streams Ile sing. Those known
Old strains, that would have pleas'd light minds, are growne
[Page 74]Vulgar; who cannot of Eurysteus fell,
Or of Busiris blood-stain'd altars tell?
Who of Latonian Dele, or Hylas now,
Or ivory-shoulder'd Pelops does not know
For riding fam'd, or his (a) Hippodame?
Some new attempted straine must lift up me
From ground, and spread my fame to every eare.
I first, returning, to my countrey deare
Will from th' Aonian mountaine bring with me
The Muses (live [...]) and first honour thee
Mantua, with Idumaean Palmes of praise;
A marble temple in the field Ile raise
Neare to the streame where winding Minclus flow,
Cloathing his banks with tender reedes, doth flow.
In midst shall Caesars altar stand; whose power
Shall guard the Fane; to him I Conquerer
Will on the shore, with Purple cloath'd in state,
Circensian Playes in chariots celebrate.
All Greece shall gladly celebrate our fames,
Leaving th' Olympicke, and Nemaean games,
With racing and the whorlebat fight, whilest I
Crown'd with a tender branch of Olive tree
My offerings bring; Oh how I long to see
The sacrificing pompe in order rang'd
[Page 75]To th'Temple come, or how the Scene oft chang'd
Varies her face: or how the (b) Brittaines raise
That purple Curtaine which themselves displaies.
About the doores the Indian victory
Describ'd in gold and polish'd ivory,
With great Quirinus (c) armes shall stand, there showing
Great Nile with (d) Wars, as wel as Waters, flowing;
And navall Triumphs in brasse Pillars cut;
The conquer'd Asian Cities there Ile put,
Niphates, and the Parthian (e) foes, that fight
Retiring, and direct their shafts in flight.
Two Trophees tane from th'East & Western shore,
And both those Nations twice triumphed ore.
In Parian marble carv'd with cunning hand,
The race of great Assaracus shall stand,
And Tros, that from high Iove their birth derive,
And Phoebus too, who first did Troy contrive.
Those wretches, that shall envie this, shall feare
The Furies dire, Cocytus stood severe,
And Sisyphus still rowling stone, or feele
Ixion's wreathed Snakes, or racking Wheele.
Meanewhile let us follow the Woods, and Lands
Vntouch'd; such are, Mecaenas, thy commands.
My breast, without thee, no high rapture fils;
[Page 76]Inspire me then without delay; the hills
Cythaeron high, of Dogs Taygeta proud,
And Epire fam'd for Horses, call aloud.
Whose noise the ecchoing Woods redoubled bring.
After of Caesars glorious warres Ile sing,
And through as many ages spred his praise,
As have already past to [...]esar's dayes.
Who ere in hope to win th' Olympick prize
Would keep good Horses, or else exercise
Strong Steeres to plow; best choise from Dams it tooke.
That Cow proves best that has the roughest looke,
Great head and neck, and downe unto her knee
Her dangling dewlaps hang; sides long and high:
All must be great: yea even her feet; her eare
Vnder her crooked hornes must rough appeare.
I like the colour spotted, partly white;
Loath to endure the yoke, and apt to fight;
In all most like the Bull; in stature tall,
Her sweeping taile down to the ground doth fall.
Best age to go to bull, or calve, we hold,
Begins at foure, and ends at ten yeare old.
All other ages nor for breeding fit,
Nor strong for plow; but i'th' mean time, whilst yet
The flocks have lusty youth, let the males go
[Page 77]Without restraint to Venery, and so
By timely broodes preserve a perfect kinde.
Their first age best all wretched mortals finde;
After diseases, and old age do come,
Labour, and deaths inexorable doome.
There still will be, whose bodies with thy will
Thou wouldst wish chang'd. Therefore repaire thē still;
And lest thy kinde quite lost thou finde too late
Prevent the losse, and yearly propagate.
And such a choise you must in horses make;
But him, whom you for stallion meane to take,
As hope of all the race, elect with care
Even from a tender colt; such colts as are
Of generous race, straight, when they first are fol'd,
Walke proudly, their sost ioynts scarce knit, & bold
Da [...]e lead the way, into the rivers enter,
And dare themselves on unknown seas to venture.
Not frighted with vaine noises; lofty neck'd,
Short headed slender belly'd, and broad back'd,
Broad and full breasted; let his colour be
Bright bay, or grey; white proves not commonly
Nor flesh-colour. When Wa [...]s alarumes sound
His nostrils gather and breathe fire; no ground
Can hold his shaking ioyn [...]s; his care advances,
[Page 78]His thick shag'd mane on his right shoulder dāces.
His back bones broad & strong, the hollow'd groūd
Trampled beneath his hard roūd hoof doth sound.
Such was that horse, which Spartan (f) Pollux tam'd
Fierce Cyllarus, and Mars his horses fam'd
By th' old Greek Poets, or those two that drew
Achille [...] chariot; such a shape and hew
At his wives comming, flying (g) Saturne tooke,
And all high Pelion with shrill neighings shooke.
Yet when disease or age have brought to nought
This horses spirit, let him at home be wrought,
Nor spa [...]e his base old age. A Horse grown old
Though he in vaine attempt it oft; is cold
To Venery, and when he's brought to try
(Like that great strengthlesse fire in stubble dry)
In vaine he rages; therefore first tis good
To mark his age, his courage and his broode
With other arts; how sad a horse will be
When overcome, how proud of victory.
Dost thou not see, when through the field in speed
Two racing chariots from the lists are fled,
The young mens hearts all rise, as forth they start,
And fear with ioy confounded strikes each hart?
They give their horse the reines, and lash them on,
[Page 79]Their hurryed wheeles enflaming as they run;
Now low they go, now rise as they would flye
Through th' empty aire, and mount up to the sky:
No resting, no delay; a sandy cloud
Darkens the ayre; they on through shoutings loud
Of standers by, all sweat and some do fly,
So great's their love of praise and victory.
First (h) Erict [...]onius chariots did invent,
And by foure horses drawne in triumph went.
The (i) Peletronian Lapithes first found
The use of backing horses, taught them bound,
And run the ring; taught Riders t' exercise
In martiall ranks, both equall mysteries:
The masters of both these have equall neede
To finde out horse of courage, and good speed,
Though nere so nobly born, though oft in game
They won the prize, and for their country claime
Epi [...]e, or fam'd Mycenae, or else tooke
Their birth at first from Neptune tridents stroke.
These things observ'd, at covering time, they care
To make their Stallion strongly fat and faire
The father of their broode; for him they mow
Choise grasse, sweet streames, & corn to him allow,
Le [...]t he should faile his pleasant worke to do,
[Page 80]And th' young ones starvelings from his hunger grow.
But they of purpose keep the Femals light
And leane: and when they have an appetite
To Venerie, let them not drink nor eat,
And course them oft, and tire them in the heat,
When in full Barnes the ripe Corne crowded lyes,
And emptie cha [...]fe before the West winde flyes.
And this they do lest too much ranknesse make
The breeding soile, and fatted furrowes take
Too dull a sense; but that they should draw in
Seed with desire, and lodge it safe within.
Now to the Dams our care comes from the Sires:
They great, when now their time almost expires,
Let no man yoake them then for worke, nor make
Them leap a ditch, nor let them swimming take
Swift flouds, nor cours'd about the meadowes bee.
But let them feed in empty fields, where free
The water is; the banks with mosse are stor'd,
And rocky caves a coole sweet shade afford.
About Alburnus still with holly greene,
And Sila [...]us high woods great Flies are seene
In Roman term'd A [...]li antiently
Oestra in Greek, a fierce loud-buzzing Fly;
Whose terrour makes th' affrighted Cattell fly
[Page 81]As chas'd about the woods, and pierce the sky
With lowings loud; which through that country round
The woods, & bankes of Tanager resound.
With this dire Monster once did Iuno show
Her vengefull spite 'gainst then a Cow.
This [...]ly (for most he stings in heat of day)
From Cattell great with young keep thou away,
Or bring them not abroad to feed alone
Vnlesse at morne, or after sun is down.
After the breeding they use all their care
About the young ones; of what birth they are
Their markes discouer; they designe each one
His severall use; one for a Stallion
Is kept, another [...]or a Sacrifice,
A third for Plowing, from whose toile arise
The harvests fruits; the rest a grazing go
Vpon the Verdant fields. But those whom thou
Intendst for Husbandry, begin to tame
Their courages while they are Calves, and frame
Them for the Plow betimes, while yet their rage
But tender is, and flexible their age.
Loose Collars first of tender branches make
For their soft necks; then, when they freely take
The Yoake by custome, yoake a paire, and so
[Page 82]Teach them in order and a-breast to goe.
And let them first draw empty Wheeles, or rake
The ground but sleightly, and smal furrowes make;
Then afterwards under a deep-strook Plow
They'le learne to tug till th' Axeltree do bow.
But to thy yet-untamed Calves allow
Not only grasse, and sea-grasse, that doth grow
In fenny grounds, with willow leaves; but still
Feede them with corne thy selfe: and do not fill
Thy milking pailes from th' Vdders, as of yore,
But let them freely suck their mothers store.
But if thy minde thou more to war do give,
Or through Iove's wood wouldst racing chariots drive,
And swiftly passe by Pisa's riuer side:
The first taske is to make thy horse abide
To see the Souldiers armes, heare their loud voices,
The Trumpets sound, and rattling chariots noises,
And oft within the stable let him heare
The clashing whip; he 'le more and more appeare
To be delighted with his masters praise,
And when he strokes his necke, his courage raise.
When first he 's wean'd from sucking let him hear
These things, and trembling be compell'd to wear
Soft [...]alters oft about his head; but when
[Page 83]His life has seene foure Summers, teach him then
To run the round, in order right to beat
The ground, and both waies skillfully curvet
As if he toil'd; then let him with his speede
Challenge the winde, and from all curbing free'd▪
Scoure ore the champion fields so swift, that there
The sands no print of his light hoof do beare.
So when the Scythian gusts and North-east-wind [...]
From their cold quarter fiercely blow, and binde
The dry clouds up: all ore the waving field
Corn bows with equall blasts; woods tops do yeeld
A murmuring noise: long waves roule to the shore.
Forth flyes the winde, sweeps lands and waters ore▪
Thy Horse thus order'd to the races end
All bloody foam'd, victoriously will tend;
Or else his tamed neck will better bow
To draw the Belgian chariot; let him grow
Full fed, when once he 's broken well, nor feare
His growth; so fed before he 's broke, he'll beare
Too great a stomack patiently to feele
The lashing whip, or chew the curbing steele.
But no one care doth more their strēgth improve,
Than still to keep them from Venereall love,
(Whether in Horse or Bullocks be thy care)
[Page 84]Therefore their Bulls they send to Pastures farre
To graze alone, where Rivers are between
Or Hils, or feed them at full Racks within.
For the faire Femals sight with secret fire
Consumes their strength, and lessens all desire
Of feeding in them; her temptations make
Two stubborne Bulls a combate undertake,
And with their Hornes to try their utmost deedes.
In the great Wood the beauteous Heyfer feedes,
Whilst they contending with their utmost spite;
Their wounded bodies lay'd in blood, do fight.
Their Hornes with fury meet, their bellowings roūd
Olympus great, and all nere woods resound.
Nor do they after both together feede,
Far into exile goes the vanquished,
And there alone in forreine fields bewailes
His sad disgrace, how his proud foe prevailes,
He unrevenged forc'd to lose his love,
And from his native Countrey to remove.
Then he with care his strength doth exercise;
Vpon the hardest stones all night he lyes;
On roughest leaves, and sharpest herbs he feedes,
Oft tryes himself; with wrathfull horns proceedes
Against the trunks of Trees with furious strokes,
[Page 85]And with his strength the winde it selfe provokes.
Each place beholds the Prologue to his sight.
But when his strength is recollected quite,
And well improv'd, he doth with fury go
To meete againe his not forgotten [...]o.
As when a furious foaming billow rose
In the mid-sea, and thence with horrour goe [...]
To be at the rocky shore, resounding straight,
And falls no lesse than with a mountaines weight.
The Seas low'st part mixt with his highest fomes,
And belch'd black sand up from the bottom comes.
Even so all kindes on earth, led by desire,
Men, Beasts, Fish, painted Fowle to this sweet fire
With fury run: Love is the same to all.
The [...]urious Lionesse no time at all
Forgetting yong ones, through the fields doth rore
And rage so much, nor ougly Beares do more
Black slaughters make, nor throgh the woods more wracke
Do cruell Bores and furious Tygers make.
In Libyan desarts tis ill wandring then.
See how the Horses ioynts all tremble, when
A Mare's known sent he through the aire doth feele.
No stripes, no strength of men, no bits of steele,
No Rocks, nor Dikes, nor Rivers in his way,
[Page 86]Which roule whole mountaines, can his fury stay.
The sterne Sabellian Bore in love doth whet
His tusks, and digge the earth up with his feet:
Against a tree he rubs his lusty fide
Rowzing his bristles with a martiall pride.
What dares the young man do, whom loves strong heat
Torments within? though stormes be nere so great,
He ore the seas in midst of night dares swim,
Although the heavens showre down their spite on him,
And though the sea-beat rocks resound amaine.
No [...]eeping parents can his course restraine,
Nor that faire Maide whose death his death must prove.
Why should I speak of spotted [...]nxes love?
Of Dogs, and cruell Wolves? or shew what warre
Faint Deer in love will make? but strangest farre
Is those Mares furious love, which Venus sent,
Whē they their Master (k) Glaucus peecemeal rent.
Love makes them mount ore lofty Gargarus,
And swim the streames of swift Ascanius.
And when Love's flame their greedy marrowes burnes
Most in the spring (for heat then most returnes
To th'bones) upō high rocks they take their places,
And to the Western winde all turn their faces,
[...]uck in the blasts, and (wondrous to be said)
[Page 87]Grow great with Fole without the Horses ayd.
Then ore the rocks and vallies all they run,
Not to the North, nor to the rising Sun,
Nor Caurus quarter, nor the South, whence rise
Black showres, which darken & disturbe the skies.
Hence flows thick poison from the groines of these,
Which Shepheards truly call Hippomanes,
Hippomanes, which oft bad stepdames use,
And charming words, and banefull herbs infuse.
But Time irreparable flyes away,
While we too much of every thing would say,
Let this suffice of Heards: our tother care
Shall woolly Sheep, and shaggy Goats declare.
This is a taske: hence, Shepheards, hope to get
Your praise: nor am I ignorant how great
A paine twill be in words to hit it right,
And give such lustre to a subiect sleight.
But me the sweet desire of fame doth beare
Over Parnassus hardest ridges, there,
Where never path nor track before I saw
Of former Writers to Castalia.
Now hallowed Pales in a lofty straine
Ile sing; but first I counsell to containe
Your Sheep within soft stals to feed at home,
[Page 88]Whilst Winter lasts, till flowery Summer come:
Bundles of Straw, and B [...]akes upon the ground
Strow under them, lest the cold ice should wound
The tender Cattle, and bring scabs and rots.
This done, I counsell thee to feed thy Goats
With arbute trees and streames that freshly run;
And 'gainst the Winde, toward the Winter sun
Directly to th' Meridian build thy Stals,
When now the long-chilling Aquarius fals,
And lends a moisture to the ending yeare.
Let these unto our care be no lesse deare,
Nor are they lesse of use; though nere so high
Milesian fleeces with the purple dye
Of Tyre be sold. But Goates, if well they thrive,
Bring young ones ofter, and more Milk do give.
And still the more the milking Pailes are fill'd,
The more their swelling Vdders still will yeeld.
Besides the Beards, grey Skins, and bristly Haire
Of the Cyniphian Goats the owners sheare
To make their Tents, and cloath poore Marriners.
They feed on Woods & Mountaines tops, on Briers,
Brambles, and Bushes of the greatest height.
And of their owne accords come home at night,
Scarce able their swell'd Vdders to get ore
[Page 89]The Threshold then. For this do thou the more
Guard them from Ice, and Winter winde (the lesse
Themselves perceive mortalities distresse)
Bring them for food sweet Boughes & Osyars cut,
Nor all the Winter long thy hay-ricke shut.
But when faire Summer comes, when West windes blow
Let both thy [...]locks to field a grazing goe.
When first bright Lucifer appeares, along
The yet coole pastures lead thē forth, whilst yong
The Morning is, whilst all the Grasse is grey,
And mingled with sweet Dew; that Dew away
Ta [...] by the fourth houres thirsty Sun, when roūd
The fields with noise of Grashoppers resound,
Lead down thy flocks unto the Rivers brink,
Or else in woodden Channels make them drink;
In th' heat of day for shady Vallies looke,
On which some stately, and far spreading Oke
Sacred to [...]ove, or Holly grove do grow,
Which darke, but sacred Shadowes do bestow;
Then sleightly water them againe, and let
Them feed abroad againe about Sun-set,
When night to th' ayre a cooler temper yeelds,
And dew refreshing on the Pasture fields
The Moone bestowes, Kings-fishers play on shore,
[Page 90]And thistles tops are fill'd with Linnets store.
What need I sing of Libyan Shepheards, and
Their feeding countries, where few houses stand?
There oft the flocks whole moneths, both night & day
Do without stals along the desarts stray.
The Libyan Shepheard carryes with him ever
His armes, his Spartan Dog, his Cretan Quiver,
His House, and Victuals too; provided so
To Wars far off the Roman Souldiers go,
When they too heavie laden march, and yet
Before the Fo expect, encamped get.
But neere Maeotis in cold Scythian lands,
Where Ister tumbles up his yellow sands,
Where Rhodope's extended to the North,
From Stals they never bring their Cattell forth.
No Herbage cloaths those fields, no leaves appear [...]
Vpon their naked trees, but farre and neer,
The hidden ground with hard frosts evermore,
And snow seven cubites deep is cover'd ore.
Cold North-west-winds stil freezing blow, nor ere
Do [...]hoe [...]us beames their pallid darknesse cleare,
Not whan he rises to his height, nor whan
His ruddy chariot falls in th' Ocean.
The running streames so hard are freezed there
[Page 91]The waters back will Cart-wheeles iron'd beare;
In stead of Ships there Horse, and Wagons run;
Brasse cleaves with cold asunder; Cloaths put on
Freeze hard; whole Ponds by Frosts, which never thaw,
Are turn'd to solid Ice; they do not draw
But cut their Wine with Hatchets, and upon
Their Beards hang Isicl [...]s congealed downe.
Meane time perpetuall snowing fils the ayre;
The Cattell dy, the Beeves most great and faire
Are starv'd in drifts of Snow; whole Heards of Deer
So far are hid that scarce their hornes appeare.
For these they spread no toiles, nor hunt they there
With Dogs, but kill them with a sword or speare,
While they in vaine strive to remove away
Those hils of Snow, and pitifully bray;
And home with ioyful shouts they bear them then;
For under ground in deep-digg'd Caves the men
Secure, and warmly dwell; the night they turne
To mirth, and sport, and at one fire do burne
Whole oakes and elmes; and in full bowles they please
Their tasts with fresh sowre iuice of services
In stead of wine; a people rough and bold
Like these, beneath the Northren Wagons cold
Do live, which beasts skins warmest furs do weare.
[Page 92]Bleake Eastern windes still beat upon them there.
If thou regard their Wooll, let them not go
Where bushes are, where burs and thistles grow,
Nor in a grasse too rich. Be sure to choose
Thy flocks with white soft fleeces, but refuse
That Ram (although the fleece upon his backe
Be nere so white) whose only tongue is blacke,
Lest he do staine the fleeces of his Lambs
With spots, but chuse another 'mongst the Rams.
So with a Snowy fleeced Ram (if we
Trust fame) did Pa [...] the god of Arcady
Deceive thee [...], nor didst thou disdaine
Within the Woods to ease a Lovers paine.
But who so loves their Milke, to them must hee store
With his own hands bring Claver, Trifoly,
And [...]a [...]test grasse, which makes them drink more
Than else they would, & swells their Vdders more,
And tasts of salt do in their milke remaine.
Some from their Dams the tender Kids restraine,
And with sharpe muzzles bar their sucking quite.
Their morning meale of milk they presse at night:
That which they milk at night as Sun goes down,
The Shepheard carries to his market town
Next morne in Panyers, or with salt bestowes,
[Page 93]And layes it up till Winter colder growes.
Nor let thy Dogs be thy last care, but feede
With fattest Whey, as well as Dogs of speede
Which Spa [...]ta sends, thy Mastives fierce, for nere
Whilst they do guard thy folds, needst thou to fear
The Wolves invasion, nor the Thiefe by night,
Nor Mountainers that do in stealth delight.
Thou oft with Dogs mayst ore the Plaines apace
Wilde Asses, Deere, or Hares for pleasure chace,
Or [...]ow [...]e with their loud yelps the chafed Bore
From out his rough, and desart Den, or ore
The lofty Mountaines in delightfull view
A lusty Stag into thy toiles pursue.
But learn to burne within thy sheltering rooms
Sweet Iuniper, and with Galbanean gums
Drive Adders thence; for Vipers, that do fly
The light, oft under unmov'd Stals do ly,
Or Snakes, that use within the house for shade,
Securely lu [...]k, and like a plague invade
Thy Cattell with their venom; Shepheard take
A staffe or stones with thee, and kill the Snake
Swellling, and hissing from his threatning throte.
For though his head into a hole be got,
His middle twines, his taile, and parts behinde
[Page 94]Lye ope, and slowly after tother winde.
As bad's that snake, which in Calabrian Lawns
Doth live, and his proud neck aloft advance,
And rowling makes a long, and winding track.
His belly's spotted, sealed is his back.
Whom the spring, when showery Southwindes blow,
When grounds are moist, and rivers overflow
Lives upon ponds, and banks, and ravening still
With Frogs, and Fishes his black maw doth fill.
But when all grounds, yea fens themselves are dry
And cleft with chinks, upon dry ground is he,
And rowling then his fiery eyes doth threat
The fields, and rages, vex'd with drought & heat.
Oh let not me then take sweet sleepes abroade,
Nor lye secure under the shady wood,
When he, his skin new cast, his youth renewing:
Lifts up his head, his tongue threeforked shewing
In heat of day, and through the field doth rome
His egges or young ones having left at home.
He teach thee now the signes and causes all
Of each diseases; On sheep the scab will fall
When cold raw humours pierce them to the quick,
Or searching frosts, or sweat unwash'd off stick
Vpon their new-shorne skins, or brambles teare
[Page 95]Their flesh; for that wise Shepheards every where
Do in sweet Rivers wash their new-shorn flocks:
The drenched Ram down the streame swimming sokes
His Fleece, & Skin Or else with oiles fat lees
They 'noint their new-shorn Sheep, & mix with these
[...]daean pitch, quick Sulphur, silvers spume,
Sea Onyon, Hellebore, and black Bitume.
No kinde of cure's more full of present hope
Than with a knife to cut the Vl [...]r ope.
For else the hidden venome let alone
Both lives, and growes; whilst making of his mone
Vnto the gods, the idle Shepheard stands,
And to the wound denies his lancing hands.
But when a Fever dry shall seize upon
Their loynts, and pierce into the inmost Bone,
[...]Tis best to keep them then from heat, and cut
That fall swell [...]d Veine at bottome of the foot.
As the Bisaltian Macedonians do,
And fierce Gelonians, when they [...]ly unto
High Rodope, or the Getes farthest wood,
And drink their milk mingled with horses blood.
But where thou seest one Sheep too often ly
In shade at rest, and crop too lazily
The tops of grasse, or keep aloofe from all,
[Page 96]Or ly along, to feed, or to the stall
Returne home late alone, straight kill that sheep
Before th infection through th' whole flocke doe creep.
No seas are subiect to mo tempests still
Than sheep, are to diseases, which do kil
Not single ones, but the whole hopefull flocke,
And at one blow rob thee of all they stocke.
Then who has known the Alpes, th' Illyrian high
Castles, and Fields, that by Timavus lye,
May yet behold after so long, the land
Lye wast, and Shepheards dwellings empty stand.
Here by corruption of the ayre so strong
A plague arose, and rag'd all Autumn long,
That all wilde Beasts, all Cattell perished,
All pasture fields, and ponds were poisoned.
Nor single was the way to death, but when
A thirsty fire burnt up their flesh, even then
Moist humours flow'd againe, and not at once,
But by degrees did melt away the bones.
An Oxe that is for the gods service prest
In all his trimmings, and white garlands drest
Before the Altar dyes, as there he stands
Preventing the slow sacrificers hands.
Or if that slaine by the Priests hand [...]e fall.
[Page 97]His entrailes fired yeeld no flame at all,
Nor can the Prophets thence give answers good;
The Knives themselves are scarce distain'd with blood;
The sand below with black-filth darkned is.
Hence the young Calfe in richest pasture dyes,
And at full racks his sweetest breath forsakes.
Kinde fawning Dogs grow mad; strong coughing shakes
The sick short-winded, pursie Hogs, & pains
Their stubborn iawes; the conquering Horse dis­daine [...]
The pleasāt streams, & sick forgetteth quite
His food, and th' honour of a race or fight.
Oft with his hoofes he beates the earth, his eares
Hang downe, his sweat uncertainly appeares:
But cold before his death, his skin is dry,
And to the touch resisting ruggedly.
These signes of death you at the first may know:
But if by time the plague more cruell grow,
Their eyes are fiery then, their far-drawn breath
Is with a groane exprest; their flanks beneath
Stretch'd with oft sobbing; a black blood doth flow
Frō out their nostrels; their tongues rugged grow;
Their iawes grow close & hard; which help'd hath bin
By drenching thē thorough a horn with wine
That drench sometimes has wrought a care alone.
[Page 98]Sometimes has brought a worse destruction.
For they refresh'd, more fiercely mad have grown,
And with impatient furie torne their own
Flesh from their bared bones (so of their foes,
Of good men better, let the gods dispose)
The labouring Oxe now sweating at the Plow
Fals downe, and dyes, & from his mouth doth flow
Blood mix'd with foame, yeelding his latest grone.
The weeping Plowman tother Oxe alone
Vnyokes, which wailes his fellowes death, and now
Abroad in Field lyes the forsaken Plow.
His mourning minde up shade of lofty woods.
No flowery meadowes, nor clear Chrystall floods
Which ore the rocks, and through green fields do glide,
Can comfort now; his bowels on each side
Consume; his settled eyes unmov'd are grown,
And his unweildy necke hangs bending down.
What now availes his [...]o [...]mer fruitfull toyle?
That he so often plow'd the fertile soile?
Besides, no riotous, no costly feast,
No rich Campanian wine brought his unrest.
Greene leaves and simple herbage was his food,
His drink cleare water from the running flood.
No cares disturb'd his sleep. That time (l) they say
[Page 99]Within those Regions Oxen wanted they
For Iuno's sacrifice; her chariots than
By beasts unlike were to the temple drawn.
Therfore they digg'd their ground with much ado,
And with their hāds thrust down the seed they sow.
And ore the lofry mountaines not disdaine,
For want of beasts themselves to draw the waine.
No wolves do now about the sheepfold spy
How to a [...]ault the flock by treachery;
A greater sorrow tames the wolves; the Deer [...]
And fearfull Harts do wander every where
Amidst the Dogs, about the houses round.
The scaly Nation of the sea profound,
The Fishes, that all ponds and rivers store,
Float dead, like shipwrack'd bodies, to the shore:
Sea-calves unwonted to fresh rivers fly:
The water-snakes, with scales up-standing, dy:
The Viper vainly fenced by his hole
Dyes there: the aire to every sort of Fowle
Vngentle grows, who, whilst their flights they take
High in the aire both flight and life forsake.
Nor does it boore them now to change their food;
All arts are hurtfull, leaches do no good;
Not learned Chiron, nor Melampus sage.
[Page 100]The pale Tisiphone with all her rage
Is to the light from Stygian darknesse sent;
Before her feares, and pale diseases went;
Her murderous head higher, and higher still
She daily lifts; each river, banke, and hill,
The blea [...]s of sheep, and bullocks lowings fill.
Now in whole flocks they fall, and heap'd on high,
Even in the stals the carrion'd bodies lye,
Till men had learn'd t'interre them under ground
In dikes; for of their hides no use was found;
Nor could they roast their flesh, nor wash it clear,
Nor their disease-corrupted fleeces shear,
Nor touch the tainted webb; for who so ere
Durst once attempt those hated cloaths to weare,
Hot Carbuncles did on their bodies grow,
And Lice-engendring sweat did overflow;
And ere long time in this infection past,
A red * hot swelling all their limmes did wast,
Finis libri tertij.

Annotations upon the third BOOKE.

HIppodamia (a) was daughter to Oe­noma [...]s King of the cities of Elis and Pisa. This Oenomaus had horses of won­drous speed (as being begotten by the winds) and admitted suiters to his daughter Hip­podamia, upon this condition, that they should run a race in chariots with him: upon him that conquered, hee would bestow his daughter; but whom hee vanquished, hee would kill. When by this cruell meanes hee had killed many that came as suiters to her, and she at last was falne in love with Pelops, she corrupted Myrtilus her fathers chario­ter to let Pelops win, promising him for that favour hee should first enjoy her and have her maydenhead. Myrtilus upon this pro­mise [Page 102] put on false wheels upon the chariot of Oenomaus; and when Pelops was conque­ror, and obtained the Lady, Myrtilus de­ [...]ding her promise from her, was by Pe­lops her husband tumbled downe headlong into the sea, which sea from his name hath beene since called mare Myrtaeum.

( [...]) Augustus Caesar, after Brittany was vanquished, employed many of the cap­tiv [...] Brittains in servile offices about the Theater: he bestowed also upon those Thea­ters diverse flags of rich price, in which were woven his victories and triumphs. These flags were carried by the captive Brittaines, bearing the history of their owne conquest: but sure it is, the Poet in this place names Brittaine for any other barbarous nation; for Augustus, though he had many triumphs over severall barbarous nations, yet never [Page 103] conquer'd nor triumphed over Brittaine.

(c) By the name of Quirinus in this place the Poet meaneth Augustus Caesar, and that not farre fetch'd, nor farre from reason, but more for the Emperours true ho­nour; for Suetonius Tranquillus in the life of Augustus, speaketh thus: Three parties of the people by the Senats consent offered on a time three names to Octavius; the names of Quirinus, Augustus and Caesar: hee fearing lest if he should choose one, he should displease the other two parties, accepted them all: He was first called Quirinus, af­terward Caesar, and last of all Augustus; in which name he ever remamed; and Virgil gives him all those names.

(d) This great flow of warre from Nil [...] [...] Poet meanes when Marcus Antonius, and Cleopatra came downe from thence to [Page 104] encounter Augustus Caesar at Actium; [...] which warre they brought wonderfull power: for Marcus Antonius besides the ayde of ten Kings, which served him at that time, and all the strength of Cleopatra, had nine­teene whole Roman legions, and twelve thousand horsemen: his strength at sea was five hundred sayle of fighting ships. In this battell they were vanquished by Augustus Caesar.

(e) After the victory of Actium, Augustus Caesar marcht with a great strength towards divers nations; who easily yeelded unto him. The Indians & Scythians (saith Suetonius Tranquillus) hearing of his name onely begged his favour. The Parthians them­selves yeelded without resistance, and their king Phraartes did homage to Augustus, gave him hostages, and delivered backe all [Page 105] those Romane ensignes which they before had taken in warre from Marcus Crassus, and Marcus Antonius the Triumvir.

(f) The horses here mentioned, and so fa­med in Poetry, were these: the horses of Ca­stor and Pollux called Xanthus and Cyl­larus: the horses of Mars called Dimos and Phobos: and the horses of Achilles, called Xanthus and Aethon.

(g) The fable is thus: Saturne was in love with Philyra the daughter of Oceanus and Thetis: shee, to avoide the rape, was transformed by her parents into a Mare; upon which Saturne turned himselfe into a stately Courser, and so enjoyed the Nymph: in which shape also hee deceived his wife Ops, who came thither of purpose to finde him out, and discover the fact▪ of which con­ [...]ction of Saturne and Phylira, the Poets [Page 106] reported that Chiron the Centaure was borne.

(h) As the Thessalians were the first of all that ever invented the use of riding on horse-backe; so Ericthonius was the first that taught posteritie the way of joyning horses together in Chariots. This Erictho­nius was the sonne of Vulcan, a man of a goodly personage, but deformed onely in his feete, which were like the feet of a Serpent. Hee to hide this deformity, invented Chari­ots, wherein hee might ride, and nothing of him but his upper parts exposed to the view.

(i) Peletronium is a towne in Thessaly, where the use of taming and riding horses was first found: for on a time when Thessa­lus the king of that countrey was much dis­pleased that his Bullocks ran [...] [Page 107] (for it should seeme the horse-fly had stung them) he commanded his men, which way­ted on him, to run after them, and stop their flight: they being not able to overtake the swiftnesse of the Bullocks, took up on the sud­den a new invention; they mounted them­selves upon horses backs, and so with ease o­vertooke and turned them. These men espi­ed by some of the neighbouring people, eyther as they rode swiftly by, or else as their horses bowed downe their heads to drinke of the ri­ver Peneus, gave way to that old fable of the Centaures: for the people neere had an opi­nion that they were halfe men and halfe horses. But the name of Centaure was therefore given them, [...], because those men, when first they rods [...] horses were driving of Bullocks.

(k) Potnia is the Citie, of which Glaucus [Page 108] was, who (as the Poets fained) despised the sacrifices and service of Venus. The god­desse angry with his contempt, sent a mad­nesse to possesse the Mares which drew his Chariot; who turning upon their Master, tore him to pieces. The cause of this fiction that Venus should send a madnesse into them, is this: Glaucus to make his Mares the swifter and fuller of mettall, kept them from venery, which made his Mares so fu­rious, that their ungovern'd spirit turned to the destruction of their Master.

(l) Virgil speaking in this place of the plague among cattell, ingeniously supposeth that this was the same time, wherein that fa­mous history of Herodotus was verified. It was the custome for the Votaresse or Priest of Argos to ride to the Temple of Iuno, drawne by two Oxen upon fest [...]all [...] [Page 109] But when it so befell upon a solemne day that no Oxen could be found to draw her (the plague having consumed the cattell in that countrey) her two sonnes Cleobis and Bi­ton put the yoakes upon their neckes, and drew their mother to the temple. The god­desse Iuno, moved with so great a piety in these two young men, offered their mother that whatsoever shee would pray for in her sonnes behalfe, it should be granted. The mo­ther with a pious answer entreated the god­d [...]sse that whatsoever she knew the most hap­py for mortall men, shee would be pleased to graunt unto her sonnes: the next morning the two young men were both found dead; from whence it was generally concluded that nothing was so happy for a man as to dye.



THis book describes the Bees industrious state;
By what chast wondrous means they propa­gate
Their kind, & breed their cōmon progeny.
Their age, their natures and strange industry;
Their wars and furious factions; & how they
By lawes of iustice governe, and obey
In their monarchike state. Their maladies,
And cures; and how to make a swarm of Bees
When all thy stock is quite consum'd to nough [...].
Sad Aristaeus by his mother taught
Bindes fast shape-changing Proteus; who alone
Tels him what caus'd his Bees destruction.
Orpheus bewailes his wife; his musicks straine
Charms hell, and brings Eurydice againe
From thence; againe fond love looses her quite.
[...] in endlesse wo, by night
[...] torne in Bacchus sacrifice
[Page 112]By Thracian dames, whose beds he did despise,
Taught Aristaeus doth to them ordaine
A sacrifice, and findes his Bees againe.
AEriall Honey next, a gift divine
Ile sing; Mecaenas, grace this piece of mine.
Admired spectacles of Creatures small,
Their valiant Captaines, and in order all
Their Nations, Manners, Studies, People, Fight,
I will describe; nor think the Glory slight,
Though slight the Subiect be, to him, whom ere
Th' invoked gods, and pleas'd Apollo heare.
First for your Hives a fitting station finde
Shelter'd from windes rough violence, for winde
Hinders their carriage; let no Sheep there play,
Nor frisking Kids the flowery meadowes lay,
Nor wanton Heifers neare the hiving place
Strike off the dew, nor tread the springing grasse.
Let speckled Lizzards thence be far away,
The Woodpeckers, and other Birds of prey,
And Progne marked on her stained breast
With bloody hands; for she to feed her nes [...]
Seizes the flying Bees, and thither [...]
As sweetest food; but near pure [...]
[Page 113]Green mossie fountaines stil your Bee-hives place,
And streames that glide along the Verdant grasse,
Shaded with palms, or spreading olive trees:
That when new kings draw out their swarming bees,
And frō their combes dismiss'd in spring they play,
The neighboring banks may then invite their stay,
Cooling their heat, and trees so near the hive
A green, and shady coverture may give.
Into the poole, whether it stand, or flow,
Great stones acrosse, and Willow branches throw
As bridges for the Bees to stand upon,
And spread their wings against the Sūmer sun,
When strong Eastwindes by chance have scatter'd thē
In cōming home, or drown'd them in the streame,
Let beds of Violets, and wilde Betony,
Greene Cinnamon, and fragrant savory
Grow round about the spring. But whether you
To make your hives, trees barkes together sow,
Or hives of limber Osyars woven get;
Make the mouth narrow, lest the summers heat
Dissolve the honey, or cold winter freeze;
For both extreames alike annoy the Bees.
Nor i [...] in vaine that they with all their powers
Daube up each chinck with waxe, & fil with flowers
[Page 114]Each breathing hole, and to that end prepare
A glew more clammy than all birdlime farre,
And Phrygian Ida's pitch; and under ground
(If fame speak truly) Bees have oft been found
Breeding in digged caves, and oft been known
In holes of trees, and hollow p [...]mice stone.
But daube thou vp the chinky hives with clay,
To keep them warme, and leaves above them lay.
Neere to the hives let no deep waters flow,
Nor crabs be drest, nor poisonous yew-trees grow.
Or where mud standing stinkes, or eccho's bound
From hollow rocks with their reflected sound.
But when bright Sol hath banish'd Winter chas'd
Vnder the earth, and Summer light hath grac'd
The sky againe; over the fields, and woods
They wander straight lightly the brinkes of floods
They sip and tast the purple flowers; from thence
(What sweetnesse ere it be that stir their sence)
Care for their bro [...]de, and progeny they take;
Thence work their waxe, and hony clammy make.
Then when dismiss'd their hives, vp to the sky
In Summer ayre thou seest them swarming fly▪
Wondring to view dark clouds [...] wind,
Then mark thē well, they go sweet streams to [...],
[Page 115]And leavie bowers; upon this place do thou
Base honey- [...]uckles, and beaten mill- [...]oile strow:
And round about let tincking brasse resound;
Th [...]i [...] farther progresse this charmd place wilboūd.
There they will make their stand, or else desire
Back to their own known lodgings to retire.
But if they chance to sally out to wars
(As oft two kings have caused mortall iars)
The common Bees affections straight are found,
And trembling hearts to fight: that martiall sound
Of brasse checks their delay, and then a voice
Is heard resembling trūpets winding noise,
Then straight they muster, spread their glittering wings,
And with their beaks whet their dead-doing stings.
Then to the standard royall all repaire
About their king, and loudly buzzing dare
Their foes t' appeare; in weather clear, and faire
They sally forth: their battels ioyne i' th' ayre.
The Welkin's fill'd with noise; they grapple all,
And grappling so in clusters head long fall;
Haile from the winters sky fals not so fast,
Nor shaken oakes so thick do shed their mast.
In midst of th'armies with bright glorious wings,
And mighty spirits fly the daring kings
[Page 116](Though bodies small) resolved not to yeeld,
Till one side vanquisht have forsooke the field.
Wouldst thou this fight, and furious heate allay?
A little dust thrown up will part the fray.
But when both kings drawn home from battel be▪
Kill him that seemes the worst, lest thriftlesse he
Do hurt, and let the other reigne alone.
(For of two sorts they are) one fairely knowne
By glittering specks of gold, and scales of bright
But ruddy hue. This fairest to the sight
Is best: by floth the other's nasty growne,
And hangs his large unweildy belly downe.
Different, as are the kings, the subiects are.
Some foule and filthy, like the traveller,
That comes from dusty waies, and dirt doth spit
From his dry throate: the other gold-like bright.
With well proportion'd spots his limbes are deckt
This is the better broode; from these expect
Honey at certaine seasons of the yeare
Most sweet, and yet not sweet alone, but cleare,
And such as Bacchus hardnesse will allay.
But when in th' aire the swarmes [...] randome play
Scorning their combes, forsaking their cold hive;
Dost thou from this vaine sport desire to drive
[Page 117]Their wādring thoughts? not toilsome is the pains,
Clip but the princes wings; whilst he remaines
Within, no common Bee will dare to make
High flight, nor th'ensignes frō the campe to take.
Let Saffron gardens odoriferous,
Which th' image of Lampsacian Priapus
Guards with his hooke of willow to affright
Both Theeves, and hurtfull Fowles, the Bees invite.
Let him himselfe, which feares his Bees to want,
Bring Thyme, & Pines down frō the hils, to plant,
Wearing his hands with labour hard, and round
Bestow a friendly watering on the ground.
And did I not now neer my labours end
Strike faile, and hasting to the harbour tend,
Perchance how fruitfull gardens may be drest
I'd teach, and sing of twice rose-bearing Pest:
How Succory by waters prospers well,
On grasse how bending Cucumbers do swell,
And bankes of Persley greene: besides to show
How the late blooming Daffodils do grow
I would not faile, and twigs of Beares-foot slow,
Shore loving Myrtles, and pale Ivie too.
For where Tarentum's lofty Turrets stand,
Where slow Galesus soakes the fallow Land,
[Page 118]I saw an old Cilician, who possest
Few akers of neglected ground undrest,
Not fit to pasture beasts, nor vines to beare:
Yet he among the bushes here, and there
Gathering few pot-hearbs, vervaine, li lies white,
And wholesome poppey, in his mindes delight
Equall'd the wealth of Kings, and comming still
Late home at night, with meat unbought, did fill
His laden board: he gather'd first of all
Roses in spring, and apples in the fall.
And when sad winter with extreamest cold
Crack'd even the stones, & course of flouds did hold
With bridling ice, he then pluck'd leaves of soft
Beares-foot, and check'd the springs delayings oft,
And Zephyres sloath. He therefore first was found
With fruitfull Bees, and swarmes still to abound,
And froathy hony from the combes could squeeze.
He still had fruitfull vines, and linden trees.
And for each blossome, which first cloath'd the tree
An apple ripe in Autumne gather'd he.
He could to order old grown Elmes transpose,
Old peare trees hard, & black thorne bearing sloes,
The plaine tree too, that drinking shade bestowes.
But too much straighten'd, I must now forsake [...]
[Page 119]This taske for others afterward to take.
And now He show those natures, which on Bees
Great Iove himselfe bestow'd: for what strange fees
Following a tinckling noise, and brazen ring
In Cretan caves they nourish'd heavens high King.
Bees only live in common-wealths, and Bees
Only in common hold their progenies:
Live by lawes constant, and their own abodes
Certainly know, and certain houshold gods:
And mindfull of ensuing winter, they
Labour in summer, and in publike lay
Vp their provision. Some for gathering foods
Are by the states commission sent abroad
To labour in the fields: some still at home
Lay the foundations of the honey combe
Of glue, tree-gumme, and faire Narcissus reare:
Then to the top they fasten every where
Their clāmy waxe: care for their brood some take
(The nations hope): some purest honey make,
Till th' honey combe with clearest Nectar swels.
Some lot appoints to stand as centinels,
And to foresee the showres, and stormes to come
They watch by turns: those that come laden home
Some case: or ioyning all their strengths in one
[Page 120]Far from the hive they chase the lazie Drone.
To work they fall: their fragrant honeyes hold
A sent of Thyme; as when the Cyclops mould
Iove's thunder frō th' hard-yeelding masse in hast,
Some take and pay againe the windy blast
From bull-hide bellowes: others in the lakes
Do quench the hizzing irons; Aetna shakes
With weight of anviles: whilst their armes so strōge
In order strike, and with hard-holding tongs
The iron turne; such inbred thrifty care
(If little things with great we may compare)
Each in his function Bees of Athens take.
The elder keep within the townes, and make
Daedalian fabrieks to adorne the combe;
But late returne the younger weary home
Their thighes laden with Thyme: they feed upon
Wildings, greene Willowes, Saffron, Cinnamon,
Pale Hyacinths, and fruitfull Linden trees.
One time of work, and rest have all the Bees.
Forth in the morne they goe, and when late night
Bids them leave gathering, home they take their slight,
And there refresh their bodies thē a sound,
And buzzing's heard about th'hives confines roūd.
But when they all are lodg'd in silence deep
[Page 121]They rest, their weary senses charm'd by sleep.
Nor stray they far when clouds orecast the skyes,
Nor trust the weather when Eastwindes arise.
But neare their Cities short excursions make,
And safely water, or small pebbles take
(As in rough seas with sand the Vessels light
Ballast themselves) to poize their wandering flight.
But at that wondrous way you must admire
By which Bees breede: they feele nor Venus fire,
Nor are dissolv'd in lust, nor yet endure
The paines of childing travell: but from pure
Sweet flowers, & Herbs their progeny they bring
Home in their mouths. They all elect their king,
And little nobles; their wax mansions
And courts they build; & oft 'gainst hardest stones
They fret their wings, and spoile them as they fly,
And gladly under their sweet burthens dy:
So great's their love of flowers, ambition too
They have of making Honey. Therefore though
Their lives be short (as not above the space
Of seven yeares) yet their immortall race
Remaines; the fortunes of their houses hold;
For many yeares are grand-sires grand-sires told.
Besides not Aegypt, nor rich Lydia more,
[Page 122]Nor Medes, nor Parthians do their kings adore;
Whilst he's alive, in concord all obey;
But when he dyes, all leagues are broke, and they
Themselves destroy their gathered food at home,
And rend the fabrick of their hony combe.
Tis he preserves their workes; him all admire,
And guard his person with a strong desire:
They carry him, for him they hazzard death,
And think in war they nobly lose their breath.
Noting these signes, and tokens, some define
The Bees partakers of a soule divine,
And heavenly spirit; for the godhead is
Diffus'd through earth, through seas, & lofty skies.
From hence all beasts, men, cattle, all that live,
All that are borne their subtle soules receive.
Hither againe they are restor'd, not dy,
But when dissolv'd, returne, and gladly fly
Vp to the stars; in heaven above they live.
But when thou wouldst open the stately hive,
And rob their hoarded honey treasury,
Then first of all throw water silently,
And with thine hand send in pursuing smoke.
Twice in the yeare for honey harvests look:
First when Taygetes beauteous visage makes
[Page 123]Earth glad, and th'Oceans scorned floods forsakes:
Againe, when she the Southerne fish doth fly,
To winter seas descending heavily.
But Bees offended wondrous wrath conceive
Inspiring venome where they sting, and leave
Fixt to the veines their undiscerned speare
Within the wound, themseves expiring there.
But if thou fear a Winter hard, and make
Spare for the future time, or pity take
On their deiected spirits, and falne estate:
Give them cut waxe, and thyme suffumigate.
For oft base Lizzards eate the hony combe,
And to the hives night-loving Beetles come;
And Drones, that freely fit at others meate;
Or with unequall strength fierce Hornets b [...]ate
The Bees: or Moths of a dire kind: or close
About the door her net-like cobwebs loose
The Pallas-hated Spider spins. The more
They thus are ruin'd to repaire the store
Of their lost nation, all their utmost powers
Themselves do use, and fil their hives with flowers.
But if their bodies be diseas'd (as Bees
By life are subiect to our meladies)
Which may by signes infallible be known;
[Page 124]The sick straight lose their colour, and are grown
Deform'd with leanenesse: they in wofull wise
Beare forth their dead with solemne obsequies.
Or cloister'd else within their houses they
Sadly containe themselves, or lingring stay
About the doore, in clusters taking hold,
Famish'd, and faint, and feeble by the cold.
Then a sad broken sound, and groaning's heard,
As windes do murmur in a Forrest stirr'd,
As seas do roare, the tide by windes oppos'd,
Or raging fire within a furnace clos'd,
For this of gums a fumigation use,
And into th [...] hive in pipes of reed infuse
Honey, t' inuite them to a well-known food;
With these the tast of beaten galt is good;
Dry'd roses too, and thick decocted wine,
With loose hung clusters from the Psythian vine,
Cecropian Thyme, strong Centorie; withall
A flower, which Husbandmen Amello call,
Most easie to be found, in meadowes growes,
For from one roote he spreads a wood of boughes.
Whose many leaves, although the flower be gold,
Black Violets dimme purple colour hold.
Whence wreaths have oft the gods hie altars deckt.
[Page 125]Sharp-tasted in the mouth; shepheards collect
These flowers beside faire Mella's crooked stream,
On plaine unwooded Valleyes. Rootes of them
Boile in sweet wine, and set provision store
In baskets full before the Bee-hive doore.
But if that any his whole broode of Bees
Have on the suddain lost, and no way sees
To raise another stock, Ile now declare
Th' Arcadian master's old invention rare,
And from fames first beginning make it plaine
From blood-corrupted of bruis'd Bullocks slaine,
How Bees have oft been born. For where from old
The happy people of Canopus hold,
Their Countrey cover'd with Niles fruitfull flow,
And ore their lands in painted Frigots go,
Neer to the bounds of quiver'd Persia,
Where Nile returned from black India,
With slime makes fruitfull Egypts Verdant plaine,
And in seven channels fals into the maine,
All that whole region in this art repose
A certaine remedy. And first they choose
A little house, which to that end they build,
Clos'd in strong wals, guttur'd, and strongly til'd.
Gainst the foure quarters of the winde they make
[Page 126]Four windowes lending oblique light; then take
A tender horned Steere of two yeares old,
And stop his breath, his mouth, and nostrils hold,
Till struggling so with beating kill'd he fall,
Through his whole skin his bowels bruised all.
Then in that narrow roome so closely shut
They leave the body, and beneath it put
Sweet Thyme, fresh Cinnamon, and other bought,
When Zephyre first upon the water blowes:
Before the spring with flowers the meadows guild,
Or twittering Swallowes on the rafters build.
Then th' heated moisture in the tender bones
Doth boile, and (wondrous to be seen) at once
So many animals together brings,
First without feet, after with feet, and wings,
And take th' aire more, and more, til like a showre,
Which down frō Sūmer clouds doth fiercely powre,
Or like a storme of Shafts, which Parthians shoot
Against their Foes, a swarme of Bees break out.
What god, O Muse, to us this art hath taught?
What act of man this new experience brought?
When Aristaeus sad from Tempe fled,
His Bees by hunger and diseases dead,
Beside the sacred spring of Peneus
[Page 127]Plaining he stood, and tax'd his mother thus,
Mother Cyrene, Mother whose abodes
Are in this flood, why from the line of gods
(If Phoebus, as thou sayest, my Father be)
Broughst thou me forth abhorr'd by destinie?
Oh whither now is fled a mothers love?
Why didst thou bid me hope for heaven above?
When lo those ioyes, which mortall life did bring,
Which Bees, and Cornes industrious husbanding
With all my care could but procure, is gone
Though thou my Mother be. Nay, nay, go on,
With thine own hand fell off my growing woods,
My harvests blast, by fire consume my goods,
My barnes, and corn, my spreading vines cut down
If thou so envious of my praise be grown.
But from her bower his mother heard the sound
Vnder the flood; the Nymphs about her round
Spun green Milesian wooll. Dishevell'd haire
Adorn'd their ivorie necks, Drym [...] the faire,
X [...]ntho, Ligaea, and Phyllodoce,
Nesae, Spio, and Cymodoce;
Cydippe, and bright Licorias, one a maide,
Th' other then first had felt Lucina's aide.
Clio, and Berôe sea-borne sisters both,
[Page 128]Both guirt with gold, in painted mantles both.
Ephyre, Opis, Deiopcia too
Of Asia, and Arethusa now
At last growne swift since she her quiver left.
To these did Climene tell the pleasing theft,
And slights of Mars, with Vulcans bootlesse feares,
And from the Chaos number'd do their eares
The loves of gods. Whilst pleasd with what she told
The rocks of wooll they on their spindles rowl'd.
Againe the plaints of Arislaeu [...] pierc't
His mothers care; but Arethusa first
Of all the Nymphs above the water show'd
Her beauteous head, and far off cry'd aloud
Sister, Cyrene, twas no causlesse feare
That sound procur'd; thine Aristaeus dear
Weeping beside old Peneus streame remaines,
And of thy cruelty by name complaines.
Struck with new feares his mother answer'd thus:
Bring him (quoth she) bring him along to us.
He may of right enter the roofe of gods.
Then by command she straight divides the floods
To make him [...]oome to passe: the swelling flood
Like a steep mountaine round about him stood:
In that vast gulfe receiv'd he was convey'd
[Page 129]Down vnder ground, and wondring there suruey'd
His mothers watery bower, lakes closely held
In cave [...], and sounding woods, and there beheld
(Astonished to heare that horrid sound
That waters motion made) how under ground
In severall places rivers did commence,
[...]hasis, and Lycus, and the spring, from whence
The deep Enipeus breakes, whence Tyber is,
Mysian Caicus, stony Hypanis,
And Annio, golden Eridanus
With bull-like hornes; no streame more furious
Doth run, nor falls more violent than he
Into the purple Adriaticke sea.
When to his mothers bower of pumice stone
He came, and she perceiu'd his causlesse mone:
The Nymphs clear water, and fine towels bring
To clense his hands with, some replenishing
The cups, while some the feasting tables fill,
With frankincense the altars smoking still.
Here take these cups of wine (his mother said)
Let's sacrifice to th'Ocean; then she pray'd
Vnto Oceanus, father of all things,
And Nymphs her sisters, who the woods, & springs
By hundreds keep. Thrice on the fire she threw
[Page 130]Nectar: to th' roofe the flame thrice upward flew.
Confirmed with this Omen thus begun
Cyrene; in Carpathian seas, my sonne,
Great Neptune's Prophet (g) [...]roteus abides,
Who ore the Maine in his blew chariot rides
By horse-fish drawne; who now againe resorts
To his Pallene, and th' Aemathian ports:
Him aged Nereus, and we Nymphs adore;
For he knowes all things, things that heretofore
Have been, that are, and shall hereafter be.
For so to Neptune it seem'd good, that he
His heards of fish might under water guide,
And great Sea-calves. He must in chaines be ti'de
By thee, my sonne, to shew the cause thy Bees
Are dead, and give thee prosp'rous remedies.
Without compulsion he will nothing tell,
Nor can entreaties move him; binde him well,
And hard, and all his tricks will vanish soone.
When [...]ol is mounted to his height at noone,
When grasse is d [...]y, and cattell seeke the shade,
Ile bring thee thither, where thou shalt invade
The aged Prophet, when his private sleep
He takes, [...]etired weary from the deep.
But when thou bind'st him, to delude thine eyes,
[Page 131]In severall shapes he will himselfe disguise,
A scaly Dragon, or fierce Tyger he,
Or Bore, or tawny Lionesse will be,
Or take the noise, and shew of fire to scape,
Or slide away in liquid waters shape.
But, sonne, the more in shapes he varyes still,
Be sure the harder hold thy cords, untill
Chang'd frō those figures, that first shape (h) he keep,
In which thou saw' [...]t him lying down to sleep.
This said, sh' annoints the body of her sonne,
With sweete Ambrosian odours; whence anone
An heavenly ayre exhaled from his head,
And able vigour through his limbes was spread.
Within an eaten Mountaines hollow side
Is a vast cave, where water driven by tide
Doth into turning guifes it selfe divide,
An harbour safe to storme-tost Marriners:
Within blew Pro [...]eus under stony bars
Shut up, and guarded lyes. Here far from sight
In a darke nooke averted from the light
Cyrene plac'd her sonne; her selfe away
Vanish'd obscur'd in clouds. At noone of day,
When now the scorching dog-star from the sky
The thirsty [...]ndians burn'd, the grasse was dry,
[Page 132]And the sun-beames as low as to the ground
Boil'd luke-warm rivers, though the most profoūd.
Proteus from sea to this accustom'd ground
Retires himselfe; the scaly Nation round
Playing about him, fa [...] salt dew do throw;
The Calves on shore do severally bestow
Themselues to sleep, whilst he upon a rock
Amidst them fi [...]s, and numbers all the flock,
Like to an Heard, when from the mountains home
Vnto their stals his Calves from feeding come,
And wolves are whetted with the lambs loud bleats.
When Aristaeus this occasion gets,
Scarce suffering the old Prophet to compose
His weary limbes, in with a shout he goes
Vpon him straight, and bindes him as he lyes.
He not unmindefull of his old devise
All his strange shapes assumes in order ore,
A flaming fire, a flood, a tusked bore.
But when no cunning could procure his scape,
Vanquisht at last, in his owne humane shape
He speaks; Who sent thee hither to my cave
Thou bold young man? or here what wouldst thou have?
Thou knowst my mind, Proteus thou knowst (quoth he)
Intend it not, thou c [...]nst not co [...]sen me.
[Page 133]Following the gods command, hither come I
For my lost goods to seek a remedie.
When thus he spake, the Prophet much compell'd,
Scowling with his green eyes, with anger swell'd,
And cha [...]ing thus at last gan prophecie:
The wrath of some great god doth follow thee
For great misdeeds. To thee this punishment
(Though not so great as thou deseru'st) is sent
From wretched Orpheus, unlesse fares resist,
Who still in wrath for his dear wife persists.
When from thy lust she fled, the never spy'd
A water-snake, by whose fell s [...]ing she dy'd,
Lurking upon the graslie banke: But all
The Dryades at her sad funerall
Wept on the mountaines, high Pangaea, and
The Rodepeian tower [...], and warlike land
Of Rhaesus, Hebrus, and the Getes for wo
Wept, and Athenian Orythia too.
But he himselfe his sicke soule solacing,
Oft to his warbling instrument would sing
Of thee, sweet wife; thou on the shore alone
Morning and night wert subiect his mone▪
He through the darke, & fearfull wood did venter,
[...], lawes, and [...]luto's cave to enter,
[Page 134]And to the Ghosts, and their grim king he went,
Hearts that to humane prayers did nere relent.
But from all parts of hell the ghosts, and throng
Of livelesse shadowes moved by his song
Came forth, as many thousands, as a flight
Of little birds into the woods, whom night,
Or showres approaching thither drive in sholes,
The ghosts of men and women, the great soules
Of Heroes, Virgins, and of Boyes were there,
And Youths, that tomb'd before their parents were▪
Whom foule Cocytus reedlesse bankes enclose,
And that blacke muddy poole, that never flowes,
And Styx nine times about it rowles his waves.
But all hels in most vaults, and torturing caves
Amazed stood; th' Eumenides forbeare
To menace now with their blew snaky harie:
Three-mouthed Cerberus to bark refraines:
Ixion's racking wheele unmov'd remaines.
Now comming back all dangers past had he,
Behinde him follow'd his Eurydice
Restor'd to life (for this condition
Proserpina had made) when lo anon
Forgetfull love a suddaine frenzy wrought,
Yet to be pardon'd, could Fie [...]ds pardon ought.
[Page 135]Neere to the light (alas) forgetfull he
Love-sicke, look'd backe on his Eurydice.
That action frustrates all the paines he tooke,
The ruthlesse tyrant's covenant is broke,
And thrice Avernus horrid lake resounds.
Orpheus (quoth she) what madnesse thus confoūde
Thy wretched selfe, and me? sterne fates surprie
Me back againe; deaths slumbers close mine eyes.
Farewell; thus hurry'd in black night I go;
This saide, her aëry hands she lifts, and so
As smoake sleetes into ayre, she vanisht there
(Now his no more) and left him clasping th' ayre▪
Offring replyes in vaine: nor more alas
Would churlish Charon suffer him to passe.
What should he do his wife twice lost? how move
The Fiends with tears, with prayers the gods above [...]
His wife now cold was ferry'd thence away
In Charons boate. But he seven moneths (they say)
Weeping besides forsaken Strymons waves
Vnder the cold, and solitary caves
To ruthlesse rocks did his mishaps lament,
That trees were mov'd, and Tygers did re [...]ent.
As Phi [...]omel in shady Poplar tree
Wailing her young ones losse, whom cruelly
[Page 136]A watching Husbandman, ere fledge for flight,
Took from her nest. She spends in griefe the night,
And from a bough sings forth her sorrow there
With sad complaints filling the places neere.
No Venus now, nor Hymenaean rites
Could move his minde; wandring in wofull plights
Where on Riphaean fields frost ever lyes,
Ore Scythian ice, and snowy Tanais,
He there complayn'd of Pluto's bootlesse Boone,
And how how againe Eurydice was gone▪
The Thracian Dames, whose beds he did despise,
Raging in Bacchus nightly sacrifice,
Scatter'd him peece-meale ore the fields abroad.
Yet then when swift Ocagrian Hebrus flood
Carry'd the head torne from the neck along,
Eurydice his cold, and dying tongue,
Ah poore Eurydice did still resound.
Eurydice the banks did Eccho round.
Thus Proteus spake, and leapt into the Maine,
And where he leapt, beneath his head againe
The foaming waters rose in bubbles round.
Fearelesse Cyrene with this cheatfull sound
Comforts her sonne; Banish sad cares, my sonne:
This, this did cause thy Bees destruction:
[Page 137]For this the Nymphs, which in the woods did play.
And dance with her, have tane thy Bees away.
Bring thou thy offrings humbly, beg thy peace,
And there adore the easie Dryades;
For they will pardon, and their wrath remit.
Ile teach thee first what way of praying's fit:
Choo [...]e out foure lusty Bulls well shap'd, and fed,
Which on thy greene Lycaeus top are bred,
As many Heifers, which nere yoake did beare;
To these foure altars in the temple reare;
And from their throats let out the sacred blood,
And leave their bodies in the leavie wood
When the ninth morning after shall arise,
Let [...]aean poppy t' Orph [...]us sacrifice,
Kill a blacke sheep, and th' wood again go see.
With a slaine Calfe appease Eurydice.
Without delay he doth what [...]he directs,
Comes to the temples, th' altars there erects.
Foure [...]usty Bulls well shap'd, and fed he tooke;
As many as Heyfers, that nere bare the yoke:
When the ninth morning after did arise,
To Orpheus he perform'd his sacrifice,
And came to th' wood, when lo (strange to be told)
A [...]udden wonder they did there behold:
[Page 138]Bees buzz'd within the Bullocks putrifi'd
Bowels, and issu'd out their broken sides,
Making great clouds in th' aire, and taking trees
Like grapes in clusters, hung whole swarms of bee [...]
This I of Tillage, Trees, and Cattells care
Have sung, whilst mighty Caesar in his warre,
Thundring by great Euphrates doth impose
Lawes on the conquer'd Parthians, and goes
The way to heaven. Then sweet Parthenope
Happy in peacefull stydies nourish'd me,
Who Shepheards layes, and, Tytirus, thee young
Vnder the broade beech covert boldly sung.

Annotations upon the fourth BOOKE.

(1) VIrgil in this fourth Booke, lest any businesse of a countrey life should be wanting in his Georgicks, beginnes here the discourse of Bees; a subiect (though small) [...]et, as one observes, written of by many the ablest Authours, and in different manner. Aristotle first in his booke intituled, De hi­storia animalium, had written with much subtletie, and depth concerning the Bees na­ture. Amongst the Latines, Varro in a discourse wondrous for the brevity, hath writ­ten fully of them. Iunius Higinius with diligence, and walking, as it were, in a spaci­ous field hath at large discoursed of the na­ture of Bees: he omitteth nothing which the ancient Poets have pleasantly fabled of that [Page 140] subject. Cornelius Celsus in an elegant and facetious stile hath made illustration of it, Columella, moderately, and onely (as him­selfe confesses) because it is a part of that sub­ject, which he had before began; with no great ardour hath expressed it. And lest it should only be written in prose, our Poet in this place in most elegant Verse, inferior to none that e­ver was, entreateth of this small subiect.

(b) The King of the Bees (saith one) it usually spotted more than the rest, and of a forme more faire and beautifull. He is twice as bigge as the common Bees; his wings are shorter than theirs, but his legs are straighter and longer; so that his walking up and down she h [...]e is more lofty and full of majesty. Vp­on his forehead is a bright spot glittering in manner of a d [...]ad [...] me. He wants a sting, ar­med with nothing but majesty, and a won­drous [Page 141] obedi [...]nce of the other Bees to him. When ever hee goes forth, the whole swarme [...]aite about him, guard him, and suffer him not to be seene. When the common Bees are [...] their worke, hee walkes to take survey of [...]hem, he himselfe only being free from labor. About him still are his guards and officers, those strength hee uses in punishing the idle and sloathfull Bees. But others are of opini­ [...]n (who deny the generation of bees without [...]span) that this great Bee, called the King, [...] the onely male in the hive, without whose company there can bee no generation at all: and therefore that all the other bees doe per­ [...]etually slocke, and throng about him, not [...]ith respect as to a Prince, but desire as to a Male.

(c) It was, as most know, an ancient fa­ble, that Saturne the husband of Ops, and [Page 142] father of Iupiter was accustomed to devour his owne children when they were brought forth (the reason of it, was, because Saturne was named the god of time, and all times passing and returning revolve againe into themselves) which gave occasion to this hi­storie; when Iupiter was borne, his mother Ops fearing the cruelty of her husband to him, concealed his birth, and the Cretans for feare that Saturne should heare the childery, rung their brazen pans and kettles; which noise the bees following came to the place where the [...]nfant was, and sed him there with honey: Iupiter for so great a benefit, bestow­ed on his nurses for a reward this admirable g [...]ft, that they should have young ones, and continue their kinde without wasting them­selves in Venery. Others report, that Iupi­ter being much in love with a faire Nymph [Page 143] called Melissa, turned her into a bee, and for her sake bestowed priviledges upon the bees.

(d) The place where bees first were, is doubted of; some report it was Crete, where those were which nourished Iupiter; others say they were first seen in Thessaly in the time of the reigne of Aristaeus there; others make Hymetta, a sweet hill neer Athens, the place; others Hybla an hill in Sicily: all which pla­ces are by Poets famed for nourishing of bees.

Mane ruunt (e) A most admirable di­scipline, if it may bee credited: as soone as morning appeares, one bee, whose office it is, goes about the hive, and with three or foure loud buzzes, in stead of a bell or trumpet, a­wakens them from sleep; upon whose warning, they all arise, and fly abroad unto their labor of gathering honey, or other employments; when evening returnes again, and they come [Page 144] home laden with honey; after some short re­spite, the same bee, or some other in his turn, with the like buzze commandeth them all to rest (after the manner of Cities) except such as are appointed to watch and ward.

(f) This history of Aristaeus the son of Apollo, and the Nymph Cyrene (before mentioned) the first finder of the use of bees, was not entended by the Poet to be here in­serted; this part of the booke was all compi­led in honour of Cornelius Gallus a Roman Gentleman, the first Governour of Egypt un­der Augustus Caesar (when Caesar after the death of Cleopatra had turned the king­dome of Egypt into a Province). This Gal­lus was himselfe a famous Poet (though on­ly fragments remaine of him) much beloved of the rest of the Poets, and honoured by Virgil in his Bucolickes. But when after­ward [Page 145] he fell into a conspiracie against Augu­stus, or, as some report it, accused for abusing the Province, which he governed, he was condemned, and put to death; and Virgil by the command of Caesar, altered the halfe of his fourth booke, and from the praise of Cor­nelius Gallus turned it to the history of A­ristaeus. The story is plaine, as the Poet has here related it; Aristaeus in lust desiring to ravish Eurydice the wife of Orpheus, and she in her flight from him, being stung with a serpent, and so killed; Aristaeus for his offence was punished with the losse of all his stock, in which he was richer than any of thosetimes, &c.

(g) In this fable of Proteus, Virgil imi­tateth Homer altogether; or rather bor­roweth, where in his Odysses Proteus giveth Menelaus instruction: but the historie of [Page 146] Proteus is thus reported by Herodotus in his Euterpe; Proteus was King of Egypt at that time when Paris having raped Helena, was driven with her by a tempest into Egypt. (for when Troy was sacked Helena could not be found there) But Menelaus after the wars of Troy sayled into Egypt, and there being with great courtesie entertained by Pro­teus, hee received his wife Helena againe. Some report, that Proteus being borne in Egypt fled from the tyranny of cruell Busiris, and came into Thessalia: but others (of whose opinion it should seeme our Poet is) say, that he was borne at Pal [...]ene a City of Thessalia; and sailing into Egypt lived for a time there; but afterwards returned againe into Thessa­lia his native countrey.

(h) Of this fable that Proteus before he was bound, and barred from all his deluding [Page 147] shapes, could never prophesie, some have made a physicall construction; for every man has in himselfe lust, folly, cruelty and deceit; which, as long as they raigne uncontrolled in him, his nobler part, which is nearer to the divinitie, that is his wisedome, doth not appeare, nor cannot exercise her function, untill all those are bound; that is, till a man be freed from those vices. From whence he concludeth, that this Priest could not prophesie, nor receive the divinitie into him, untill all these, that is, his fiery lust, his brutish cruelty, his wavering lightnesse of minde, (like fleeting water) were all bound, and had ceased in him.


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