Vergil’s 4th Eclogue

Sicilian Muses, let’s sing a slightly greater song!
The woods and lowly myrtles do not delight ev’ryone; if
We sing about woodland trees, let these be worthy a consul.

A latest age of song has come, it is here!, unto Cumae.
From century unscathed is born great order of generations.
Now does the Virgin return, returns the kingdom of Saturn,
Now a new offspring is sent down from the height of the heavens.
Good Lucina you must love the boy who’s being born, in
Whom will a golden kind desist from arms, it will rise up
O’er the entire earth, nourish him, your Apollo—now he rules.

As long as you are in pow’r will glory in our age continue,
And there begin anew great months in season and progress,
Pollio, with you as guide: If there should remain any trace of
Our wickedness, unfulfilled it shall free the earth from its constant
Fear; he will accept eternal life and see the divine Gods
With heroes in their midst, and he himself be seen with them and
Rule a world that has been pacified through fatherly virtues.

So as a first gift to you, child, earth without cultivation
Pours ivy wandering in places dotted with flowers
And water lilies mix’d in with teeming and laughing laurel leaves.
The she-goats will come home with their udders laden to bursting
With milk, the herds no more will they live in fear of the fierce lions;
For you do cradles of newborns spill over with blossoms;
Even the serpent will fail, harmful plants by their poison
Fall; fragrant spice, Asian herbs, be born in common for each one.
And so you are able to pluck the praises of heroes
And deeds of your parents,—that you know what is truly virtuous—
The grass turns golden all over with tender corn, the
Grape shall gleam on its thorned branches, hang red in the wild, the
Oak tree’s tow’ring strength will drip with dew sweet as honey.

There are a few traces still left over from former falsehood
Which command Thetis to try with rafts, gird fortifications,
Which order him to dig in th’ earth furrows straight with the plough-share;
Then there will be another Tiphys and an other Argo to
Convey chosen heroes; e’en then there will be other battles
And great Achilles will be sent once more unto Troy. Then,
when an age confirmèd anew has brought you to manhood,
Will the ship’s pilot himself give way to Ocean, the sea-borne
Pine no longer change its freight: The whole Earth will bear all things.
The ground won’t suffer spades, nor the vineyards pruning of the blade
And the stout ploughman will loosen from the oxen the yoke’s reigns
And neither shall fleece learn how to deceive with its colors
Dyed, & the ram itself in the meadows now with soft purple
Tint will then exchange its wool for a golden coat of fleece, of
Its own will royal purple shall clothe the lambs’ grazing.

“Such excellent generations,” as decreed by the Ladies
Of Fate, “now roll you forth!” agreeing with Fortune’s power.
O greatest honors which, when the time is come does beloved
Progeny of the divine ones make advance and high Jove!

Look to the curving mass, the world that totters and see the
Lands and huge expanse of the sea and depth of the Heavens;
See to it that all things rejoice in the century coming
Oh! let the furthest reach of my life remain long until then
And that my breath be great, full enough to speak of your actions!
Neither shall Linus defeat me in song-singing contests,
Nor Thracian Orpheus, though his mother Calliopea be there,
Or even the radiance of Linus’ father Apollo.

Pan, if he contended with me in Arcadia’s judgment,
Even Pan would confess that he’d been beat in Arcadia.

You must begin, little child, to recognize with a smile your
Mother who bore for ten whole months long toil and sickness,
You must begin: Little boy, for he whose parents do not smile
On, god will not accept at his table nor goddess at her throne.

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