Vergil’s 8th Eclogue

A young heifer as memorable as a marvel is that of
Damon and Alfesiboeus, the shepherds, whose lynx cats
were struck dumb by the theme song, as they were looking
for streams redirected in course; so, let us talk up
the inspiration for Damon and Alfesiboeus.

Whether you overcome the present stones of the Timavo river with me,
or choose to brave the deep of the Aegean sea, whenever that day
should be, might I be permitted to recite your affairs? Will that day come,
just as it is not forbidden for me to publicize poems in your honor,
the only ones worthy of the tragic buckskin of Sophocles? The
principle derives from you; it deserts your cause: please accept
poetic verses undertaken at your behest, as well as donning this
ivy wreath about your head, among the laurels of victory.

A chill shadow scarcely departed from the night sky, when
a most agreeable flower rose in bloom among the youngling flock, —
reclining in the shade of an ebullient olive, so did Damon start:

“Arise, get up before the arriving day-time, Morning Star, at full harvest,
as you’ve been tricked into unsavory love of your wife Nessa, while
I utter complaint, out in public at that, although I’m of no use to such
kinds witness at interest, on my deathbed still do I offer final-hour appeal.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Maenalus the goat-herd always kept a spiffy grove, with loquacious ever-
greens; he always heard about the love-affairs of the shepherd community,
and Pan too, who above all lets not anyone’s flute remain inactive.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Nessa is taken with Mopsus: what reason have her admirers to be
anxious? Yet griffins are mixed up with the horses, and it will come
about in some future age, with hunting dogs upon a deer-horn goblet.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Hey Mopsus, go chop wood for new torches: you should grab a wife; stay
off the pine-nut trees, you married dog: the Evening Star is deserting Mt. Oeta.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Oh dear wife of a worthwhile husband, while you do look down
upon all, still may you feel hatred torward my little pipe, — just like
the lambs and the supplementary supply of fodder, and the grain as
agreed, you shall not ascribe mortal beliefs to any divine being!

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

I saw you about our bees, baiting a young ewe with flavored
honey, and its mother besides; one more year has already
taken me up for more than a decade, and then some; & now am I able
to ply the tender branches with earth: just as I witnessed, as I
was dying off, so did a horrendous error cause me to go wrong!

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Now I’m beginning to realize what Love is: do they publish his exploits over
treacherous crags, at Mure? or the mountains of Rhodope or even the Mediterranean
berber tribes, as a young lad unrelated to our family and bloodline.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Love itself teaches wild hands to sacrifice the mother of the flock;
you are also too harsh, oh mother: is the mother even more crude,
or is the young lad unsound? That lamb isn’t quite right:
and you are indeed a cruel one, mother sheep.

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

Now let the very wolf flee the sheep instead; let the rock-hard oaks
bear golden apples, let the alder-tree flower with narcissus,
let the myrtles drip with thick amber sap, let the wailing cries
also contest the swans; let Tityrus be made into Orpheus!
Let Orpheus be there in the woodlands, among Arion’s dolphins. . . .

Do start the Maenalian drinking songs with me, o’ my drum.

The open sea is cause of all things, or neutral keel. Long live
the woods: I’m going to ship a bronze mirror from the mountains to the
water, as prize; let this be the uttermost service, of a dying shepherd.[60

So, stop the Maenalian drinking song with me, dear drum.”

That’s what Damon said. Now you, dear Muses, please produce the response
Alfesiboeus made: as we are all incapable of handling every last thing in detail.

Go get some water, and hang flowery wreaths about here,
do pay homage to the boughs of incense, and fire up the altar, —
in order that I might try to deter legitimate spousal interests with holy magic,
there’re no hard feelings here, unless the poetic performance is lacking.

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

One can draw out a song, or play on the moon, in the sky; Circe transformed
Odysseus’ companions by means of poetic chants: a chilling snake
is busted up, for slithering throughout the meadows.

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

I am embellishing this trio of eclectic weavings into the triple
coloring, and do I produce a counterpoint pattern around
the sacred space of th’ altar: the god Pan delights in odd numerals.

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

Weave three different colors into a tripartite band, shepherd lass Amaryllis; dear
Amayllis, put it together right away, and say, “I’m locking Venus‘ chains down.”

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

As the mud grows impliable, and does melt these words like wax with one
and the same fire, — just like so, is our love for Daphnis. Season the mill
and incinerate the pliant laurels with asphalt. Bad-boy Daphnis
sure did torch me: I claim the laureate prize for Daphnis.

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

Such hopeless love — of the kind which gets worn out by cows in the woods,
as well as a heifer seeking for the lofty groves, on account of the river’s stream, —
sure did lay Daphnis out, upon the verdant hedge-grass, & he had forgotten
not to stay out too late, so great the desire which held him,
that it’s not my place to prescribe a cure. . . .

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

That back-stabber once left these spoils out for me, such dearly bought bets
on his own; I require you to inform me what land am I in, at the
very borderline: these bets are on Daphnis‘s tab!

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

Moeris the herdsman granted me these magic herbs and such choice morsels,
which he got from the Black Sea (a great many products hail from the Crimea);
I often told them that a wolf might arise, and that Moeris has made himself
at home in the woods, by provoking the living spirits from the depths of
the tomb, — yet saw I the harvests get sown and handed off to a stranger!

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

Take the ashes outdoors, Amaryllis, and toss them over your head, into
the rushing pool, & don’t bother looking back again. I shall approach Daphnis
with these means; he has no respect for the gods, and cares not for my poems.

Send Daphnis home from the city, my songs, send Daphnis home.

Take a look: the beast breaks the altar amid the tremulous flames, of its own accord,
as do I delay to execute sacrifice, the very ash itself. Let it be taken to suffice!
I don’t know much for certain, yet Hylax the mutt is barking at the doorway. Are we
of proper belief? — yet people in love do imagine, for themselves, their own dream.

Give it up, he just left town — so give it up on the songs, Daphnis!

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Una su un milione, Baby K

Leaving by evening, I
want it far and wide, as long as I might,
universal finish line, & re-
mind you that the world’s a little bigger deal.

I’m going to sleep between the planets and all the
stars: greet me from the low depths;
I hope a recollection is enough
for you. Remind me of my requests,
not just of my defects;
remind me that I’m not ever what you expect.

Maybe one day you will capture every one of my
aspects; I’ve not yet taken «no» for an
answer, been picked by prior choices
who believed in looking down on opponents
before the first look. And at heart,
I only bother t’ acknowledge the right
account. I made up a whole world off the top of
my head, and never accepted a
faithful other, who made my head
let my thoughts go
over beer glasses.

Y’ all must be my party,
drinking to this life, in your honor;
tell the band to turn it up!
With no regrets, come on out
and let me permit a thought,
for whoever I am and whom I will be, on
my way to get in touch with the sky.

Tell me this one’s name now;
Tell me this one’s name now.

Remind me once again,
I’m one out of a million!

One more out of a million,
I’m one out of a million, oh yeah.

And if I end up going,
Roses on my box, seat:
Remind me once again,
Just like no one else does!

One in a million, I
Am one out of a million,
I’m a million to one, woman.

Look wherever you want, you won’t find any like me!
First off or next you’ll see that
with no me, you’d never feel like a king.
Put this world on the back-burner, to make good on
searching for an eclectic universe with innovative rules.
Better to stay humble, best
not to ponder invalid boundaries —
forgetting about prayers is for the fools.

Let me go off,
I’m already on a high trip.

Life is an airplane,
& no pilot works for me.
And if they’re wondering about me,
I already got the carrot, and the stick.

The story, with me there? — a
half-way empty bottle
like a night at the opera house, with a note out of tune:
I found another prima ballerina, but something’s off,
so I’m burning all the bridges between me and this corrupting sea,
which wanted me to stop concealing scales —
and maybe when I go off alone, I’ll claim to be a special girl.

Just a kiss to someone who knows how to give one, I’m out. . .

Tell me this one’s name now;
Tell me this one’s name now.

Remind me once again,
I’m one out of a million!

One more out of a million,
I’m one out of a million, oh yeah.

And if I end up going,
Roses on my box, seat:
Remind me once again,
Just like no one else does!

One in a million, I
Am one out of a million,
I’m a million to one, woman.

Audio on YouTube

Vergil’s 6th Eclogue

At Syracuse was our service to Thalia — the Grace
of pastoral ode, etc. — first established. Whenever I
should sing of kingships and battles, Cynthius
the shepherd would lend an ear, then advise: “A sleek
sheep is fit for feeding a shepherd, to recite a drawn-out tune.”

Now do I (for they are your people up top, Varus, who love speaking in
praise of you, and to conduct unhappy wars) modulate the pastoral Muse
on a rustic reed flute. I’m not singing without cause: all the same, if some-
body states also these claims — should one taken in love choose to, —
every grove will resound with your praises, in thanks for that tamarisk
of ours; nor is any other flowering plant more dear to Apollo than that
which the name of Varus does prescribe as page for his service.

Get going, Muses of Pieris! The young lads Chromis and
Mnasyllus came to look upon Silenus, the satyr, as he lay asleep
in the cave, hungover from last night, as ever: nearby were so
many garlands, which had slipped from his head, and
a heavy mixing bowl, hanging from a worn-down handle.

At the approach (’cause an old man is often made a fool of, for a song or two),
they threw their garlands off like shackles. Aegle made herself available and
overcame the fearful masses. Aegle, she’s the most lovely of the Naiad nymphs,[20
& for anyone viewing her face out of the blood-red mulberries, does she
decorate her brow with adornments. The young man asked, “How did
you get out of the cuffs?”, as she chuckled at the jest: “The young lads
let me out; it was enough to be able to be seen. Please consider the lyrical
pieces which you wanted; they are compositions dedicated to you,
with another form of hire, as such.” And so did Mnasyllus start up.

But then would you have seen woodland beasts and spirits at play,
also the peaks setting the imperturbable oaks into motion. The cave
of Parnassus took not so much pleasure in homage to Apollo,
neither did Mt. Rhodope, nor Ismara, wonder as such at Orpheus himself.

Now as it is, he used to perform lyrics on how the original seeds
of th’ earth and the soul and the sea were brought together out of a massive
void, likewise also with liquids and fire; just as beginnings all apply
to initial origins, so did the porous globe of the world come
to solidify; then did Nerea begin to stabilize the firmament,
and disclose the very sea, also by gradual degree to cause
the figures of beings to cohere; yet as the grounds stand in awe
at the new dawning day, let the rains fall even harder from the uplifted
cloud-banks, whenever the woods should start to stir, since
unlikely animals may wander over obscure mountain ranges.[40
Then he sang of the stones which Pyrrhus hurled, Saturn’s imperial
kingdoms, and the birds of Caucasus, as well as of Prometheus’ theft.
In addition to which, he added that the mariners called out for Hyla,
left off at some fountain’s source, until the entire shoreline echoed
with “Hyla, Hyla!”; and does he isolate Pasiphae, one lucky gal — if only
the pack mules had never been! — with the desire of a snow-white heifer.

Oh poor unmarried girl, what frenzied madness detained you?!

Proteus’ daughters filled the field with their feigned moo-ing; but none
of them were so uncivilized as to actually mate with a beast of burden,
though they were afraid of being put to death by the plough,
and often sought to put horns upon one’s fair forehead.

Oh poor unmarried girl, now you’re wondering lost in the
mountains: the cow does recline along its snow-white flanks,
over soft hyacinths, grazing on light green grasses beneath
the shady ilex, or following the trail among the crowding herd.
“Now you Nymphs of Dicte, oh Nymphs — do close
the woodland passes, to see if some traces of the cow’s
tracks might present themselvs to our eyes: perhaps
some cows had him led off, taken with green grass
or by following the herd, to the famed stables at Crete.”[60

Then does he sing of the young maid astounded by the apples
of the Hesperids, next of surrounding Phaethon’s beloved sisters
with moss from the bitter rings of bark, and setting the towering poplars,
from the ground up, right. He sings next of Gallus wandering past
the streams of Mt. Helicon, so that a sister of the Muses would take him
to the mountains of Aonia, and about how the entire chorus of Apollo’s
service rose up, to greet him; a song about Linus, the shepherd with the most
famed poem-writing skills around, adorned about his temples with flowers
and bitter herbs, singing, “The Muses offer you this victory flute, so
do accept it, before it goes to old-man Ascra the poet; he used to be able
to make the very ash-trees in the mountains stand on end with these reeds.
You should document the birth of the Grynean grove on this reed-flute,
so that there be not one valley where Apollo is more of a subject.”

What else is there to say, about Scylla, the daughter of king Nisus, who was
pursued by glittering infamy herself, belted with barking beasts about her waist-
line, as she harried the Cretan fleet, and off into the eddying whirpool,
to rip the distressed sailors into bits with hounds at the shore —
or to recite the tale of Tereus’ transformed limbs, which Philomela
served to him for a feast, as though offering him a present, on
which path she did seek the wild desert, with those wings[80
by which the unlucky female had flown over her royal abode?

The famed satyr Silenus, poetic as Orpheus (sic), declaimed on all these affairs as such,
like what lucky Eurotas heard when Apollo was strumming at the lyre, and how
he ordered his laurels to learn to record it (The valleys resounded until echoing
to the starlight.), reciting his work until sunset compelled the shepherds to give an account
of their flocks and their ranks, as Hesperus advanced about Mount Olympus.

Sonnet from Vita nuova 15, Dante Alighieri

What holds me up, does die from within my mind,
whenever I am drawn to looking upon you,
dear gorgeous delight; and when I near you, I
perceive Love itself, who states: “Get going, if

dying is offensive to you.” My look alone
shows the hue of th’ interior heart which, in passing
out, will ask for aid, wherever it can; and,
inebriated as I was from great rumbling,

the stones seemed to grumble: “Die, do die!” It’s
a sin just to see me, if one does not console
my shell-shocked soul, by showing he has pity
on me, with piety, which your mockery does kill
off, devotion born from within my dying face —
by the eyes — as they desire for their dying.

C’est la banlieue, Assalti Frontali

They talk about Italy like it’s of the saints and the poets, but where’s the poetic instinct now? Upon a graffiti wall, or maybe at those secret stations where dreams get left behind. Then someone shuffled their feet over the line; I gathered up the nets of the heartless reality. My buddy Pierrot presented me with those candles of yours. I’ve got to write my own story. The night-time is black, as the dark of the road renews poetic sense, but under glaring of the moon, we fail to witness that we should have to be put to the fire, to speak on our own part. Let us take our chances; and what shall be discovered, that we’re knocking at the door and don’t know who would open it here. I’m sure we could combine our cries of woe, so as not to burn them alive like forced labor kids. I hung up the threads, with a clitoral shudder, in a world where poetry kills it off inside of the crib, in a lake of oil, & I’m readying the power and people for the treetops, furrowing my sails. . . Look at this garden, that poor sorry bench. If you look at it too well, it’s a ship on its way to sea. And down the line, I alone see the secret police, and view a company for hunting down brand new spoils. Here are the poets that form resistance for us. They write poetic forms of life, but who could make sense of it all?

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

Better to live off of piracy than go with bad company, better to be alone in this sea than to get stuck up in the mud: I’ll have one of whatever they serve here — the risk is being a friend of ours. Boarding at the Jolly Rodger, get the sail in order: here are some people who don’t know who they are any more; I’m totally slacking off in doubt, over urban piracy. These are the ones who don’t know where they’re off to, any more — this moon looks on us by the batch of hundreds, and shines upon the links down below, though its light is awful dim. I miss when we would chew on coca leaves: we’d go out every night and try a witty sortie, knocking at the door to go play at our game; we’d be here all cloak and dagger under cover. There’s no equipment in this sea, except for shouting over children. If we dance across the bridge, there’s no blame for being on a roll, since every single day is a celebration in the stars, & I forget it. I’m certain that we could finish really badly, not to suffocate in the hold of a ship, though for now, a sufficient store is acquired at the coffee bar. In the market place, my little ship was almost deterred for a second, & what a dick, not to give a shit about who is driving the Porsche? He would be the son of a notorious director from La Roche. To us, it’s much better to listen to Peter Tosh, offering you a beer out of pocket-change so posh. . . .

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

Vergil’s Occasional Verse for Octavian

These were the verses I was singing, right over the rightful observance at
th’ altar of sacrifice, and over about the trees, as Octavian Caesar, a great figure
on the deep, struck the Euphrates valley at war like a thunderbolt, and as conqueror
grants rule of law to willing peoples, and fixes his pathway to Mt. Olympus.

That famèd lord did assist me, at a moment in time when I was in full flower
about the zealous studies of the siren’s song, rather less than noble at leisure,
by stanzas for shepherds which I do perform — & what a daring youth am I — dear
Tityrus, as I recite poetic verses on you, beneath the cover of branching oak.