1st Canto of Dante’s Inferno

In the middle of our life’s way I found I
was in a shady forest because the
right road was confusedly lost. Oh my,

so difficult a thing it is to speak
what it was, that savage and harsh and hard
wood, that thinking of it renews fearful streak!

So bitter is it that death is yet far
less sweet; but to go over the good I dis-
covered there, I’ll tell of th’ other things I saw.

I don’t know how to recount the way which
I came in there, I was so full of sleep at
that point I left the truthful way amiss.

But when I was at the foot of a great
hill, where that valley which had overwhelmed
my heart with fear did make its end, on that

height I looked and saw its shoulders attired
already in rays of the planet which guides
other people along all highways, road.

The fear was calmed a little bit at this,
so that I lasted in the heart’s lake through
it, the night I spent in such pitiful pains.

And as one with life’s breath under stress, who
gets out of the depths and ashore, turns to the
dangerous water and looks intently into

it, so did my mind, while still breaking free,
turn back to marvel once more at the pass-
age way no person has yet left living.

Then with body rested a bit, my path
I did resume through the deserted climb, so
that the firm foot always was the lowest stand.

And see, as though about to start down the slope,
a sleek and very swift leopard, which was
covered by spot-stained skin; & it didn’t go

to get out of my face: actually, because
it so obstructed my walking way, I
was turned by returning more times faced. As

the time was at outset of morning, and high
the sun climbed on up with those stars which were
with it when divine love first set these fine

things into motion, so I had reason for
right goodly hope about that beast in the
motley skin at which point in time, & the hour

of the sweet spring; but it was not by means
such that fear failed to give me the glimpse
that appeared to me, a lion’s sight. It seemed

to be this that was coming after me, its
head held high, and with ravenous hunger,
so that it seemed th’ air was trembling for it.

And a wolf that seemed loaded down with all
cravings in her leanness, and which still yet has
made many people live wretched lives, for

this she-wolf offered me so much heaviness
in terror I got right out of its sight,
as I lost the hope of the peak on high’s

tip. And like he who gets that which he buys
willingly, and the time comes which makes him lose
face — that in all thoughts weeps and mourns, just like

so did that creature make me feel no peace, whose
coming toward me little by little put
me back there, where the sun’s quiet shade ensues.

While I was fleeing to a low-down spot,
one who seemed hardly perceptible, from long-stand-
ing silence, was offered up to my eyesight.

When I saw this fellow in the waste land,
“Pity me,” I shouted at him, “whoever
you may be, whether ghost or some certain man!”

He responded to me: “Not man, before
I was once a man — and my family, from
Lombardy, both parents were Mantuan for

homeland. I was born in Julius Caesar’s time,
though later, and lived under great Augustus
at Rome, in th’ age of fake and lying gods. I

was a poet, and sang of Anchises’s just
son who came from Ilium, when arrogant Troy
burned to cinders. But why do you return thus

to such tedious anxiety? So why
aren’t you scaling the delightful mountain
which is origin and reason for all joy?”

“So are you that same Virgil and that fountain-
head which extend in speaking so vast a stream?”
I replied to him, my brow lined shy as shame.

“Oh you other poets’ pride and light, let the
eager study and great love, which made me pore
over your volume, test the value of me.

You are my master-teacher and my source,
you are th’ only one from whom I’ve taken
the lovely style which has brought me honor.

Look at the beast by which I am turned back; &
help me with it, you famous genius, since
she makes me, veins and heartbeat, feel shaken.”

“It’s agreed for you to take a different trip,”
he replied then as he saw me shed tears, “if
you want to make it from savage place like this;

now this beast which you cry out about, it lets
not others pass over its path, but impedes
as much as it kills; and its nature gets

so vile and wicked, that the desire’s
trembling will is ever unfulfilled — after
a meal’s greater hunger than before. Beings

that take it as spouse are many, and far
more will be still, till the greyhound arrives:
he’ll make the beast die with pain. Never

will this hound feed on earth, nor mixed alloys,
but on wisdom, love and goodness, & his
heritage will be between banner and country.

From this nation, will humble Italy — for which
the virgin Camilla, Euryalus and
Turnus, Nisus died of injuries — be saved. This

one will hunt the beast throughout every town,
until he will have sent her back to hell,
where envy first departed from. So I

think my interest is in yours and can tell
that you follow me, and your guide shall I be,
and take you from here through an eternal

place, where you will hear the despairing shouts, see
the age-old spirits in pain, how each screams
over the second death; and you’ll view the

ones who are contented in the fire, because
they hope to come, whenever it may be, to
the blessed people. Then, if your wish is

to ascend to these, there should be a soul who is
more worthy than I… I’ll leave you with her as
I depart; for that emperor who rules

above, because I was a rebel to his
law, wills not entrance into his city for
me. In all places does he rule and holds

up beyond that: there is his city or
throne on high: how fulfilled are those of true
happiness whom he elects to choose there.”

And I told him, “Poet, by that God whom
you did not know to recognize, so that
I may flee from this evil and worse, do

I ask you to lead me where you said,
in order that I might see St. Peter’s gate
and those whom you say are hopelessly sad.”

Then he got moving, & behind him I went.

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Vergil’s 1st Eclogue

MELIBŒVS—TITYRVS

M: Hey Tityrus, you, lying beneath the cover of branching oak,
do practice the woodland Muse on slender reed-pipe; we
are at the confines of our country, have left its fields of sweet-
ness: we are in exile from the republic; you do — Tityrus, lying there
in the shade — teach the woods to echo with sound of Amaryllis.

T: Well Meliboeus, some god produced for us this leisure time: and
so will he always be a god to me; many a time shall soft lamb
from our fold stain that noted one’s altar with sacrifice. He
did grant my cattle leeway to wander, as you notice, and
permitted me to play on my woodland reed flute like I want.

M: No envy for sure, rather am I amazed: there’s trouble on every
side all over the country, all the way on up to here, now: oh, I my-
self, sick at heart, am taking my sheep onward; I can hardly even lead
this one, Tityrus: here among the crowding pair of hazel-trees twin,
this lamb has lost all hope of the herd, oh my!, after giving birth
upon the uncovered rocks. Unless my mind was in left-field, I re-
member this apple to us often signified oak-trees that the sky touches:
like the crow often forewarns the sinister caves from the great oak.
But, Tityrus, who would he be, that god of yours — let us have it.

T: The city which its people call Rome, Meliboeus, looked to stupid
me to be just like ours, where often we shepherds are in the habit
of pasturing our tender nursing-sheep: so did I learn puppies are
like dogs, just like lambs and their mother, thus was I accustomed
to put great things up to small ones like so: but truly has this city
supported the other states to such extent that cypress trees
are customary habit, among the pliant way-faring trees.

M: And what reason was such cause of your going to view Rome?

T: Liberty was — freedom, which though late, still looked upon a
lazy man once more; the beard was falling a brighter silver for the one
trimming it after that; still Liberty looked back on me, and arrived
a good long time after Amaryllis had me, after Galatea left me:
in fact, well I’ll confess, as long as I was Galatea’s, there was no
hope of freedom, any liberty, no care concerned for the herds:
however many sacrifices will be proclaimed from my boundaries,
or rich cheese produced for the thankless city, she never did
return home weighed down with copper coins upon my right.

M: I’m amazed at how you would call on the gods, you poor woman,
wretched Amaryllis, whose apples you disclose upon the tree:
Tityrus was not present here. Tityrus, the very pine-trees themselves,
the very self-same rivers, these very woods do call out your name.

T: What couild I do? I wasn’t allowed to be freed of my servitude,
nor was anyone present to know the will of the gods otherwise. I
saw that famed young man, Meliboeus, at as many years as twelve
full on, for whom our civic altars do smoke with fumes by the day;
here it is, the answer that man first provided to me seeking response:
“Put your cattle to pasture as before, young men, do raise your steer.”

M: Oh lucky old man, so the plots of land will remain yours,
& be large enough for you, though uncovered stone and
swamp cover all over with mud-caked rushes! It’s not like
some unfamiliar fodder is weighing down th’ ewes with lamb,
no sickness from the neighboring flock to harm. You lucky
elder, here among the well-known streams and spiritual
rivers you’re going to long for the cool of the shade!
From this source shall that hedge from the neighboring path,
which has been swarmed upon at flower by Sicilian honey-
bees of the willow-grove, often urge you to sleep in a light
whispering; hence does the garden-tiller recite singing from the
lofty cliff; and yet meanwhile the doves are not, you being so concerned,
squawking — turtle-dove will cease not its cooing from the airy elm.

T: Sooner should swift, the stags forage into sea, and the Straits leave
the fish laid bare upon the shore — sooner would an exile drink from
either, given both parties’ boundaries having been so thoroughly traversed,
rather the Parthian meet Arar, or western Europe take the river Tigris,
before that famed one’s face should slip away from my our heart.

M: But surely from here we will go, one and another, to burning
Libya, one to Scythia, other to arrive at the flood of the Oaxes
at Crete, and to Britain, cut so far off from all the globe. Oh,
after a long time shall I wonder at the homeland’s borders, in awe
at the top of the poor shepherd’s cottage piled up to the roof —
will I marvel in view of my rule after so many harvests? Will
some defiled veteran take possession of so lush a field to till,
foreign soldier have these produce? Oh, how conflict does make
for miserable citizens! We have gotten these people used to the fields!
Now go cultivate the pear-trees, Meliboeus, put your vines in order.
Come on, she-goats, come along, you formerly fortunate flock. I
will not see see you after this, myself having been thrown away, in
a sea green cave, that you hang at a distance from the thorny cliff;
I won’t sing any songs; no, myself to put to feed, you lambs,
you will pluck flowering myrtle and bitter willows.

T: Nonetheless you’re able stay here with me for tonight, over the verdant
greenery: there are soft ripe apples just for us, mildness of chestnuts,
and stores of milk already pressed; and now the fore-
most rooftops of the communities fume smoking — and the
greater darkness of larger shadows falls from mountaintops.

Quelli che benpensano (Those Normative Conformists), Frankie HI-NRG

They’re here around me, all about me; lots of times we be making promise without keepin’ it, but unless it’s in self-interest, the end is just the point of it: center of all that’s possible, the greatest stake’s a joke, the conquering imperative, & not to involve any else in the logic of the game, th’ only rule — being shrewd: not a scruple, no respect for one’s own kind, since the latest are the last ones if the first just can’t be touched. There’re so many, cocky with the less strong, doormats for the powerful, in charge of responses — they’re all the same identity, watch ’em: they’re behind in dress up masks, & no way to tell them apart. Coming up like lizards, even if they buy a line of ‘pardon’ then. They make who they want known in their circle they form: they spend, get big and are that one they hold…

They’re ’round about me, but do not converse with me — they are like I am, but feel it to be better… (repeat)

And like suppositories inhabit blisters “full optional,” with dogs louder than 120 decibels and dwarfs not even found at Disneyland, they live in fear of maybe looking poor: they show off what they have, envy all the rest, then buy it up — in mounting escalation they build with the neighbor: they get off the green and as high as the sky, with a bigger halo on their head than St. Mark from the bible. They’re the ones who on Sunday wash their cars, ones that go flashing by over the pavement with their kids in the dark, middle-men like the class they come from, ground-based like the missiles they resemble. Tight like wads, they’re powdered in flour, turn into drunks, & then get mixed up under a tree — boom! Noses white like Fruit of the Loom, they get redder than the next level in Doom. . . .

They’re ’round about me, but do not converse with me — they are like I am, but feel it to be better… (repeat)

All in themselves, lord by God, hands that are pressed between the church’s banking houses on Sunday — hands of hypocrites — hands that do things which are not otherwise told of, the other hands taking care of who knows what — & they’re shocked upset. — hands that sign petitions then to divest, slick hands like castor-oil, hands that brandish their baton, that get filled up with bling, hands up behind brothers’ back. These people, as the night cannot go on, these do come to hoes while their babies watch the TV: they put them in charge, people who buy “classy,” who are upper class in calling ’em “the Academies,” nightmares in plastic who want to torch every weed but only light the one up that gives them their charity nightly, when they hide from me within the veiled face of the black moon that’s theirs.

They’re ’round about me, but do not converse with me — they are like I am, but feel it to be better… (4x…)

John of Damascus, On the 8 Forms of Evil’s Spirits

1. It happens, my brother, that there are eight states of mind which make war on a brother, just like the church Fathers claim. First is gluttony; second, evil and base lust; third, greed; fourth, grief; sixth, laziness; seventh, arrogance; and the eighth, vanity.

2. So you ought to know, you monk, and focus on how much pain is inflicted and stirred up by our enemies and spirits of evil, and what sort of intention your mind feels disposed towards.

3. Even, if you feel, say, that you are being riled up by gluttony and with over-indulgence, straighten your stomach up, setting limits for food and drink in amount, within measure; keep a continuing recollection of the soul’s unconscious, both of future decision-making and fear of hell-fire; but likewise as well, say, for the desired will of heavens’ kingdom. For you are yet unable to overcome pleasures of the paunch, and may be loathsome.

4. But if you are once again overcome by the the shameful spirit and by low-down desire, strengthen bodily discipline, and contrition of spirit, and vigilance, after fervent prayer; in return, too, use them to handle irreverence, and misjudging someone or slandering them, or being wholly offensive, with these acts in turn. Yet consider death too, and welcome thirsting eagerly; and desire not to approach women at all, or even should you be free just to meet face to face, may you wish to get out of it.

5. And if you wish to overcome money-grubbing, cherish poverty, and welcome imperfection; and think of the judgment of Judah and how he presented the Lord, by means of it, unto the lawless; reflect on how every greedy and idolatrous man is called before the divine Writ; note also that it berefts us of our hope in God, and that the possession of material goods is mighty temporary, but for the money-grubbers, the punishment is unending; so then, by reckoning these reasons, and through seeking autocracy alone no longer, you shall overcome feeling this experience.

6.1 Now if you are troubled by worldly pain again, and are crying, you ought to pray constantly, and put all hope towards God, and to practice the message of the holy Scriptures; and you should be involved with the devout monks and ones who fear the Lord, and the people present all, so as not to undervalue their worth, and to conceive of the enjoyment in heaven, and the rewards of the righteous. And if you are hit by someone, or disrespected, or rejected, be not aggrieved, but rather take heart: but your grief only hurts when you are not right with God; for in this way, you will be able to change from feeling like this in spirit.

6.2 But when you might get riled up again by desire or quick temper, apply sympathy, and do service for the brethren, and if possible, wash their feet in humility consistently, and seek agreeable pardon from every person, and continually look into the feeble ones, & sing the psalms with feeling — immediately shall you be released from the feeling.

7. And if you wish to overcome anxiety, get to work on any little old handicraft, or read something, and pray regularly with secure hope of the right goods; consider both those giving up the ghost, and the pathway and suffocation of the wayward, how they are without mercy and punished, and thus will you have reprieve from suffering.

8. But if you become mighty tyrannical because of vanity and praise from men, you must not do anything to prove it to people: instead you should do all your good works in secret, no one else aware at all, save God alone; and welcome neither fawning praise, nor honors of men, nor fine clothes, nor place of honor and the best seat; rather instead, welcome men to find fault with you and accuse you and dishonor you falsely: even consider yourself more wayward than any sinner.

9. But if you find yourself assailed by diabolical passion of the most excessive arrogance, you ought not attack, nor judge, nor look down on anyone at all, but rather consider oneself as ransom for all humanity and be aware continually that unless the Lord built the house, the builders came for nothing; also, that you think of yourself as a debtor at all times, worthless in the sight of God and men’s. Also, don’t be proud, until the moment you hear full sentence — when you look upon that man, who even after lying there in the bride-chamber, is bound by the hands and feet, and even being cast out into eternal darkness; and whenever you fast or keep vigil or prostrate self or sing or continue enduring or pray begging for forgiveness, or do some good thing in other respects, do not argue that it may have happened from my own personal labor, or because of private wishes, but rather comes about from out of God’s support and assistance, and not of my eager zeal. Be always ever zealous, brother, to remain simple and pure at all times; and do not keep one thing in your heart, another in your mouth: for this is a tricky matter; and, doing this like so, will you escape destruction and a bad situation.

On the sensations, some are bodily and some, psychological; and we say the body’s passions are gluttony, fornication, inebriation, immorality; mental feelings are hatred towards one’s neighbor, jealousy, anger, vanity, pride. Now these influences do they work into our soul, — absent grace and self-control; and also, the emotions from fasting and prayer. For at that time the mind accepts its light proper, and looks on God free from obstruction.

Prologue to Christus Patiens

Since after having heard in piety of verses poetically
made, you now are willing to pay attention to sacred
duties, listen intently: and do now, like Euripides,
tell of the passion whose experience saved the world,
whence you will learn, for the most part, of the
mystical sayings, as from Madonna-maiden mouth
of a novice girl, whom the Instructor is fond of.
For argument will presently establish her first,
in a way fit for a mother at the right moment, while
she bewails sufferings and panorama of destined outset,[10]
as she goes weeping from the mountainside, so that
she appears to be in reality the cause of the Word, &
presently sees this one suffering undeservedly;
now if we have not been by carelessness overcome,
we might not indict fate right from the start; and
lest we be corrupted by the serpent’s trickery, let
not ruin make entrance with the wiles of the beast — and
let us support destiny with righteous judgment, that
evil itself not remain in uncorruptible state, unless
the life-giving Lord, Word God, will both be made[20]
mortal and endure to the end, which makes the
corruptible that loves the good impervious to
sin and gives true life unto the race of mortal men;
and as he awaits inexhaustible, the Word, this
woman was not disclosed as mother of the Lord;
and when seeing presently that this man suffers un-
justly, bemoaning does she cry aloud, all worn out.
The personages of my dramatization, are they
thus: wholly pure mother, unmarried hand-maiden,
young ladies attendant on the Lord’s mother.[30]

Antonio Gramsci, The Tenth Canto of Dante’s Inferno

4.78. Debate on “structure and poetics” in the Divine Comedy according to Benedetto Croce and Luigi Rosso. Reading of Vincent Morello as a “vile corpus”. Writing of Fidele Romani on Farinata. On the Saints. Question of the “indirect representation” and of the captions in the picture-show: the subtitles have an artistic value? — do they contribute to the representation of its character traits? Yes, surely — so far as they fix judgment of the actor and more pragmaticly characterize a given personality. The case of Shaw’s Don Giovanni, with the treatise of John Tanner appended: this appendix is a caption, from which a talented actor is able and obliged to extract fundamentals through interpreting them. The Pompeii-esque image of Medea, who slays the children she had with Jason: Medea is depicted as blindfolded: the painter did not know how, or wanted not, to represent this look. (Yet this is the case with Niobe, also in works of sculpture: covering her face would have signified removing the meaning from the work). Farinata and Cavalcante: Guido’s father and father in law. Cavalcante is punished by the squad. No one noticed that whether he was displeased with Cavalcante’s drama, the condemned man’s torment was not actually seen among that group: the formal structure should have led to an aesthetic judgment, most precise one of the canto, since every form of punishment gets represented in act. The work On the Saints made note of the severity comprised in the canto by the fact that Farinata’s character changes with a line: after being made, poetry becomes structure; it explains; it goes from Cicero to Dante. Farinata’s poetic representation is brought back to life in marvelous manner by Romani: Farinata is a series of sculptures. Then Farinata recites his tagline. Isidore del Lungo’s book on the Chronicle of Dino Compagni: in which is fixed the date of Guido’s death. It’s odd that the scholars did not think first of using Canto Ten to determine this date within approximation (who did it?). All the same, the check up performed by Del Lungo is useful in interpreting Cavalcante’s outward appearance and for explaining the execution of duty done, from Dante to Farinata.

What’s Cavalcante’s position, what is his form of torture? Cavalcante sees the past and sees what is to come, but does not see in the present, in a fixed space of the past and of the future into which the present moment is included. Guido was alive in the past, will be dead in the future, but as for the present? — is he dead or living? This is what tortures Cavalcante, the worry his own, one’s only over-riding thought. When he speaks, he asks about his son; when he hears “was”, the copula in past tense, he insists on response and on deferring one, doubts it not any longer: his son has died; he vanishes, into the red-hot sepulcre.

How does Dante represent this dramatic scene? He insinuates it to the reader, does not make it a representation; he gives the reader the basics so that the drama may be reconstructed, and these elements are given in the structure. Yet still there is one dramatic passage and it comes before the tagline. Three remarks: Cavalcante appears not dexterous and manly like Farinata, but humble, broken down, perhaps on his knees and he demands in uncertain way to know of his son. Dante responds, indifferent, or nearly so, and uses the word which refers to Guido in the imperfect. Cavalcante suddenly picks up on this fact and shouts hopelessly. He has a doubt, not real certainty; he demands further explanations in three questions, in which is an ensemble of states of mind. “Why did you say: he ‘was’?” — “Isn’t he still alive?” — “Does the sweet light not still strike his eyes?” In the third question, there is all the fatherly affection of Cavalcante; the typical human “life” is seen in a pragmatic state, in the enjoyment of the light, which the condemned and the dead have lost. Dante takes a while to reply and then the doubt in Cavalcante ceases. Farinata however is not shaken. Guido being his daughter’s husband, this sentiment has no real power in it at that moment. Dante emphasizes this force of his in mind. Cavalcante’s slouching down but Farinata keeps up appearances, keeps head still, moves not a muscle. Cavalcante falls on his back — Farinata does not make any despondent move; Dante has a negative analysis of Farinata in suggesting the (three) movements from Cavalcante: the twisting up of appearance, the head falling back, his back bending. Nevertheless there is something of the changed man even in Farinata. His reply is no longer such other as it had first appeared.

Dante does not make Farinata ask just “to be informed”, he questions such because he is amazed at being struck by Cavalcante’s passing. He wants the knot that prevents them from replying to Cavalcante to be loosened; he perceives that he is at fault in front of Cavalcante. The structural part is not only structure, then: it is also poetics — it is a necessary element in the drama which has taken place.

Vergil’s 10th Eclogue

Grant me, Arethusa, this final effort for a few verses must be
uttered for my dear Gallus, but ones which his Lycoris
herself might read. Who would refuse poems for Gallus?
Likewise, when the waves of commotion cause the ancient
Italians to slip away, let bitter Doris not stir her own wave up.
Do begin: let us speak of Gallus, his anxious loves, while
the snub-snouted lambs snip at the soft branches. We do not sing
verses to unwilling audience; the woods answer every reply.

And what forests or which woodland pasture will hold you, water
nymph girls, to be unworthiness when Gallus was perishing of love’s
loss? Because neither do Parnassus’s peaks, and neither do any
of Mt. Pindus, delay — not even Aganippa at Aonia either.

Even the laurel trees, even the tamarisks do not make him weep.
The pinecone-laden mountains of Arcadia, and the rocks of ice-
cold Lycaeus, make him weep lying under Mainalo’s lonely ridge.
And the sheep, they all stand about; they’re sorry because of us,
so don’t be sorry for them, you divinely inspired poet — and a
shapely sheep feeds by the streams of the river Adonis; and
the sheperd has come too; and the late swineherds have
come; sodden Menalcas, come for the winter chestnut.

They all ask, “That love of yours, from where?” Apollo arrives:
“Gallus, why are you being crazy?” He says, “Your care,
Lycoris, she followed another through the snows and awful
encampments.” Silvanus came decked in the honor of a leafy
brow, waving a rod flowering, and brandishing massive lilies.

Pan, woodland god of Arcadia has come, & we saw him ourselves —
he was blush-red with the bloody elderberries and dye of scarlet.

He said, “Shall there be any measure? Love does not care about
such things; cruel Love is not satisfied in tears, nor is the grass by
the streams, nor bees with clover — lambs, not by the foliage.”

And in sadness he says, “You’ll sing these poems all the same,
you Spartans on your mountains: Arcadian poets alone are well
versed in singing. O how softly then will my bones be at rest, if
your reed pipe should speak once of my feelings of love, loves!
But oh, to wish I had been one of your number, either as the
guardian of your flock, or the cultivator of the ripe grape’s vine!
It is for sure that whether Phyllis is mine, or whether it be Amyntas,
or whatever furor rage — something for certain if dark-skinned
Amyntas does; and the purple-black violets and bruised hue of
hyacinths — she’d sleep with me among willows under the clinging
vine; Phyllis would pick flowers for my garlands, Amyntas singing.
Here are frigid pools, here the soft meadows, dear Lycoris, the
wood here; right here could I spend up that very age with you.
Now craziness in love holds me back in the weapons of rigid Mars
into the very midst of the missiles and even enemies in opposition:
you, so far from your homeland (would not be so hard for me to
believe!), do see the Alpine snows, oh strong one, and cool chills
of the Rhein by yourself without me: oh let not cold airs beat you!
Aw, would that the rough ice not cut your soft branches trimmed!
I will go and, those poems of mine composed in style of Chalcedon —
I shall intone them on the rustic pipe of a Sicilian sheperd. It is a
sure thing in the woods, among the wild animals’ dens, to prefer
suffering, and cut my loves inscribed into the delicate trees;
those illustrious loves will grow, you shall grow, you desires.
Meanwhile I will make Mainalo shine with wood nymphs inter-
mingled, or I will hunt boar with sharp arms: there are no streams
that forbid me surrounding Mt. Parthenion’s woods with hounds.
Now I do believe I’m going throughout the rocks and wooded
groves uttering sounds; it pleases Pollio to hurl whirling Cretan
points in horn: as though this were cure for my raging, so that
noted god might learn to be light on men’s evil ills? Now
neither do the wood nymphs please us again, nor even our
songs themselves; the very woods, you must yield to them again.
Our efforts are unable to alter that, not even if we might drink
from the very middle of the chills of Mt. Hebron, and were to under-
go the watery snows of a Sithonian winter — not even if,
since perishing paper-thin bark is parched on the high elm,
we took Ethiopian sheep to pasture under the Crab’s star.
Love conquers everything; and let us give ourselves up to Love.”

Oh goddesses of Pieria, this nymph will be enough to sing your
poet in verse, while she sits and weaves a little basket with
marshmallow branches; you shall all do the greatest things to Gallus —
Gallus, for whom love does grow as greatly by the hours,
as alderwood to the truly new youth of the verdant green.
Let us arise: a heavy shadow is customary for ones reciting,
the juniper’s shadow weighty; and shades, they harm the crops.
Go home with belly full — Evening is coming — go on, you goats.