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I choose for you the very best I know;
The Loves, ill omen! sneezed on me, who dote On lovely Myrtis, as on spring the goat. A ratus, whom of men I love the best, Loves a sweet girl. Aristis, minstrel blest, And worthiest man, whom his own tripod near Phoebus himself would not disdain to hear Sing to the harp, knows that Aratus feels This scorching flame. Pan! whose rich music peals On Homolus, place in his longing arms Of her own will the blushing bloom of charms. So may the youth of Arcady forbear With squills thy shoulders and thy side to tear, When fails the chase. If thou wilt not, then weep, By nails all mangled, and on nettles sleep ! Where Hebrus flows, in frost-time of the year Dwell on the mountains 'neath the polar bear ; In summer with swart Æthiop, at the pile Of Blemyan rocks, beyond the springs of Nile ! Ye loves ! from Hyetis and Byblis flown, Who make Dione's lofty seat your own;
Ye loves ! that are to blushing apples like,
friend Aratus ! pace no more,
Ended my song, he smiling as before The friendly muse-gift gave— the crook he bore ; Then turning to the left pursued the way To Pyxa; speeding, presently we lay, Where Phrasidamus dwelt, on loosened sheaves Of lentisk, and the vine's new-gathered leaves. Near by, a fountain murmured from its bed, A cavern of the Nymphs : elms overhead,
And poplars rustled ; and the summer-keen
THE BUCOLIC SINGERS.
The cowherd Daphnis and the shepherd Menalcas sing alternately.
A goatherd is the judge between them; he awards the prize to Daphnis.