Sivut kuvina

* Those most he hitsi of all the gods on high

* Who the lone traveller's request deny.

• The numerous flocks your eyes behold around,

* With which the vales are flor'd, the hills are


1 Augeas owns; o'er various walks they spread, 'In different mesili, in different pastures fed; 'Some oo the banks of Elisuntus stray, 4 Some where divine Alpheus winds his way, 'Seme in Bsprasiam, where rich wines abound,

* And force in this well-cultivated ground.

'And though exceeding many flocks are told,

* Each separate flock enjoys a separate fold.

'Here, though of oxen numerous herds are seen, 'Yet springs* the herbage ever fresh and green i« 'In the moist marsh of Menius: every mead, 'And vale irriguotu, where the cattle feed,

* Produce sweet herbs, embalm'd in dewy tears, 'Whose fragrant virtue fattens well the steers.

'Behold that stall beyond the winding flood,

* Which to the right appears by yonder wood,

* Where the wild olive, and perennial plane,

'Grow, spread, and flourish, great Apollo's fane, 'To which the hinds, to which the shepherds bow, 1 And deem him greatest deity below! 30 'Next are the stalls of swains, whose labours bring

'Abundant riches to the wealthy king;

'Four times each year the fertile foil they plough,

'And gather thrice the harvests which they sow;

'Thef hb'ring hinds, whose hands the vineyards • dress,

* 'Whose feet the grapes in purple autumn press, 'bow well the vast domain Augeas owns,

'Kids fields, whose lap the golden ear imbrowns, 'Or iiaded gardens, far as yonder hills, 'Whose brows are water'd by resplendent rills; 'This spacious tract we tend with daily care, 'As fits those swains who rural labours share.

'Bat fay (and all ray service you shall claim), 'Say for what cause you here a stranger came: 'Would you the king or his attendants fee? 'I can conduct you; only trust to me. 'For such your form, and such your manly grace, 'You seem deriv'd from no ignoble race: 'Sore thus the gods, that boast celestial birth, 'Appear majestic to the sons of earth.' 50

He spoke: and thus Jove's valiant son rcply'd! 'My wandering steps let some kind shcDlierd 'guide

'To king Augeas, whom these realms obey; 'To fee Augeas am I come this way.

* But if fair justice the good monarch draws 'To Elis, to administer the laws,

* Conduct me to fume honourable swain,

'Who here presides among his rural train,

'That I to him my purpose may disclose,

'And follow what his prudence shall propose: 60

* For heaven's eternal wisdom has decreed,

■ That nun of man should ever stand in need.' Thus he: the good old herdsman thus reply'dt

* Strre some immortal being is your guide: 'For lo! your business is already done;

'Last night the king, descendant of the sun, '*'ith royal Phyleus, from the town withdrew, I Ha Hecks unnuniber'd, and his herds to view.

■ Thus when great kings their own concerns ex


'By wife attention they augment their store. 'But let me quick, for time is on the wing,

■ In yonder tent conduct you to the king.'
This said, lie walk'd before his royal guest,

Much wondering, much revolving in his breast,
When at his back the lion's spoils he saw,
And in his hand the club infusing awe.
He wilh'd to ask the hero whence he sprung?
The rising query dy'd upon his tongue:
He fear'd the freedom might be deem'd a fault:
'Tis difficult to know another's thought. 80
The watchful dogs, as near the stalls they went,
Perceiv'd their coming by their tread and scent,
With open mouths from every part they run,
And bay'd incessant great Amphitryon's son;
But round the swain they wagg'd their talcs and

And gently whining secret joy betray'd.
Loose on the ground the stones that ready lay
Eager he snatch'd, he drives them far away;
With his rough voice he terrified them all, 89
Though pleas'd to find them guardians us his stall.
'Ye gods! (the good old herdsman thus began)
'What useful animals are dugs to man?
'Had Hcav'n but sent intelligence to know
'On whom to rage, the friendly or the foe,
'No creature then could challenge honour more,
'But now too furious, and too fierce they roar.'

He spoke; the growling mastiffs ceas'd to bay,
And stole obsequious to their stalls away.
The fun now westward drove his radiant steeds,
Aud evening mild the noontide heat succeeds;
His orb declining from the pastures calls 191
Sheep to their folds, and oxen to their stalls.
Herd following herd, it joy'd the chief to fee
Unnumber'd cattle winding o'er the lea.
Like watery clouds arising thick in heaven,
By the rough south or Thracian Boreas driven;
So fast the shadowy vapours mount on high,
They cover all the region of the sky;
Still more and more the gathering tempest brings,
And weightier burdens on its weary wings. 110
Thus thickening march the cattle o'er the plain,
More than the roads or meadows can contain;
The lutly herds incessant bellowing keep,
The stalls are fill'd with steers, the folds withi

Though numerous staves stand round of every kind,
All have their several offices affign'd.
Some tic the cow's hind legs, to make her stand
Still, and obedient to the milker's hand:
Some give to tender calves the swelling teat,
Their sides distend with milky beverage sweet.
Some form fat cheeses with the housewife's art,
Some drive the heifers from the bulls apart, Ijj
Augeas visited the stalls around,
To lee what stores in herds and flocks abound;
With curious eye he mov'd majestic on,
Join'd by Alcides and his royal son.
Here Hercules, of great and steady foul,
Whom mean amazement never could controul,
Admir'd such droves in myriads to behold.
Such spreading stocks that never could be told


Not one king's wealth he thought them, nor of ten,

Though greatest of the rulers over men:
The fun his sire this privilege assign's, [kind j
To be in flocks and herds more rich than all min-
Tbcfe still increas'd ; no plague e'er render'd vain
The gainful labour of the shepherd swain;
Year following year his industry was blest, [best.
More calves were rear'd, arid still the last were
No cows e'er cast their young, or e'er dedin'd,
The calves were chiefly of the female kind. 140
With these three hundred bulls, a comely fight,
■Whose horns were crooked, aud whose legs were

And twice an hundred of bright glossy red.
By whom the business of increase was sped:
But twelve, the flower of all, exulting run
In the green pastures, sacred to the sun;
The stately swan was not so silver white,
And in the meads they took ineffable delight:
These, when gauDt lions from the mountain's

Descend terrific on the herds below, 150
Rush to the war, the savage foe they gore.
Their eyes look death, and horribly they roar-
But molt majestic these bold bulls among
Stalk'd Phaeton, the sturdy and the strong;
So radiant, so refulgent from afar,
The shepherd-swains compar'd him to a star.
When round the shoulders of the chits he spy'd,
Alarming sight! the lion's tawny hide,
Full at his slank he aim'd his iron head,
And proudly dootu'd the matchless hero dead : 160
But watchful Hercules, devoid of fear,
Seiz'd his left horn, and stopp'd his mad career;
Prone to the earth his stubborn neck he prest,
Then writh'd him round, and biuis'd his ample

At one bold push exerted all his strength,
And high in air upheld him at arm's length.
Through all the wondering train amazement ran,
silent they gaz'd, and thought him more than

Phylcus and Hercules (the day far spent)
I t I t the rich pasture*, and totlis went: 170
The footpath first, which tow'rd the city lay,
Led from the flails, but narrow was the way:
Through vineyards next it past, and gloomy glades,
Hard to distinguish in the greenwood shades.
The devious way as noble Phylcus led,
To his right shoulder he inclin'd his head,
And slowly marching through the verdant grove,
Thus mild bespoke the progeny of Jove:

• By yi.ur last bold achievement it appears, 'Great chief, your fame long since has reach'd * my ears, 180

• For here arriv'd a youthful Argive swain,

■ From Helice that borders on the main,

« Who for a Uuth among th' Epcans told,

• That late he saw a Grecian, brave and bold,

■ Slay a fell lion, fell to husbandmen,

• That in the Nemcan forest made his den:

• W hether the chief from sacred Argos came, 'Or proud Mycene, or Tirynthc claim

• His birth, I heard not: yet he trae'd his line,

'If true my talc, from Perseus the divine. lyo

'No Greek but you could such a toil sustain;
'I reason from that mighty monster slain.
* A perilous encounter '. whose rough hide

Protects your shoulders, and adorns your fide. 'Say then, if you are he, the Grecian bold,

I Of whom the Argive's wond'rous tale was told j 'Say, whit dread weapon drunk the moofitr'a


'And how he wander'd to the Nemean wood, ■ For not in Greece such savages are found, 'No beasts thus huge infest Achaian ground; ico 'She breeds the ravenous wolf, the bear, the boar, 'Fernicious monsters! but (he breeds no more. 'Some wonder'd at accounts so strange and new, 'Thought the Greek boastful, and his tale un■ true.'

Thus Phyleus spoke, and as the path giew wide, He walk'd attentive by the hero's side, To hear distinct the toil-sustaining man. Who thus, oblequious to the prince, began: "Son of Augeus, what of me you heard *' Is strictly true, nor has the stranger err'd. 110 "But since you wish to know, my tongue shall tell, [fell, "From whence the monster came, and how he "Though many Greeks have mention'd thisassair "None can the truth with certainty declare. "'Tis thought feme vengeful angerswar'd, M Sent this lore plague for sacrifice unpaid, "To punish the Phoroneans: like a flood "He delug'd the Pilitan fields with bluod: "The Bemhinæans, miserable men, *• Felt his chief rage, the neighbours to his den. "The hardy task, this hideous beast to kill, "Euryftheus first cnjnin'd me to fulfil, "But hop'd me slain: on the bold conflict bent, "Arm'd to the field with bow and darts I went "A solid club, of rude wild, olive made,

II R(-ue»h in his rugged rind niy right hand sway'd "On Helicon's fair hill the tree 1 found,

"Aud with the roots I wrench'd it from tl *• ground.

"When the close covert I approach'd, where 1; "The lordly lion lurking for his prey, 1 "I bent my bow, firm fix'd the string, and stia "Notch'd on the nerve the messenger of fate: a Then circumspect I pry'd with curious eye, "First, unobfeiv'd, the ravenous beast to spy. "Now mid-day reign'd; I neither could explo "His paw's broad print, nor hear his hideous ro "Nor labouring rustic find, nor shepherd swain "Nor cowherd tending cattle on the plain, "To point the lion's lair: fear chill'd them al "And kept the herds and herdsmen in the stall, i "I search'd the groves and saw my foe at Ieng "Then was the moment to exert my strength. " ere dim evening clos'd, he sought his £ "Gorg'd with the flesh of cattle and of men: "With slaughter siain'd his squalid mane ap

"pear'd, [smear'd "Stern was his face, his chest with blood be "And with his pliant tongue he lick'd his gor


*' Mid Ihady shrubs I hide myself with care, "Expecting he might issue bom his lair,

* Fill at his flank I sent a (hast, in vain, 350 'The harmless {baft rebounded on the plain.

'Stann'd|at the shock, from earth the savage • tab'd

* His tawny head, and all around him gaz'd:

"Wondering from whence the seather'd ven

** geance flew, "He goaJh'd hit horrid teeth, tremendous to the

14 view.

"Vex'd that the first had unavailing fled, "A second arrow from the nerve 1 sped:

* In his broad chest, the mansion of hit heart,

"I lauach'd the shaft with ineffectual art; i » His hair, his hide the seather'd death repel; "Before his feet it innocently fell. 161

■ Etuag'd, once more, I try'd my bow to draw, "Then first his foe the furious monster saw: .

* He laA'J his sturdy sides with stern delight,

■ And rising in his rage prepar'd for fight. "With instant ire his main erected grew,

* His hair look'd horrid, of a brindled hue;

"Circling hi* back, he feem'd in act to bound, ■ And like a bow he bent his body round:

* As when the fig-tree skilful wheelers take, 270

* for rolling chariots rapid wheels to make; 'The fellies first, in fires that gently glow,

* Gradual they heat, and like a circle bow;

* Awhile in curves the pliant timber stands,

* Then springs at once elastic from their hands.

* On me thus from afar, his foe to wound,

"ic-rung the fell lion with impetuous bound.

* My left hand held my darts direct before,

* Arcund my breast a thick strong garb I wore;

* 1st right, club guarded, dealt a deadly blow 288

* fail on the temples of the rushing foe:

"So hard his skull, that with the sturdy stroke, "My knotted club os rough wild-olive broke 1 "Yet ere 1 clos d, his savage fury fled, "With trembling legs he stood, and nodding "head;

"The forceful onset had cunfus'd his brain, "Dim mills obscur'd his eye, and agonizing pain. "Thi» I perceiv'd; and now, an easy prey, < "I threw my arrows and my bow away, "And ere the beast recover'd of his wound, 190 "Seiz'd his thick neck, and pinn'd him to the "ground;

"With all my might on his broad back I prest , "Lest his fell claws should tear my adverse breast "Then mounting, close my legs in his I twin'd, "And with my feet secur'd his paws behind; "My thigu I guarded and with all my strength "Hcav'd him from earth, and held him at arms •' length,

"And strangled thus the scllcst of the fell;

"His mighty soul descending linn, to hell.

"The conquest gain'd, fresh doubts my mind

u divide, 300 "How shall I strip the monster's shaggy hide i "Hard task! for the tough skin repell'd the


"Of pointed wood, keen steel, or sharpest flint: "Some god inspir'd me, standing still in pause, "Tu flay the lion with the lion's claws. "T his I accomplish'd, and the spoil now yields "A firm security in fighting fields: "Thus, Phyleus, was the Nemean monster slain."J "The terror of the forest and the plain, f "That flocks and herds devour'd, and many as I "village swain." 310 J


Though this noble Idyllium- is by far the longest of any that Theocritus has left us, containing, exdafive of the beginning which is lost, no less than iSt verses, yet the commentators, Scaliger, Casauban, snd D. Heinsius, have not left us one single emendation or note upon it: and therefore I null trouble the reader with but few observations: yet these gray old critics have been lavish of their remarks upon the 27th Idyllium, infinitely the aost obscene of all the pieces that have been attributed to Theocritus. One remark is very obTtsss, that the first part of this Idyllium, as far as ver. 178 in the translation, is entirely pastoral and bacohc; containing beautiful descriptions of meadows, pastures hills, vales, rivers, shepherds, herdsmen, and their stalls and dogs,flocks and herdsinsumerable : the second part is an account of a famous exploit performed by Hercules, aud therelore the whole must surely belong to the Arcadian poetry.

Ver. 6. The ancients erected statues to Mercury in the public roads, as guides to travellers, which tlcy called Herat?; they were of marble

and four square; nothing but the head was finish, ed j thus Juvenal, Sat. 8. 53.

-Truncoque simillimus Herma;.

Nuilo quippe alio vincis discrimine, quara quod Uli matmorcum caput est, tua vivit imago.

Ver 13. A river near Elis.

Ver. 14. A famous river of Arcadia near Elis, which the ancients feigned to have funk under ground, and so passed through the sea, without mixing its streams with the salt waters, till arriving at Sicily, it mingled its current with the fountain Arcthufa near Syracuse. Thus Virgil, Æn. 3. •94. " Alphcum simiest,' &c.

Hither 'tit said Alpheu* from his source
In Elia' realms, directs his watery course:
Beneath the main he takes his secret way,
And mounts with Arcthula up to day. P'H.

Ver. 1 j. A city and country of .J.chaia near Elis, from Buprasius its founder.

Those where fait tlis and Buprafium join.

Pcftt 1U B. 2, Ver. 20

Kon liquidi grfgibus fontes, Don gramina desent.

Gtor. 2. 200. There for thy flocks fresh fountains never fail, Undying verdure clothes the grassy vale. PVarton.

Ver. 27. This tree was sacred to Apollo, and substituted as a temple where presents were offered to him: Virgil, {peaking of an olive tree, Æn. I*. 766;. fays,

Servati ex undis- tin figere dona folebant
Laurenti divo.

The sliipwrcck'd sailors, on the hallow'd wood,
Hung their devoted vests in honour of the god.


Ver. 33. "Virgil fays, that the foil for vines,

Terque quaterque folum feindendnm. Gtor. B. 2.
Thrice and four time9, the foil, each rolling year,
The ponderous ploughs and heavy drags must bear.


'Ver. 46. v Credo equidem,nec vana sides, genus csse dconim.


Ver. cj. • Evandrum petimus. Æn. B. 8.

Ver. 55, Thus Dido in Virgil, Jura dabat legesq. viris, operumque Iaborem Partibus xquabae justw. Æ*. 3.1.511.

Ver. 04.

Dis equidem aufpicibus reor, et Junene secumla, Hue cursum IHacas vento tenuisse carina*. Æn. 4.

Ver. 8x. Here Thcocritut imitates Homer; see Odys. B. 14. 30.

Soon as Ulysses near th' enclosure drew,

With o[>cn mouths the furious mastiffs flew. Post.

On which Mr. Pope observes, 'What Homer speaks of Ulysses,Theocritus*applies to Hercules; a demonstration that he thought it to be a picture of nature, and therefore inserted it rh that heroic Idyllium.'

Ver. 88. Thus also Eumzus did, , . ., With fhow'rsof stonc&he drives them far away, The scattering dogs around at distance bay. Post.

Ver. 109. Thus the herds in Virgil return home in the evenings I

Vesper ubi e pastu vifulas ad tecta reduo't.

Gftr. 4. 433.

When evening homewards drives the calves and secep. '- fresh*.

Ver. IC5. This Cnii!c;finety 'represents the unnumbered herds «f Augea^ and is very»|ike a passige in Homer's 11. B. 4. which 1 shall ,bcg lean: to transcribe.

In one 6rm rrb the hands were rang'd around,
A-cloud ot heroes' blacken'<! all the ground.
Thus from a lofty promontory's brow,
A swain setvey&the gathering storm bc'ow;
*>iqw from the main the heavy vapours use,
spread in dim streams, and fail clong the skies,

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Et comitem Æneani juxta natumque tenebat. B. 5.

Ver. 13 v We may here observe, that Theocritus makes the great increase of the herdi of Augeas, to arise from the gift and influence of the fun, his father.

Ver. 140. This circumstance must occaGoH a prodigious propagation : thns exceedingly Increased the cattle of Jacob. Genesis xxx. 30—43."Thy cattle is m>w increased to a multitude: and the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle." And chap. xxxi. 38. Jjcob says, " These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she-gbats have not cast their young."

Ver. 149. The Greek word 1* tn*te, and in this place properly signifies lions, as it docs also in the Iliad, B. 15. ver. ,58! ;and the bull Phaeton'she: ing alarmed at feeing the skin of the Ncmeanlion, ver. 158. seems in a very agreeable manner to determine this construction.

Ver. 182. Was once a city of Achaia, thicc quarters of a league from Corinth, but swallowed up by the sea.

Ver. 186. Thus Virgil,
Tu mactus vastum Ncmea sub rope leonem.

Æn. 8. 204

Beneath thy arm the Nemcan monster fell. Pitt.

Ver. 188. A city near Argos -where Hercules was nursed, whence he is called Tirynthius.

Ver. 190. Was grandfather to Amphitryon, the husband of Alcmena.

Ver. 200. Thus Horace,

Quale portentum rieque militaris

Daunia in latis alit csculetis, eke. B. I. Od. 11,

Ver. 101.

At rabidx tigres absent, ctfxva leonnm serjiioa.

fir jr. Ceor. a. IJf

Ver. attl.

At si tantus amor cases cognosecre nostros.

Æn. B 1. I<

Ver. 117. Inhabitants ofa city in Argot: Pli« reneus, the sen of Inachus, succeeded his sathti enlarged his territories, and gathered the pcopli who were before dispersed about the country ant one city, which was called from him Phoroniun Uuivcr/ei Hifi. B. I. C4. l|

Virgil compares Pyrrhus to a flood. -Æ». 2. 49 Not half se fierce the foamy deluge bounds. And bursts resistless o'er the levcll'd mounds; Pours down the vale, and roaring o'er the plain, Sweeps herds and hinds, and houses to the main.

Pi Ver. HJ

Ut duroi mille labores

Keges sub Eurystheo, satis Junonis iniqua:, ?er:akriu Æn. B. 8- »9I.

The thooJao j labours of the hern's hands, in join'ci by proud Eurystheus' stern commands.

Ver. M4- Virgil fays of Hercules:

.-;\v irmo manu, nodisqoe gravatom

Unbar. Æn. B. 8. aa«.

Ver. 2ji. Thns Pandarus in Homer, II. 4.

Couching low,

Tits tie sharp arrow to the well-strung bow.


Ver. 137. Ovid speaking of the Calydonian boar, says,

Dtffugiunt populi; nec se, nisi mcenihus urbis, Ijt- potant tutos. Met. B. 8. 298.

Ver. 156. Thus Hector is vexed, that his lance <fid not penetrate the armour of Ajaxa II. B. 14. Toco back the disappointed Trojan drew, con'd the lance that unavailing slew.


Ver. 164. There is. an image in Virgil very .: a: to this; B. tt. v. 6. " Turn demum," &c. As, piere'd at distance by the hunter's dart, The Libyan lion roatses at the smart; And loodly roaring traverses the plain; Sccarges his sides; and rears his horrid mane; Tags furious at the spear; the foe defies, iai grinds his teeth for rage, and to the combat flier. Pitt.

Ver. 470. The Greek is, .;;►!-,-, enprijuut, a wild fig-tree: the fame word occurs in Homer, 11. B. »i, 37, which Mr. Pope renders a sycamore;

As from a sycamore, his sounding steel

Lopp'd the green arms, to spoke a chariot wheel.

Ver. »j8. Thus Cadmus encountering with the dragun;

Instantiaquc ora retardat

Cuspide pretenta. Ovid, Mettm. B. 3.

Ver. aj7. The construction of this passage is) perplexed, but I hope I have hit upon the right, as the circumstance of Hercules's heaving the linn from the ground, is exactly the fame as happened to the bull Phaeton,

And high in air upheld him at arm's length.

Vtr. 164.

Indeed the words in the original are very similar.

Ver. 298. Thomson in his Seasons, joins thi* epithet to the hyena : " The keen hyena, felled of the fell."

Ver. 306. Aventinus, the son of Hercules, is represented by Virgil in the same dress. Ipse pedes tegmen torquens immane leonis, Sec.

Æn. B. 7. 66<,

He stalk'd before his host; and, wide di spread,

A lion's teeth grinn'd horrid o'er his head;
Then sought the palace in this strange attire, J
And look'd as stern, and dreadful as his fixe.


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T«is Idyllium contains a short account of the death of Pentheus, king of Thebes; who refusing to own the divinity of Bacchus, and endeavouring to prohibit his orgies, is torn in pieces by his owa mother Agave, and by^bis aunts Ino and Autonoe.

, Aotokoe, and Agave, whose rough cheeks
Resembled the ripe apple's ruddy streaks,
With frantic Ino had resolv'd to keep
Three holy revels on the mountain's steep:
Greco ivy, and sweet asphodel they took,
Aid leafy branches from the shagged oak,
With these the madding Bacchanalians made
Twelve vetdant altars in an opening glade;
Three to fair Semcle they rais'd, and nine
To youthful Bacchus, jolly god of wine. 10
from chests they take, and joyful shooting, lay
Their offerings on the fresh erected spray;
Snch rites they practis'd, and such offerings

As plsa.'d the god, and wh?.t himself had taught.

Lodg'd in a lentifk-tree, conceal'd from sight,
Astonish'd Pentheus saw the mystic rite;
Autonee first the latent monarch spy'd,
With horrid yellings down the hill she hy'd,
The orgies of the frantic god o'erthrew,
Which no profane, unhallow'd eye must view. im
Maddening (he rag'd, the rest all rag'd : and dread
Supplied with pinions Pentheus as he fled;
He hop'd by flight their fury to elude:
With robes tuck's up they eagerly pursu'd!
Then Pentheus thus: " What means this rage I

Autonoe thus: ' You'll feel before you hear.'
His mother roar'd, and snatch d his head awayj
Loud as the female lion o'er her prey;

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