Sivut kuvina
PDF
[graphic]

BOOK II.—ELEGY t

ADVERTISEMENT.

is bo.ik, though shorter than the former, is not inferior to it in point of poetical fancv and amo•ous tenderness; the numbers flow with the fame easy correctness, and peihaps the (cutimenu are more delicate; for, being wholly dedicated lo rural devotion, friendship, and love, (he reader will meet with nothing in it, offensive to the strictest chastity.

the version os the following book* of Tibullus should be found les. liable to censure, than that of the Former, it is chiefly to be imputed to the kind observations of a friend, who also obliged the trauihv[or with the elegant notes marked B.

[ocr errors]

Ttind I and favour! as our sires ordain; ic fields we luftxate, and the rising grain i mie, Bacchus, and thy horn, with grapes furround;

>me, Ceres, with thy wheaten garland crown'd; lishallow'd day suspend each twain his toil, est let the plough, and rest th' uncultur'd foil: nyokc the fleer, his racks heap high with hay, nd deck with wreaths his honest front to-daj. : all your thoughts to this grand work apply'd! 3d lay, ye thrifty fair, your wool aside! 10 :ncc 1 command you mortals from the rite, ho spent in amorou- blandishment the n iie vernal powers in chastity delight, :t come, ye pure, in spotless garbs array'd! >r you the solemn festival i* made! mie! follow thrice the victim round the lands! running water purify your hands! t t! to the flames the willing victim come '. c swains with olive crown'd, be dumb! be dumb!

From ills, O sylvan gods, our limits shield, ao
To-day we purge the farmer and the field;

0 let no weeds destroy the rising grain;
By no fell prowler be the lambkin slain;
So shall the hind dread penury no more;
But gaily smiling o'er his plenteous store,
With liberal hand shall larger billets bring,
Heap the broad hearth, and hail the genial

"spring.

His numerous bond.slaves all in goodly rows,
With wicker huts your altars (hall enclose.
That done, they'll cheerly laugh, and dance,
"and play, 30
And ptaise y.ur goodness in their uncouth lay."

1 he gods assent! see ! tec I those entrails show,
hat heaven approves of what 1* done below \
ow quaff Falcrnun, let my Chian wine.

our'd from the calk in m issy gohlets shine!

rink deep, my friends all all, be madly gay, I were irreligion not to reel to-day! lealth to Mrffila, every peas*. -.. .oast, >nd not a letter of his name be I'l'!

0 Come, my friend, wh'mi Gallic triumph* gface, 40

nou noblest splendour of '0 aneient race;

Uu whom the arts ail . • 1. ..Cv cro vn, word of the state, and h«< -.ur ut tut gown;

My theme is gratitude, inspire my lays!
O be my gruius! while I strive to praise
l'he rural deities the rural plain,
The use of foodful corn they taught the swain.
They taught man first the social hut to raise,
And thatch it o'er with turf, or leafy sprays:
They first to tame the fariousbull essay'd,
And on rude wheels the rolling carriage laid. 5*
Man left his savage ways; the garden glow'd, "J
Fruits not their own admiring trees bestow'd, f
While through the thirsty ground mcandringl*
runnels flow'd. J
There bees of sweets despoil the breathing spring.
And to their cells the dulcet plunder bring.
The ploughman first to tooth the toilsome day,
Chanted in measur'd feet his sylvan lay s
And, seed-time o'er, he first in bli'hsonie vein,
l'ip'd to his household gods the hymning strain.
Then first the press with purple wine o'er-ran,
A:-l cooling water made it fit for man. ft
The village-lad first made a wreath of flowers
To deck in spring the tutelary powers:
Blest be the country, yearly there the plain
Yields, when the dog-liar burns, the golden grain:
Thence too thy chorus, Bacchus, first began,
The pain ed clown first laid the tragic plan.
A goat, the loader of the (baggy throng,
The village sent it, recompene'd the song. C"S»
i here too the sheep hi> woolly treasure wears;
There too the swain his woolly treasure (heart;
This to the thrifty dame long work supplies;
The distaff hence, and basket took their rise.
Hrnce too the various labours nf the loom,
Thj vraise, Minerva, and Atachne'» doom!
Mid mountain herds love first drew vital air.
Unknown to man, and man had nought o fear;
'Gainst herd*, his bow th' unskilful archer drew;
Ah my piere'd heart, an archer now too true '.
Now herds may roam untonch'd, 'ti- Cupid'*

The brave to vanquish, and to fix the coy.
The y -uth whose heart trie soft rm linn tt ela.
Nor sighs for wealth, DOi waits at grandcur'r

heels;

\gt fir'd by love is toach'd by shame no more,
But blabs its follies at the fair one's door!
Led by lost l-rvr th< end^r ireir.Minp fair
Steals to her swain, and cheats laloiciou'i care.

With out flretch'd arms fhf wins her darkling way,

And tiptoe listen", that no noise betray!

Ah! wretched those, on whom dread Cupid frowns! 90, How happy they, whose mutual choice he crowns! Will love partake the banquet of the day .' O come—but throw thy burning lhafts away. .

Ye swains, begin to mighty lovr rhe song, Your songs, ye swains, to mighty love belong!

Breathe out aloud your wishes for my fold. Your own soft vovvsin whispers may be told. But hark ! loud mirth and music fire the crowd— Ye now may venture to request aloud!

Pursue your sports; night mounts her curtain: wane; 13* The dancing stars compose her filial train; Black muffled sleep steals on with silent pace, And dreams flit last, imaginations race!

NOTES ON ELEGY I.

We may, without hesitation, embrace the opinion of Muretus, that this elegy is a description of the Ambarvalia, a festival instituted by Acca Laurcutia, and honoured with a solemn sacrifice, for procuring a blessing on the fields. We may even, with great probability, supp-.fe this poem to make a very interesting part oi the festal entertainments. But it appears from it, that the Romans, in Tibullus's time, had added many a refilled improvement froai the Grecian ritual, to the plain institution of the go.id old nurse of Romulus; since we find our poet alluding to all the remarkable customs of the festal sacrifices of Greece. First the sacred silence i» proclaimed, the E^frfisin of the Greeks? which restrains the worshippers from the use of words of unlucky import. Next follows an addref-a to the deities, to whose honour the festival is dedicated. The holiday being then proclaimed, and a strict rest enjoined, there follows the eitclusion of all those, who had contracted any pollution, and an invitation of the pure to come with dean hanJs and vestments to join in the sacrifice. The victim is then introduced, going without any force to the altar, attended by a crowd os worshippers crowned with garlands, from the tree sacred to the rural deities. After fhi?,is the prayer for blessings on the countryman and his fields, and prosperity to the growing crop. The offering up the victim succeeds, and,lucky omens appearing, the worshippers are encouraged to indulge themselves in joy and festivity. The sacred hymn closes the whole, celebrating the Vigours of the rural deities recounting their vai "C.-s gifts, and the blessings which they have poured out upon the country. Whoever will look into the collectors of antiquities will find that these are the very particulars of rhe ritual of refined Greece. We may observe, that the processions, lustrations, as well as the business of the "fratres arvtiles," whose office it was, upon this occasion, to settle boundaries, have found their way into a religion which in its original institution, was little concerned wirh pomp and ceremony, but has been forced to receive many a scenical foolery from pagan Rome. BVer. I. Attend: and favour ■'] The Roman pocti also exprese thia by

Dicamus bona verba.

Both these forms of speech intimate a desire,en the part of those who prayed at the festival, tai: all who were present would sincerely join wits them in putting up the same petition.

The mythology of the ancients hat been aŒpied as one of the causes which have contributed :o render their poetical compositions superior to uWr of the modern.

And no doubt, that enthusiasm, which if so atural to every true artist in the poetical way, *u considerably inflamed by the whole turn of tltir religious doctrines. When all nature was suppered to swarm with genii, and every oak aniil'ovttain was regarded as the haunt of seme preside; deity; what wonder if the poet was animated the imagined influence of such exalted socictr, and found himself, as a late writer elegantrjcpresses it, hurried beyond the ordinary lires* sober humanity. Hence arose the prosooW, which, as it is one of the boldest, so it it «t« the most pleasing figures in poetry. But mars* the Omuiprelence of the one true God afford tfet Christian poet a more exalted assistance? Wfett true genius is sired with devotion, poesy taea shines out in all her splendour.

Ver. 2. Tie fields tee lujlmlc] Maerofeitis informs us, that the verb " lestrare" signifies top round; especially on a religious or mystical itcount. The ceremony here alluded to, as hashed) said, was the " sacrum ambervale," which in sf«* old MSS. is placed as a title 10 this elegy. Tts most solemn of the rural ceremonies had the mating and forenoon allotted for its celebration. C> to, de R. R. cap. 141. and Virgil, have partieslarly described it. And as it may not be unpi«sing to most of our readers, to compare the diftrent manners of Maro and Tibullus, io repressesing the same objects we (hall here place before them the picture of this rural ceremony, aidn« by the great Mantuan.

Imprimis venerare Deos, atqne annua magus .Sacra refer ccreri, Ixtis oper^tus in herhis, Extrcmie sub casum hiemis, jam vere screno, Turn agni p'rem :s, et turn »v>ollifTima vina: Turn somni dulcet, tUnfcquc in njontibus umltrr.

(Suncta tibi cererem pubes agrestis adoret,
Cui tu-lacte favos, et miti ditue Baccho;
Terque novas circum felix cat hostia fruges;
Omnei, quam chorus ct socii comitentur ovantes,
Ec cererem clamore vocent in tecta.

Georg. i. wr. 338.

Some critics contend, that Tibullus, in this elc£y, docs not describe the Amharval ceremony, be:ause he mentions some circumstances relating to t, which Virgil omits, and relates' others disser:ntly from that poet. This argument needs no :onftx cation.

Ver 3. Cme &ae:tiii.] This god is frequently :alled Tanricornis by the poets; but why horns »ere planted on his head mythologies are greatly lividmi. Some of them look upon horns as a nark of divinity; buc why then do the other deiics appear without this badge .' Others of them isiign horns to Bacchus, because drinking cups ■/ere, oncicDtly formed of horn; and there are, .vho contend, that he is thus distinguished, be:ause he was the tint who ploughed with oxen. I hose who recollect the old sentence,

Sine cerere et Baccho friget Venus,

may haply be able to afford as satisfactory a reason or the cornuted appearance of this deity, as any uggested above. River gods are frequently rc: x uteri with horns; but on a very different acounc. Pindar makes Bacchus the or af

essor of Ceres : and in rhe Urphic hymn, addresed to that goddess, (he is called B^autnf! rvnrio;. They were commonly worshipped together. See Jallimachus's sixth hymn.

Some critics, fuperstitioufly bent to deduce from criptare the origin of every mythological practice, lave, from the " cornuta facies," common to Mots and Bacchus, supposed, that the lawgiver of he Jews,and that heathen god, were one and the fame person. But these perspicacious critics should have considered, that as adoration is natural to man, and ignorance and conjecture were prior to wisdom and philosophy, idolatry, which is the >ffspring of devotion and blind fancy, never wa«, >or could be, confined to those few regions borIcring on Judea; nor consequently derived from he Jews, or any of their heroes. Were we pernitted, because of some faint resemblances beween them, to form one person out of two, we hould rather choose, from the li.mil tr circumstanes of their births, deaths, Ac. to make a Romuiw, than a Bacchus, of Moses. Chronology in. iced forbids this odd incorporation; but writers rould do better to- interdict their p.-n, as Lord 3acon expresses it, all liberties of this kind, and lot offer strange fires at the altar of the Lord. C.

The Grecians had most probably an hero-god >f their own, named Bacchus, to whom they were ndebted for some of the improvements of life. 3ut it it very certain, that many of the actions, nventions, and symbols of the /Kgyptian Osiris, vere, in after times, attributed to him. We have lere one instance of it. TheJmll was the estatiifhcd hicrog'vphlc of Osiris, ai the inventor of

1 agriculture. Greece adopted the invention for their own Bacchus; but not having the use of the hieroglyphic characters, they contented themselves with borrowing an attribute for their deity, and assigned him the horns of the animal, by whose labours he was supposed to cultivate and introduce agriculture into the country. I might add, that whenever Bacchus and Ceres are spoken of together, as rural deities, almost every thing applied to them, more properly belongs to Osiris and Isis. See a remarkable instance of this, Virgil's Georgics, B. i. L. 5. etsrj. to the 9th.

Vos, oh Clarissima muodi, Sec.

Here Bacchus and Ceres, the humble inventors of wine and agriculture, are exalted into the heavens, and become fun and moon, the great leaden of the year through its seasons. We know there is nothing in the Grecian mythology to support this; and that thrfe heavenly luminaries are attributed to other deities. But it is certain, that the fun and moon were worshipped by the Ægyptians under the denomination of their hero-gods, Osiris and Isis. Vid. Div. Legation, B. 4. Sect. 5.

alibi passim. B.

Ver. 7. It was usual at the time of these sacrifices, to dress the cattle with garlands, and to give them a respite from labour. Vid. Fast. lib. i. ver. 663. lib vi. ver. 311.

The ploughing ox was held in great estimation amonjr the ancients; respecting this, Varro, de R. R. lib. ii. 1. 53. Columella in the preface to his sixth book, and Fliny, lib. viii. e. 45. may be consulted. But though we refer to these passages, the translator cannot deny himself the pleasure of trauscribing from Ovid the following good natured apostrophe, in favour of those useful animals.

Quid meruere boves animal sine fraude dolisque
Innocuum, simplex, natim tolerare labores?
Immemor est demum, Dec frugum munerc digaut,
Qui potuit curvi demto modo pondere aratri
Ruricolam mactare suum; qui trita labore
Ilia, quibus toties durum renovaverat annum
Tot dederat Messes, percuffit colla securi.

Met. lib. XV. ver. 119.

How did the toiling ox his death deserve?
A down-right simple drudge, aud born to serve?
O tyrant! with what justice canst thou hope
The promise of the year, a plenteous crop;
When thou destroy'st the labouring steer who
tilld, [field?
And plough'd with pains, thy else ungrateful
From his yet reeking neck to draw the yoke,
That neck with which the surly clods be broke;
And to thy hatchet yield thy husbandman,
Who Suifli'd autumn, and the year began.

Drydrit.

Accordingly we find, that in the ancient times of the Roman republic, a person was publicly condemned, for having felled a labouring ex " (bos domitus)," in order to gratify the longings of one he was fond of. Valer Maxim, lib viii. lin. I. And, in the declension of tha: empire, Con.tao. tine ordained, that no ploughing ox should be either distrained for debt, or taken from the traveller, to supply the place of Inch as were wanting to complete the number required at the public sports and races.

Sc.iligcr, on the authority of some old MSS. reads the original of the last line, as follows:

Plena coronato Venice stare boves:

Yet most MSS. and the best editions read it,

Plena coronato stare boves capite.

Cut without their concurrence, Brockhusiu* justly observes, that Tibullus must have thus wrote it, as his ear taught him solicitously to avoid every combination of harsh hilling consonants, such as i>C. ar. SQ^S r.

Ex Tibullo probanda est, Tibullianae scriptionis conluetudo.

Ver. ic. There are some things, fays Serviusi which, if done on a holiday, pollute it. Hence it wa«, that the pontiffs, when they were to perform a sacrifice, sent out their beadles to prevent artificers from working, lest the sacred cciemony should be conraminated. Serv. ad G lib. i. ver. 468. And Macrobiu' tells us, that a herald also wa- employed on thc-se occasions to prohibit the people from all secular business. Those, who unknowingly transgressed, were obliged to purchase their expiation by sacrificing a hog; but the wilful guilt could not he expiated, in the opinion of Scxvola the high-priest. Sat. lib. c. 16.

1'besr heralds, from their office, had the names r>f' Prædamitatorcs et præciifc" bestowed upon the-r.

Ye: was nor all work forbidden to the husbandman , for as Cato de P. R. informs us, they might, even on the most sacred holiday, clean their ditches, mend the highways, cut down brurs dig their garden, burn thorns, weed their mi :idows, clranse their fishponds, bind withies, and do every office of cleanliness in their house.

C % BrtMus.

Pictures of life and manners, when truly copied from narure, however low the subj. ct, never fail to delight us. And we ha^e here a very faithful one exlnbitrd to us. When the poet had difmis. led man and beast to rest, pioclai.r.ed a general holiday, and n vacation from all business, he re. foil, els that his last most difficult task was, to siutch the disUss out of the hands of the country housewife. Whoever has peeped into a farmhouse, must have observed the notable mistress, whatever the rest of the family were doing, always in an hurry, and acting as eagerly upon the leading principle of the country, frugality, as a court lady in pursuit of pleasure. Perhaps one general reason might be assigned for the impetuosity of both. And the fine lady Harriet, with the help of a little change of education, might have made a very notable Amaryllis in the country. B.

Ver. 12. All matrimonial converse with wo. men was strictly prohibited, during a certain number of days preceding the Amberval sacrifices.

Annua venerunt cereal!) tempera sacri.
Secuhat in vacuo sola puella toro.

Complains the amorous Ovid, El. Lib.iiv. I 9. but not only the unchaste, but persons de£k: with recent blood, or polluted with the toad-; a dead body, were forbidden to approach t altar.

Ver. 14. The pure vestment mentioned in i original, was white, as Ovid, in that woodsi worlt of his, the Fasti, informs ns.

Alba decent Cererem, vestes Cerealiboi albas Suraite; nunc pulli velleris ufus abest.

Lit. iv. m. 615

Ver 16. Although the Arobarva] saeriSctra generally, either a sow with pigs, or > Uob.r: the goat and bullock were sometimes alfoofci But whatever was the animal, it was cradist:: thrice with great solemnity round the field! * (r ambiens agrosj" and thence obtained tie ns Ambarval.

If either in the procession, or at the altar, spurned, or showed the least reluctance, tiers! moved it, as displeasing to the deity; and fsK tuted another victim in its stead. Henct 4 verb in the original, and the epithet mk. in the translation. At the altar the victim v« unbound; for, as Servius observes,

Piaculum est, in facrisicio aliquid effe relipts

There is a sensible epigram in the AmhMf, which informs u«, that not only Ceres acs' &■ chus. but Hercules and Mercury had ifei1 made to them by the husbandman. HenKi;deed was contented with milk.and from; te' the former, sheep and oxen were sacrifitti it seems, disgusted the penurious farmer; viking told, Hercules deserved victims of tie*?, he made this spirited reply, what diffitsu there to me, whether my flock it delhwi* wolves, or by the keeper t

Ti To «*Xf£v it To fvXmxTit

OXkurai tVo XvKtv 4i6 vra rw QvXAxe;.

Ver. 17 Clean hands were neceffarv in £ '* crifices. Thus Hesiod,

MuSi 9ir il Mils An Xtttm mfrra tnu

Oil yap rttyt xXvtvtm aratrrwvrTi « T' cxs.

According to Macrobius, when the Romar* 1 crificed to the " Di soperi," they washed thtvk'body with river water; but," in sacrifices infernal gods, a bare sprinkling was suffices Sea water was also sometimes used for the 6e purposes.

Ver. 19. From ilh, 0sylvan gvi.] Tie Moving is the form of prayer used by a fanner, cf* a like occasion:

"O father, I conjure and entreat you, fiats; will be propitious to me, to my house and sircar that you will disperse all maladies, known and «■ known; calamities, barrenness, rnorulitiei, d

« EdellinenJatka »