The Works of Virgil (Dryden)/Pastorals (Dryden)/Book 10

The Tenth Pastoral.




Gallus a great Patron of Virgil, and an excellent Poet, was very deeply in Love with one Citheris, whom he calls Lycoris; and who had forsaken him for the Company of a Soldier. The Poet therefore supposes his Friend Gallus retir'd in his heighth of Melancholy into the Solitudes of Arcadia (the celebrated Scene of Pastorals;) where he represents him in a very languishing Condition, with all the Rural Deities about him, pitying his hard Usage, and condoling his Misfortune.

THY sacred Succour, Arethusa, bring,
To crown my Labour: 'tis the last I sing.
Which proud Lycoris may with Pity view;
The Muse is mournful, tho' the Numbers few.
Refuse me not a Verse, to Grief and Gallus due.5
So may thy Silver Streams beneath the Tide,
Unmix'd with briny Seas, securely glide.

Illustration of Pastoral 10, "Thy sacred Succour, Arethusa, bring"

Sing then, my Gallus, and his hopeless Vows;
Sing, while my Cattle crop the tender Browze.
The vocal Grove shall answer to the Sound,10
And Echo, from the Vales, the tuneful Voice rebound.
What Lawns or Woods withheld you from his Aid,
Ye Nymphs, when Gallus was to Love betray'd;
To Love, unpity'd by the cruel Maid?
Not steepy Pindus cou'd retard your Course,15
Nor cleft Parnassus, nor th' Aonian Source:
Nothing that owns the Muses cou'd suspend
Your Aid to Gallus, Gallus is their Friend.
For him the lofty Laurel stands in Tears;19
And hung with humid Pearls the lowly Shrub appears.
Mænalian Pines the Godlike Swain bemoan;
When spread beneath a Rock he sigh'd alone;
And cold Lycæus wept from every dropping Stone.
The Sheep surround their Shepherd, as he lyes:
Blush not, sweet Poet, nor the name despise:25
Along the Streams his Flock Adonis fed;
And yet the Queen of Beauty blest his Bed.
The Swains and tardy Neat-herds came, and last
Menalcas, wet with beating Winter Mast.29
Wond'ring, they ask'd from whence arose thy Flame;
Yet, more amaz'd, thy own Apollo came.
Flush'd were his Cheeks, and glowing were his Eyes:
Is she thy Care, is she thy Care, he cries?
Thy false Lycoris flies thy Love and thee;
And for thy Rival tempts the raging Sea,35
The Forms of horrid War, and Heav'ns Inclemency.

Sylvanus came: his Brows a Country Crown
Of Fennel, and of nodding Lillies, drown.
Great Pan arriv'd; and we beheld him too,
His Cheeks and Temples of Vermilion Hue.40
Why, Gallus, this immod'rate Grief, he cry'd:
Think'st thou that Love with Tears is satisfy'd?
The Meads are sooner drunk with Morning Dews;
The Bees with flow'ry Shrubs, the Goats with Brouze.
Unmov'd, and with dejected Eyes, he mourn'd:45
He paus'd, and then these broken Words return'd.
'Tis past; and Pity gives me no Relief:
But you, Arcadian Swains, shall sing my Grief:
And on your Hills, my last Complaints renew;
So sad a Song is only worthy you.50
How light wou'd lye the Turf upon my Breast,
If you my Suff'rings in your Songs exprest?
Ah! that your Birth and Bus'ness had been mine;
To penn the Sheep, and press the swelling Vine!
Had Phyllis or Amyntas caus'd my Pain,55
Or any Nymph, or Shepherd on the Plain,
Tho' Phyllis brown, tho' black Amyntas were,
Are Violets not sweet, because not fair?
Beneath the Sallows, and the shady Vine,59
My Loves had mix'd their pliant Limbs with mine;
Phyllis with Myrtle Wreaths had crown'd my Hair,
And soft Amyntas sung away my Care.
Come, see what Pleasures in our Plains abound;
The Woods, the Fountains, and the flow'ry ground.

As you are beauteous, were you half so true,65
Here cou'd I live, and love, and dye with only you.
Now I to fighting Fields am sent afar,
And strive in Winter Camps with toils of War;
While you, (alas, that I shou'd find it so!)
To shun my sight, your Native Soil forgo,70
And climb the frozen Alps, and tread th' eternal Snow.
Ye Frosts and Snows her tender Body spare,
Those are not Limbs for Ysicles to tear.
For me, the Wilds and Desarts are my Choice;
The Muses, once my Care; my once harmonious Voice.
There will I sing, forsaken and alone,76
The Rocks and hollow Caves shall echo to my Moan.
The Rind of ev'ry Plant her Name shall know;
And as the Rind extends, the Love shall grow.
Then on Arcadian Mountains will I chase80
(Mix'd with the Woodland Nymphs) the Savage Race.
Nor Cold shall hinder me, with Horns and Hounds,
To thrid the Thickets, or to leap the Mounds.
And now methinks o'er steepy Rocks I go;
And rush through sounding Woods, and bend the Parthian Bow:85
As if with Sports my Sufferings I could ease,
Or by my Pains the God of Love appease.
My Frenzy changes, I delight no more
On Mountain tops, to chace the tusky Boar;
No Game but hopeless Love my thoughts pursue:90
Once more ye Nymphs, and Songs, and sounding Woods adieu.

Love alters not for us, his hard Decrees,
Not tho' beneath the Thracian Clime we freeze;
Or Italy's indulgent Heav'n forgo;
And in mid-Winter tread Sithonian Snow.95
Or when the Barks of Elms are scorch'd, we keep
On Meroes burning Plains the Lybian Sheep.
In Hell, and Earth, and Seas, and Heav'n above,
Love conquers all; and we must yield to Love.
My Muses, here your sacred Raptures end:100
The Verse was what I ow'd my suff'ring Friend.
This while I sung, my Sorrows I deceiv'd,
And bending Osiers into Baskets weav'd.
The Song, because inspir'd by you, shall shine:
And Gallus will approve, because 'tis mine.105
Gallus, for whom my holy Flames renew,
Each hour, and ev'ry moment rise in view:
As Alders, in the Spring, their Boles extend;
And heave so fiercely, that the Bark they rend.
Now let us rise, for hoarseness oft invades110
The Singer's Voice, who sings beneath the Shades.
From Juniper, unwholsom Dews distill,
That blast the sooty Corn; the with'ring Herbage kill;
Away, my Goats, away: for you have browz'd your fill.

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