From The Bibliophile Library of Literature, Art, & Rare Manuscripts, Vol. IV, compiled and arranged by Nathan Haskell Dole, Forrest Morgan, and Caroline Ticknor; The International Bibliophile Society, New York-London; 1904; pp. 1105-1107.
COME is the last of the ages, in song Cumæan foretold.
Now is the world’s grand cycle begun once more from of old.
Justice the Virgin comes, and the Saturn kingdom again;
Now from the skies is descending a new generation of men.
Thou to the boy in his birth, — upon whose first opening eyes
The iron age shall close, and a race that is golden arise, —
1106 Chaste Lucina be kindly ! He reigns — thy Phœbus — to-day !
Thine to be Consul, thine, at a world’s bright ushering in,
Pollio, when the procession of nobler months shall begin;
Under thy rule all lingering traces of Italy’s sin,
Fading to naught, shall free us from fear’s perpetual sway.
Life of the gods shall be his, to behold with the gods in their might
Heroes immortal mingled, appear himself in their sight,
Rule with his Father’s virtues a world at peace from the sword.
Boy, for thine infant presents the earth unlabored shall bring
Ivies wild with foxglove around thee wreathing, and fling
Mixed with the laughing acanthus the lotus leaf on the sward;
Homeward at eve untended the goat shall come from the mead
Swelling with milk; flocks fearless of monstrous lions shall feed;
Even thy cradle blossom with tender flowers, and be gay.
Every snake shall perish; the treacherous poison weed
Die, and Assyrian spices arise unsown by the way.
When thou art able to read of the heroes’ glories, the bright
Deeds of thy sire, and to know what is manhood’s valor and might,
Plains will be turning golden, and wave with ripening corn;
Purple grapes shall blush on the tangled wilderness thorn;
Honey from hard-grained oaks be distilling pure as the dew;
Though of our ancient folly as yet shall linger a few
Traces, to bid us venture the deep, with walls to surround
Cities, and, restless ever, to cleave with furrows the ground.
Then shall another Tiphys, a later Argo to sea
Sail, with her heroes chosen; again great battles shall be;
Once more the mighty Achilles be sent to a second Troy.
Soon when strengthening years shall have made thee man from a boy,
Trader himself shall abandon the deep; no trafficking hull
Barter her wares; all regions of all things fair shall be full.
Glebe shall be free from the harrow, the vine no pruner fear;
Soon will the stalwart plowman release unneeded the steer.
Varied hues no longer the wool shall falsely assume.
Now to a blushing purple and now to the saffron’s bloom,
Cropping the meadow, the ram shall change his fleece at his need;
Crimsoning grasses color the lambs themselves as they feed.
“Ages blest, roll onward !” the Sisters of Destiny cried
Each to her spindle, agreeing by Fate’s firm will to abide.
Come to thy godlike honors; the time well-nigh is begun;
Offspring loved of immortals, of Jove great scion and son !
Lo, how the universe totters beneath heaven’s dome and its weight,
Land and the wide waste waters, the depths of the firmament great !
Lo, all nature rejoices to see this glorious day !
1107 Ah, may the closing years of my life enduring be found, —
Breath sufficient be mine thy deeds of valor to sound; —
Orpheus neither nor Linus shall ever surpass my lay;
One with mother immortal, and one with sire, at his side,
To Orpheus Calliopeia, to Linus Apollo allied.
Pan, were he here competing, did all Arcadia see,
Pan, by Arcadia’s voice, should allow him vanquished of me.
Baby, begin thy mother to know, and to meet with a smile;
Ten long moons she has waited, and borne her burden the while.
Smile, my babe; to his feast no god has admitted the child,
Goddess none to his kisses, on whom no parent has smiled.
* From “Virgil in English Verse, Eclogues and Aeneid.” By permission of Mr. Murray. Books I.-VI., 8vo., price 12s.
[For a prose translation of this ‘Eclogue,’ or ‘Bucolic,’ (and all the rest of them, too,) by Virgil (aka Vergil), see Eclogue IV — Pollio, translated by J. W. Mackail, on this site. — Elf.Ed.]