nascantur flores, et Phyllida solus habeto.
Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites: et vitula tu dignus et hic—et quisquis amores 110aut metuet dulcis aut experietur amaros. claudite iam rivos, pueri: sat prata biberunt.
r Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus. non omnis arbusta iuvant humilesque myricae; si canimus silvas, silvae sint consule dignae. Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas; 5magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna; iam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto. tu modo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primum desinet ac toto surget gens aurea mundo, 10casta fave Lucina: tuus iam regnat Apollo. Teque adeo decus hoc aevi, te consule, inibit, Pollio, et incipient magni procedere menses; te duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri, inrita perpetua solvent formidine terras. 15ille deum vitam accipiet divisque videbit
- 7demittitur γ: di- R
names 5 —and have Phyllis for yourself.
It is not for me to settle so close a contest between you. You deserve the heifer, and so does he—and whoever shall fear the sweets or taste the bitters of love. Shut off the springs now, lads; the meadows have drunk enough.
Sicilian 6 Muses, let us sing a somewhat loftier strain. Not everyone do orchards and the lowly tamarisks delight. If our song is of the woodland, let the woods be worthy of a consul.
Now is come the last age of Cumaean song; the great line of the centuries begins anew. Now the Virgin 7 returns, the reign of Saturn returns; now a new generation descends from heaven on high. Only do you, pure Lucina, smile on the birth of the child, under whom the iron brood shall at last cease and a golden race spring up throughout the world! Your own Apollo now is king!
And in your consulship, Pollio, yes, yours, shall this glorious age begin, and the mighty months commence their march; under your sway any lingering traces of our guilt shall become void and release the earth from its continual dread. He shall have the gift of divine life, shall see heroes
- 5The answer to Menalcas’ riddle is probably Sparta and Troy: the hyacinth was supposed to have sprung from the blood of the Spartan prince Hyacinthus, killed accidentally by Apollo, or of Ajax, who committed suicide at Troy, the markings on the flower’s petals being interpreted as Y or AI, the initials of the two unfortunates.
- 6Sicilian, because Virgil’s model in pastoral poetry, Theocritus, was Sicilian.
- 7Astraea or Justice, last of the immortals to leave the earth.