Virgil, Eclogues

LCL 63: 56-57

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25frigida, Daphni, boves ad flumina; nulla neque amnem libavit quadrupes nec graminis attigit herbam. Daphni, tuum Poenos etiam ingemuisse leones interitum montesque feri silvaeque loquuntur. “Daphnis et Armenias curru subiungere tigris 30instituit, Daphnis thiasos inducere Bacchi et foliis lentas intexere mollibus hastas. vitis ut arboribus decori est, ut vitibus uvae, ut gregibus tauri, segetes ut pinguibus arvis, tu decus omne tuis. postquam te Fata tulerunt, 35ipsa Pales agros atque ipse reliquit Apollo. grandia saepe quibus mandavimus hordea sulcis, infelix lolium et steriles nascuntur avenae; pro molli viola, pro purpureo narcisso carduus et spinis surgit paliurus acutis. 40spargite humum foliis, inducite fontibus umbras, pastores (mandat fieri sibi talia Daphnis), et tumulum facite et tumulo superaddite carmen: ‘Daphnis ego in silvis, hinc usque ad sidera notus, formosi pecoris custos, formosior ipse.’”


45Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta, quale sopor fessis in gramine, quale per aestum dulcis aquae saliente sitim restinguere rivo. nec calamis solum aequiperas, sed voce magistrum. fortunate puer, tu nunc eris alter ab illo. 50nos tamen haec quocumque modo tibi nostra vicissim dicemus, Daphninque tuum tollemus ad astra; Daphnin ad astra feremus: amavit nos quoque Daphnis.

  • 27ingemuisse P: gemuisse R
  • 37nascuntur PR: dominantur late mss (G.1.154)
  • 46fessis P: lassis R
  • 49ab illo P: Apollo R (3.104)


the cool streams; no four-footed beast tasted the brook or touched a blade of grass. Daphnis, the wild mountains and woods tell us that even African lions moaned over your death.

“Daphnis it was that taught men to yoke Armenian tigers beneath the car, to lead on the dances of Bacchus and entwine in soft leaves the tough spears. As the vine gives glory to its trees, as the grape to the vines, as the bull to the herd, as the corn to rich fields, you alone give glory to your people. Since the Fates bore you off, even Pales has left our fields, and even Apollo. Often in the furrows, to which we entrusted the big barley grains, luckless darnel springs up and barren oat straws. Instead of the soft violet, instead of the gleaming narcissus, the thistle rises up and the sharp-spiked thorn. Strew the turf with leaves, shepherds, curtain the springs with shade—such honours Daphnis charges you to pay him. And build a tomb, and on the tomb place, too, this verse: ‘Daphnis was I amid the woods, known from here even to the stars. Fair was my flock, but fairer I, their shepherd.’”


Your lay, heavenly bard, is to me even as sleep on the grass to the weary, as in summer heat the slaking of thirst in a dancing rill of sweet water. Not with the pipe alone, but in voice do you match your master. Happy lad! now you will be next after him. Still I will sing you in turn, poorly it may be, this strain of mine, and exalt your Daphnis to the stars. Daphnis I will exalt to the stars; me, too, Daphnis loved.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.virgil-eclogues.1916