Virgil, Georgics

LCL 63: 118-119

Go To Section
Go To Section

Book I

brambles, or to plunge bleating flocks into the health-giving stream. Oft, too, the driver loads his slow donkey’s sides with oil or cheap fruits, and as he comes back from town brings with him an indented millstone or a mass of black pitch.

The Moon herself has ordained various days in various grades as lucky for work. Shun the fifth; then pale Orcus and the Furies were born: then in monstrous labour Earth bore Coeus, and Iapetus, and fierce Typhoeus, and the brethren 21 who were banded to break down Heaven. Thrice did they essay to pile Ossa on Pelion, and over Ossa to roll leafy Olympus; thrice, with his bolt, the Father dashed apart their up-piled mountains. The seventeenth is lucky for planting the vine, for yoking and breaking in oxen, and for adding the leashes to the warp. The ninth is a friend to the runaway, a foe to the thief.

There are many things, too, that make better progress in the cool of night, or when at early sunrise the day star bedews the earth. At night the light stubble is best shorn, at night the thirsty meadows; at night the softening moisture fails not. One I know spends wakeful hours by the late blaze of a winter fire, and with sharp knife points torches; his wife the while solaces with song her long toil, runs the shrill shuttle through the web, or on the fire boils down the sweet juice of must, and skims with leaves the froth of the bubbling cauldron. 22 But Ceres’ golden grain is cut down in noonday heat, and in noonday heat the floor threshes the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.virgil-georgics.1916