Night Bike
A Good Lesson In (a Grocery) Store

Into the Pastoral Landscape

Start of a country bike ride (11.9.11, Sunday)

 

 

Virgil, Eclogue I

 

Meliboeus

Tityrus, you recline beneath a beech's spreading shade,

and practice at the woodland Muse upon your meagre reed,

we are leaving the limits of our homeland and its sweet fields.

We flee from our home. You, Tityrus, stretched out in the shade

teach beautiful Amaryllis to make the woods resound.

 

Tityrus

O Meliboeus, a god has made this leisure-life for us.

For he'll always be a god my god, on his altar

a tender lamb from our flock will often offer up his blood.

He, as you see, has let my herds roam and I myself

to play what I wish on my country pipe.

 

Meliboeus

I don't envy you, I wonder more; from everywhere and all

sides right to this field they're amassed. Woe though 

to the goats I, fading, drive. She's barely on her feet,

Tityrus. Amid these hazel trees her twins, the hope

of the flock I left behind propped on a bare flinty rock.

This evil I now recall oaks tapped by the sky had often 

predicted for me, if my mind hadn't been astray.

But anyways, tell me, Tityrus, who is this god.

 

Tityrus.

The city which they call Rome, Meliboeus, I had thought,

stupid me, similar to ours, in which we shepherds're

regularly wont to bring the sheeps' tender birth to light. 

So pups to hounds, goat kids to their mothers, as I knew,

so I was in the way of sizing up the great via the small.

But this city among all others holds up her head as

cypresses are the flowering shrubs.

 

Meliboeus.

And what was your good reason for seeing Rome? 

 

Tityrus

Liberty, which lately had turned her back on me

when I was stuck, after bared and gleaming

 


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