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THEOCRITUS.

THEOCRITUS.

THE RURAL JOURNEY.

IDYLL VII.

Once on a time myself and Eucritus
Went out of town, taking Amyntas with us,
To join a sacrifice to Ceres, made
By Phrasidamus and Antigenes,
Sons of Lycopeus, and descended too
(If that is any thing) from Clitias,
Ay, and from Chalcon, who with his stout knee
Against the rock dug up the Burian fountain,
Where elms and poplars make a shadowy grove

Full-haired, and keep a covert of green

leaves. We had not got half way, nor yet discerned The tomb of Brasilas, when we overtook Travelling along, a favourite of the Muses,A goatherd, of the name of Lycidas; And goatherd well he seemed; for on his shoulders There hung a whitish goatskin, hairy and thick, Smelling of the fresh curd ; about his body Was an old vest, tied with a woven girdle ; And in his hand he bore a crooked stick

Made of wild olive. Placidly he turned,
A little smile parting his kindly mouth,
And with a genial eye accosting me,
Said, “ Ah, Theocritus! and where go you
This burning noon, when lizards are asleep
Within the hedges, and the crested lark
Represses his fine madness? Is it a feast-
You're making haste to, or a vintaging,
That thus you dash the pebbles with your sandals?"

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" Dear Lycidas,” cried I, “ you talk indeed
Like one whom all agree, shepherd and reaper,
To pipe among them nobly,—which delights me;
And yet I trust I am your equal too.
It is a feast we're going to. Some friends
Keep one to day to the well-draperied Ceres,
Mother of Earth, and offer their first fruits
For gratitude, their garners are so full.

-as we have lighted on each other,
Let us take mutual help, and by the way
Pastoralize a little : for my mouth
Breathes also of the Muse; and people call me
Greatest of living song ;-a praisė, however,
Of which I am not credulous,—no, by Earth;
For there's Philetas, and our Samian too,
Whom I no more pretend to have surpassed,
Than frogs the grasshoppers."

But come;

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