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Come then, Aratus; let us lie no more
At these proud doors, nor wear our feet with jour-
But let another, if he chuses, start
With sleepless eyes to hear the crowing cock;
And leave such labours to the wrestler Molon.
Our comfort be our care; and let us seek
Some ancient dame, who, muttering o'er a charm,
Shall keep away from us all things unkindly."
I ended; and with one of his old smiles,
He gave me his poetic gift, the olive-stiek;
And turning to the left, struck off for Pyxa.
We then went on to Phrasidamus's,-
Eucritus, I, and good little Amyntas,
And gladly rested upon deep thick couches.
Of lentisk, and of vine-leaves freshly cut.
Above our heads a throng of elms, and poplars
Kept stirring; and from out a cave o' the Nymphs
A sacred runnel, pouring forth, ran gurgling.
The hiding grasshoppers, in spite of heat,
Kept up their chattering coil; the nightingale
Plained at a distance in the thorny bush ;
The larks and linnets sung; the stock-dove
And round the fountains spun the yellow bees :
All things smelt rich of summer, rich of autumn:
Pears were about our feet, and by our side
Apples on apples rolled; the boughs bent down
To the very earth with loads of damson plums;
And from the casks of wine, of four years old,
We broke the corking pitch.— ye who keep
Parnassus' top, ye Nymphs of Castaly,
Did ever Chiron in the rocky cave
Of Pholos, set such goblets before Hercules,-
Did ever that old shepherd of Anapus,
Great Polyphemus, who could throw the rocks,
Compose such nectar to go dance withal,-
As on that day ye broached for us, O Nymphs,
Before the altar of Earth's generous Mother?
Oh may I riot in her heaps again
With a great winnow; while she stands and smiles,
Holding, in either hand, poppies and wheat.
There is no other medicine against love,
My Nicias, (so at least it seems to me)
Either to heal it or to soothe, but poetry.
That, that indeed is balmy to mens' minds,
And sweet; but then 'tis rarely to be found,
Though not by you, my friend, who are at once
Physician, and beloved by all the Nine.
It was by this the Cyclops lived among us,
I mean that ancient Polyphemus, who
Loved Galatea, when be first began
To bud about the lips and curling temples,-
Loved her,-not merely with a common love,
With gifts of fruit and flowers, and locks of hair,
But wasting madness; and was all excess.
Often, from the green grass, his sheep would go
Home by themselves ; while he, his sea-nymph
Stayed late, and languished on the weedy shore,
From sun-rise languished, bearing in his breast
The bitter wound which the great Venus gave
And yet he found a medicine ; for he'd sit
On a high rock, and looking o'er the sea
With long and weary earnestness, sing thus :-
O my white love, my Galatea, why
Avoid me thus ? O whiter than the curd,
More tender than the lamb, more tricksome than
The kid, and bitterer than the bright young grape;