Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vergil, Georgics Book I

Publius Vergilius Maro [Vergil]

70-19 BC
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature/Imperial Era)

Quid faciat laetas segetes, quo sidere terram
uertere, Maecenas, ulmisque adiungere uitis
conueniat, quae cura boum, qui cultus habendo
sit pecori, apibus quanta experientia parcis,
hinc canere incipiam.

[I will sing henceforth, Maecenas, on what can make your fields of grain abundant and happy, and in what season you should till the soil and plant your elm trees and vineyards, and the necessary precautions for raising cattle, and what religious cult you should worship to the protection of your sheep and honeybees, and the extent of my experiences in my lifetime.]

uos, o clarissima mundi
lumina, labentem caelo quae ducitis annum

[I call on you, you lights who are the brightest in the entire world and who bring the passing year around the sky.]

 Liber et alma Ceres, uestro si munere tellus
Chaoniam pingui glandem mutauit arista,
poculaque inuentis Acheloia miscuit uuis;

[You too, Bacchus, and sweet Ceres, if ever the soil has transformed a seed from Chaonia into a fat stalk of corn by your blessing, and the goblets I have procured from Acheloia ever poured with the fresh wine.] 

et uos, agrestum praesentia numina, Fauni               10
[and all you Fauns, divine powers in the presence of wild beasts,]

(ferte simul Faunique pedem Dryadesque puellae:
[and now carry forth your step, you Fauns and wood nymph maidens:]

munera uestra cano);
[I sing gifts that belong to you;]

 tuque o, cui prima frementem
fudit equum magno tellus percussa tridenti,
[and you, o Neptune, for whom the earth, once it was sticken through by your great trident, first poured out that roaring horse;]

 et cultor nemorum,
[and tiller of secret groves,]

cui pinguia Ceae
ter centum niuei tondent dumeta iuuenci;
[for whom 300 snow white cows pounded the fertile thickets of Cea;]
ipse nemus linquens patrium saltusque Lycaei
Pan, ouium custos, tua si tibi Maenala curae,
adsis, o Tegeaee, fauens,
[Pan himself, leaving behind the woods of his fathers and meadows of Lycaeos, the guardian of sheep, if your girl Maenala was dear to you, please be present, o Tegaeos, to help me,]

 oleaeque Minerua
[and Minerva, the creator of the olive tree,]

uncique puer monstrator aratri,
[and you boy, inventor of the curved plow,]

et teneram ab radice ferens, Siluane, cupressum:               20
[and you Silvanus, who bear the tender cypress tree from its roots]

dique deaeque omnes,
[All you gods and goddesses]

 studium quibus arua tueri,
[whose passions it is to safeguard our fields,]

quique nouas alitis non ullo semine fruges
[and you who feed new fruit with no use of seed,]

quique satis largum caelo demittitis imbrem.
[and who you send down to our satiety widespread showers from the sky.]

tuque adeo, quem mox quae sint habitura deorum
concilia incertum est,
[and for you part, and to this extent, whatever is uncertain about what plans the gods have,]

urbisne inuisere, Caesar,               25
terrarumque uelis curam,
[you, Caesar, should look to the care of our city and the world,]

et te maximus orbis
auctorem frugum tempestatumque potentem
accipiat cingens materna tempora myrto;
[and the largest part of the world, binding your mother's temples with myrrh, welcomes you as the begetter of fruitful bearings, and the one in charge of our times;]

an deus immensi uenias maris
[or may you come as the god of the enormous sea]

ac tua nautae
numina sola colant,
[and may sailors worship your divine powers]

 tibi seruiat ultima Thule,               30
[may the very last Thule bear service to you]

teque sibi generum Tethys emat omnibus undis;
[and may Thetys send you up as one of her sons-in-law upon all the waves]

anne nouum tardis sidus te mensibus addas,
[or perhaps you may add a new star to the slow-moving months]

qua locus Erigonen inter Chelasque sequentis
[in which place the spot spreads between Erigones and the pursuing Chelae]

 (ipse tibi iam bracchia contrahit ardens
[the Scorpion himself already burns to the draw his arms to you]

et caeli iusta plus parte reliquit);               35
[and he leaves you open more than a fair share of the sky.]

quidquid eris (nam te nec sperant Tartara regem,
[whatever you shall be--you see, Death hopes you not to be our regent]

nec tibi regnandi ueniat tam dira cupido,
[may not a desire to rule over gloomy realms not come to you]

quamuis Elysios miretur Graecia campos
[not matter how much Greece looks upon the Elysian Fields in wonder]

nec repetita sequi curet Proserpina matrem),
[and let not Persephone care to follow her mother, even when she has been sought again]

da facilem cursum
[grant an easy passage]

atque audacibus adnue coeptis,
[and also nod your head in approval of bold undertakings]
ignarosque uiae mecum miseratus agrestis
[and with me approach the unknown grievances of the country's road]

et uotis iam nunc adsuesce uocari.
[and now already make yourself accustomed to being called upon in prayers.]

     Vere nouo, gelidus canis cum montibus umor
[Truly and afresh, when the icy liquid of the white mountains are melted,]

et Zephyro putris se glaeba resoluit,
[and the moldy soil has loosened itself in the face of the west wind,]

depresso incipiat iam tum mihi taurus aratro               45
ingemere et sulco attritus splendescere uomer.
[and already at that time, will the bull groan when the plough is pressed down, and will the plow blade sparkle, as it is worn down in the furrow.]

illa seges demum uotis respondet auari
[And in the end the cornfield reponds to the prayers of a greedy farmer,]

bis quae solem, bis frigora sensit;
[twice did he feel the sun, and twice, the cold;

illius immensae ruperunt horrea messes.
[The immense harvests broke the granaries of that fellow.]

ac prius ignotum ferro quam scindimus aequor,               50
[and even before we split the sea, which was unfamiliar to iron,]

uentos et uarium caeli praediscere morem
cura sit ac patrios cultusque habitusque locorum,
[let it be a care to learn the winds and the shifting practices of the sky, and your ancestors, religion, and customs of places,]

et quid quaeque ferat regio et quid quaeque recuset.
[and what each region welcomes and what each of them refuses.]

hic segetes, illic ueniunt felicius uuae,
[Here come the cornfields, over there come the grapevines more happily,]

arborei fetus alibi atque iniussa uirescunt                55
[elsewhere, the sprouts of trees and the fields of grass grow green by their own accord.]

nonne uides,
[Don't you see?]

croceos ut Tmolus odores,
[the fragrances as saffron as Tmolos?]

India mittit ebur,
[and India sending its ivory?]

molles sua tura Sabaei,
[gente-hilled Arabian its incense?]

at Chalybes nudi ferrum uirosaque Pontus
[or rather, the naked Chalybes its iron, and Pontus its budding timber,]

 Eliadum palmas Epiros equarum?
[and Epirus, the palms of its Eliadan horses?]

continuo has leges aeternaque foedera certis               60
imposuit natura locis,
[and continuously, nature has set down laws of the sort and eternal pacts for its established areas.]

 quo tempore primum
Deucalion uacuum lapides iactauit in orbem,
[at the very time when first Deucalion threw stones upon the empty world,]

unde homines nati, durum genus.
[and from these people were born, a stern breed.]

  ergo age, terrae
pingue solum primis extemplo a mensibus anni
fortes inuertant tauri,
[So come now, straightaway from the very first months of the year, bulls turn over the rich soil of the earth,]

glaebasque iacentis               65
puluerulenta coquat maturis solibus aestas;
[and the dust summer cooks the clods of earth lying beneath the full rays of the sun;]

at si non fuerit tellus fecunda,
[but if the earth shall'nt be fertile,]

sub ipsum
Arcturum tenui sat erit suspendere sulco:
[it will be enough to suspend oneself over a thin furrow under the North Star itself:]

illic, officiant laetis ne frugibus herbae,
[on one side, one needs to see that the grass not stifle our happy crops,]

hic, sterilem exiguus ne deserat umor harenam.               70
[on the other, one needs to see that scant rain sow sterile sand.]

     Alternis idem tonsas cessare noualis
et segnem patiere situ durescere campum;
[Likewise, you should suffer the newly shaved calves to yield to others, and the lazy part of the field to grow harsh;]

aut ibi flaua seres mutato sidere farra,
[or you should sow, in that place, golden crops when the season changes,]