from the GEORGICS - Book III, ll.1-26
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)tr. L.P.Wilkinson
Te quoque, magna Pales, et te memorande canemus
pastor ab Amphryso, vos, silvae amnesque Lycaei.
Cetera, quae vacuas tenuissent carmine mentes,
omnia iam volgata: quis aut Eurysthea durum
aut inlaudati nescit Busiridis aras?
Cui non dictus Hylas puer et Latonia Delos
Hippodameque umeroque Pelops insignis eburno,
acer equis? Temptanda via est, qua me quoque possim
tollere humo victorque virum volitare per ora.
You too, great Pales, we will sing, and you
Famed keeper of flocks beside Amphrysus' stream
And, Pan's Arcadian woods and rivers, you.
Those other themes that might have served to charm
The idle mind are all so hackneyed now.
Who has not heard about the grim Eurystheus
Or those notorious altars of Busiris?
Who has not harped upon the youthful Hylas,
Latona's Delos or Hippodameia
And Pelops, charioteer conspicuous
For his ivory shoulder? I must find a way
Of my own to soar above the common ground
And 'fly victorious on the lips of men'.
Primus ego in patriam mecum, modo vita supersit,
Aonio rediens deducam vertice Musas;
primus Idumaeas referam tibi, Mantua, palmas,
et viridi in campo templum de marmore ponam
propter aquam. Tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat
Mincius et tenera praetexit arundine ripas.
I will be first, if life is granted me,
To lead in triumph from Greek Helicon
To my native land the Muses. I will he first
To bring you, Mantua. Idumaean palms,
And in green meadows raise a marble temple
Beside the water where the Mincius,
Embroidering his banks with tender rushes,
In sweeping loops meanders.
In the middle of the shrine, as patron god,
In medio mihi Caesar erit templumque tenebit:
illi victor ego et Tyrio conspectus in ostro
centum quadriiugos agitabo ad flumina currus.
Cuncta mihi Alpheum linquens lucosque Molorchi
cursibus et crudo decernet Graecia caestu.
Ipse caput tonsae foliis ornatus olivae
dona feram. Iam nunc sollemnis ducere pompas
ad delubra iuvat caesosque videre iuvencos,
vel scaena ut versis discedat frontibus utque
purpurea intexti tollant aulaea Britanni.
I will have Caesar placed, and in his honour
Myself as victor in resplendent purple
Will drive a hundred chariots by the river.
For me all Greece, deserting the Alpheüs,
Olympia's river, and the groves of Nemea
In racing and in boxing will compete.
Myself as priest, my brow with olive wreathed,
Will offer gifts. I see myself already
Leading the solemn procession joyfully
To the shrine and watching bullocks sacrificed.
Or in the theatre viewing the change of scenes
And Britons rising woven in crimson curtains.

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Trans. Copyright © L.P.Wilkinson 1982 - publ. Penguin Classics this book
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