From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Eclogues (37 BC), also called the Bucolics, is the first of the three major works of the Latin poet Virgil.



Book I

In the shade of a beech tree.
  • Sub tegmine fagi.
    • In the shade of a beech tree.
    • Line 1; repeated in the last line of the Georgics (4.566)
  • Nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva.
    • We are leaving our country's bounds and sweet fields.
    • Line 3 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough)
  • Deus nobis haec otia fecit.
    • God gave us this leisure.
    • Line 6
  • Non equidem invideo, miror magis.
    • Well, I grudge you not – rather I marvel.
    • Line 11 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Spes gregis.
    • The hope of the flock.
    • Line 15 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Sic canibus catulos similes, sic matribus haedos
    noram, sic parvis componere magna solebam.
    • Thus I knew puppies were like dogs, and kids like their dams; thus I used to compare great things with small.
    • Lines 22–23 (tr. Fairclough). Cf. Georgics 4.176.
Here, amid familiar streams and sacred springs, you shall enjoy the cooling shade.
  • Libertas, quae sera tamen respexit inertem.
    • Freedom, which came at length, though slow to come.
    • Line 27 (tr. John Dryden)
  • Fortunate senex, hic inter flumina nota
    Et fontis sacros frigus captabis opacum.
    • Happy old man! Here, amid familiar streams and sacred springs, you shall enjoy the cooling shade.
    • Lines 51–52 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
    • The Britons utterly separated from the whole world.
    • Lines 64–66 (tr. Philip Hardie)

Book II

  • O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori.
    • Ah, lovely boy, trust not too much to your bloom!
    • Line 17 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Habitarunt di quoque silvas.
    • Even the gods have dwelt in the woods.
    • Line 60 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Trahit sua quemque voluptas.
    • Each is led by his liking.
    • Line 65 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Quae te dementia cepit!
    • What madness has seized you?
    • Line 69

Book III

  • Nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbor;
    Nunc frondent sylvae, nunc formosissimus annus.
    • The trees are clothed with leaves, the fields with grass;
      The blossoms blow; the birds on bushes sing;
      And Nature has accomplished all the spring.
    • Lines 56–57 (tr. John Dryden)
  • Ab Jove principium Musae: Jovis omnia plena.
    • With Jove my song begins; of Jove all things are full.
    • Line 60 (tr. Fairclough); sometimes paraphrased as "Omnia sunt plena Jovis."
A snake lurks in the grass.
  • Latet anguis in herba.
    • A snake lurks in the grass.
    • Line 93
    • Variant translations:
      • A snake lies hidden in the grass.
      • There's a snake hidden in the grass.
  • Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites.
    • 'Tis not for us to end such great disputes.
    • Line 108
  • Claudite iam rivos, pueri; sat prata biberunt.
    • Shut off the springs now, lads; the meadows have drunk enough.
    • Line 111 (tr. Fairclough)

Book IV

  • Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus.
    • Sicilian Muses, let us sing a somewhat loftier strain.
    • Line 1 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Paulo majora canamus.—"Let us sing of greater things."
  • Iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.
    • Now the Virgin returns, the reign of Saturn returns.
    • Line 6 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Iam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto.
    • Now a new generation descends from heaven on high.
    • Line 7 (tr. Fairclough)
Begin, baby boy, to recognize your mother with a smile.
  • O mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
    Spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta.
    • To sing thy praise, would heaven my breath prolong,
      Infusing spirits worthy such a song.
    • Lines 53–54 (tr. Dryden)
  • Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem.
    • Begin, baby boy, to recognize your mother with a smile.
    • Line 60 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Incipe, parve puer: qui non risere parenti,
    Nec deus hunc mensa dea nec dignata cubili est.
    • Begin, baby boy! The child who has not won a smile from his parents, no god ever honored with his table, no goddess with her bed!
    • Lines 62–63 (tr. Fairclough)

Book V

  • Atque deos atque astra vocat crudelia mater.
    • She sighed, she sobbed, and furious with despair,
      Accused all the gods, and every star.
    • Line 23 (tr. Dryden)
  • Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta,
    Quale sopor fessis.
    • Your lay, heavenly bard, is to me even as sleep on the grass to the weary.
    • Lines 45–46 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Candidus insuetum miratur limen Olympi
    Sub pedibus uidet nubes et sidera Daphnis.
    • Daphnis, in radiant beauty, marvels at Heaven's unfamiliar threshold, and beneath his feet beholds the clouds and stars.
    • Lines 56–57 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Ipsi laetitia voces ad sidera jactant
    Intonsi montes: ipsae jam carmina rupes,
    Ipsa sonant arbusta.
    • The mountain-tops unshorn, the rocks rejoice;
      The lowly shrubs partake of human voice.
    • Lines 62–64 (tr. Dryden)

Book VI

  • Solvite me, pueri; satis est potuisse videri.
    • Loose me, lads; enough that you have shown your power.
    • Line 24 (tr. Fairclough)

Book VII

  • Ambo florentes aetatibus, Arcades ambo,
    Et cantare pares, et repondere parati.
    • Both young Arcadians, both alike inspired
      To sing, and answer as the song required.
    • Lines 4–5 (tr. Dryden)
  • Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo.
    • My serious business gave way to their playing.
    • Line 17 (tr. Paul Alpers)
  • Hic tantum Boreae curamus frigora, quantum
    Aut numerum lupus aut torrentia flumina ripas.
    • We fear not more the winds and wintry cold,
      Than streams the banks, or wolves the bleating fold.
    • Lines 51–52 (tr. Dryden)
    • Compare:
      • Nay, number (itself) in armies, importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith) it never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.
        • Francis Bacon, Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (1597), XXIX: 'Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates'


  • Ut vidi, ut perii, ut me malus abstulit error!
    • In the moment I saw you I lost my heart, and a fatal frenzy swept me away.
    • Lines 41 (tr. Fairclough)

Nunc scio quid sit Amor.

Now I know what Love is.

  • Nunc scio quid sit Amor.
    • Now I know what Love is.
    • Line 43 (tr. R. C. Trevelyan)
  • Certent et cycnis ululae.
    • Let owls too vie with swans.
    • Line 55 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Non omnia possumus omnes.
    • We cannot all do everything.
    • Line 63 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Nihil hic nisi carmina desunt.
    • Nothing is wanting here except a song.
    • Line 67
  • Carmina vel caelo possunt deducere lunam.
    • Songs can even draw the moon down from heaven.
    • Line 69 (tr. Fairclough)

Book IX

  • Sed non ego credulus illis.
    • But I discern their flattery from their praise.
    • Line 34 (tr. Dryden)
  • Argutos inter strepere anser olores.
    • [I] cackle as a goose among melodious swans.
    • Line 36 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Carpent tua poma nepotes.
    • Your descendants shall gather your fruits.
    • Line 50
  • Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.
    • Time robs us of all, even of memory.
    • Line 51 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Variant translation: Time bears away all things, even our minds.
  • Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus.
    • Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.
    • Line 64

Book X

Amor Vincit Omnia
by Caravaggio (c. 1602)
  • Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori;
    hic nemus; hic ipso tecum consumerer aevo.
    • Here are cold springs, Lycoris, here soft meadows, here woodland; here, with thee, time alone would wear me away.
    • Lines 42–43 (tr. Fairclough)
  • Ipsae rursus concedite, silvae.
    • Once more, ye woods, farewell!
    • Line 63
  • Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori.
    • Love conquers all; let us, too, yield to Love!
    • Line 69 (tr. Fairclough)
      • John Dryden's translation:
        In hell, and earth, and seas, and heaven above,
        Love conquers all, and we must yield to Love.
    • Variant translations:
      • Love conquers all things – let us yield to Love.
      • Love conquers all things: let us too give in to Love.
      • Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.

Quotations about Virgil's Eclogues

  • As for Cicero, when he had heard some of the verses, his piercing judgement immediately perceived that these were productions of uncommon vigor, and ordered the whole eclogue to be recited from the beginning. Having familiarized himself with its every nuance, he declared it "the second great hope of Rome" [Magnae spes altera Romae], as if he himself were the first hope of the Latin language and Maro the second. These words Virgil later inserted in the Aeneid [12.168].
  • Molle atque facetum
    Vergilio annuerunt gaudentes rure Camenae.
    • To Virgil the Muses rejoicing in rural life have granted simplicity and charm.
    • Horace, Satires (c. 30 BC), Book I, Satire X, lines 44–45 (trans. H. Rushton Fairclough)
  • [Virgil's] Eclogues are anything but a successful imitation of the idyls of Theocritus; they could not, in fact, be otherwise than unsuccessful: their object is to create something which could not prosper in a Roman soil. The shepherds of Theocritus are characters of ancient Sicilian poetry; I do not believe that they were taken from Greek poems. Daphnis, for example, is a Sicilian not a Greek hero. The idyls of Theocritus grew out of popular songs, and hence his poems have a genuineness, truth, and nationality. Now Virgil, in transplanting that kind of poetry to the plains of Lombardy, peoples that country with Greek shepherds, with their Greek names and Greek peculiarities,—in short, with beings that never could exist there.
  • These poems of Virgil have always delighted me much; there is frequently either an elegance or a happiness which no translation can hope to equal.
    • William Wordsworth, letter to Francis Wrangham (19 February 1819), in Memoirs of William Wordsworth, Poet-laureate by Christopher Wordsworth, Vol. II (1851), p. 206.
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original text related to: