O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint
Agricolas, quibus ipsa, procul discordibus armis,
Fundit humo facilem victum justissima tellus!
How lucky, if they know their happiness,
Are farmers, more than lucky, they for whom,
Far from the clash of arms, the earth herself,
Most fair in dealing, freely lavishes
An easy livelihood.
Lines 458–460 (tr. L. P. Wilkinson)
At secura quies et nescia fallere vita,
Dives opum variarum.
Yet theirs is repose without care, and a life that knows no fraud, but is rich in treasures manifold.
Lines 467–468 (tr. Fairclough)
Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae,
Quarum sacra fero ingenti percussus amore,
Accipiant caelique vias et sidera monstrent,
Defectus solis varios lunaeque labores;
Unde tremor terris, qua vi maria alta tumescant
Obicibus ruptis rursusque in se ipsa residant.
Quid tantum Oceano properent se tingere soles
Hiberni, vel quae tardis mora noctibus obstet.
But as for me—first above all, may the sweet Muses whose holy emblems, under the spell of a mighty love, I bear, take me to themselves, and show me heaven's pathways, the stars, the sun's many lapses, the moon's many labours; whence come tremblings of the earth, the force to make deep seas swell and burst their barriers, then sink back upon themselves; why wintersuns hasten so fast to dip in Ocean, or what delays clog the lingering nights.
Lines 475–482 (tr. Fairclough)
Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius.
Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarumque,
Et genus aequoreum, pecudes, pictaeque volucres,
In furias ignemque ruunt. Amor omnibus idem.
Thus every creature, and of every kind,
The secret joys of sweet coition find.
Not only man's imperial race, but they
That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea,
Or haunt the desert, rush into the flame:
For love is lord of all, and is in all the same.
Lines 242–244 (tr. John Dryden)
H. Rushton Fairclough's translation: Yea, every single race on earth, man and beast, the tribes of the sea, cattle and birds brilliant of hue, rush into fires of passion: all feel the same Love.
So deep is their love of flowers and their glory in begetting honey.
Line 205 (tr. Fairclough)
Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos
Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum.
The immortal line in sure succession reigns,
The fortune of the family remains,
And grandsires' grandsires the long list contains.
Lines 208–209 (tr. Dryden)
Deum namque ire per omnes
Terrasque tractusque maris, coelumque profundum.
For God, they say, pervades all things, earth and sea's expanse and heaven's depth.
Lines 221–222 (tr. Fairclough)
Nec morti esse locum.
There is no place for death.
Animasque in vulnere ponunt.
And lay down their lives in the wound.
Line 238 (tr. Fairclough); of bees.
Verum ubi correptum manibus vinclisque tenebis,
tum variae eludent species atque ora ferarum
Fiet enim subito sus horridus atraque tigris
squamosusque draco et fulva cervice leaena,
aut acrem flammae sonitum dabit atque ita vinclis
excidet, aut in aquas tenues dilapsus abibit.
But when thou boldest him in the grasp of hands and fetters, then will manifold forms baffle thee, and figures of wild beasts. For of a sudden he will become a bristly boar, a deadly tiger, a scaly serpent, or a lioness with tawny neck; or he will give forth the fierce roar of flame, and thus slip from his fetters, or he will melt into fleeting water and be gone.
John Dryden, as quoted in Narrative and Simile from the Georgics in the Aeneid (1980) by Ward W. Briggs, Jr., footnote on p. 7
Cum "Georgica" scriberet, traditur cotidie meditatos mane plurimos versus dictare solitus ac per totum diem retractando ad paucissimos redigere, non absurde carmen se more ursae parere dicens et lambendo demum effingere.
When he [Virgil] was writing the "Georgics," it is said to have been his custom to dictate each day a large number of verses which he had composed in the morning, and then to spend the rest of the day in reducing them to a very small number, wittily remarking that he fashioned his poem after the manner of a she-bear, and gradually licked it into shape.
Suetonius, Vita Vergili 22, in Suetonius, with an English translation by J. C. Rolfe, Vol. II (1914), pp. 471–473