Grotius, his arguments for the truth of Christian religion rendred into plain English verse.
Grotius, Hugo, 1583-1645., Virgil. Bucolica. 4. English.
SIcilian Muse! let's take a nobler flight;*
Shrubs and low Sylvan Scenes can't all delight;
Yet if a Grove our Verses celebrate,
That shall become worthy a Consul's State:
Time, i'th'appointed round, presents that Age,
Which the Cumaean Sybil did presage.
The Virgin now visits the Earth again,
And peaceful Saturn brings his happy Reign;
While a-new Offspring comes down from above:
May chast Lucina but propiti'ous prove,
And with a gentle hand forward that Birth,
Which is to purge the Iron from the Earth,
No Metal to allay pure Gold be'ing known:
This is the time Apollo mounts the Throne.
Page 138This Pollio! shall thy Consulship adorn,
This Age's Grace shall during that be born:
Hence shall the joyful Epocha begin,
While thou presidest is the fall of Sin;
No tracts of former Guilt shall stay behind,
Nor shall it longer terrify Mankind.
He shall ascend unto a Life Divine,
Where mingled with the Gods the Hero's shine;
Himself conspicuous above the rest:
The Universe shall under him be blest,
And find the Father in the Son exprest.
The unforc'd Earth shall ready Tribute bring,
At the Nativity of thee its King;
The blushing Berry with green Ivy twin'd,
Th' Egypti'an Bean, with Herbs of sov'raign kind:
The Pails with fatning Goat's Milk shall run o're,
Nor shall the Herds fear when the Lions roar.
Page 139All sorts of new-sprung Flowers thy Cradle strew,
Courting thy Infant Tears before the Morning Dew.
Serpents shall die, the Poison's force decay,
And wild Assyrian Roses cloath the way.
But when the Hero's Praises, and the Deeds,
Th'enlightned Youth of his dread Father reads,
And knows the grounds from whence true Fame proceeds;
Corn shall enrich the Field where none did sow,
And chearing Grapes on common Bushes grow,
From the hard Oak shall roscid Hony flow.
Yet there some remnants of old Fraud shall be,
Which shall again provoke to try the Sea,
A num'rous Neighbourhood with Walls t'enclose,
And vex the passive Earth with fur'wing Ploughs:
Of a new Tiphys Stories shall be told,
Another Argos shall cull'd Hero's hold;
Fresh Wars shall be begun, another Troy
Shall an Archilles feel sent to destroy.
Page 140But when thou shalt in Years become mature,
The Sailer shall no more rough Seas endure;
No Ships shall coast about for Foreign Ware,
All things within it self each Realm shall bear,
Plough-shares no more shall tear the fertile ground,
No Pruning-hooks the bleeding Vines shall wound;
The lab'ring Ox shall from the Yoak be free;
Nor shall we Wool dy'd with false Colours see;
A nat'ral Purple, or becoming Red
Shall, as he stalks along, the Ram bespread;
Lambs a more orient Red shall sweetly stain.
Such times as these the steady Fates ordain,
Working th'agreeing Links of the sure Chain.
Enjoy thy sacred Honours now in peace,
Thou darling Son o'th'Gods! Jove's great en∣crease!
See! how the tott'ring World expects thy hand,
Made to support the Heav'ns, the Sea, and Land.
Page 141Nature, behold! puts on a chearful Face,
Finding thy Season rowling on apace.
Oh! that my Life and Spirit might suffice,
To praise the Glories to which thou shalt rise:
While full of thee I should not fear to vie
With Orpheus, were the Muse his Mother by;
Nor Linus, tho Appollo did inspire
His raptur'd Son with all his holy Fire.
Should Pan, ev'n in his own Arcadia sing,
Arcadia should to me the Lawrel bring.
By Smiles the knowledg of thy Mother gain,
Thou perfect Recompence of all her Pain!
Learn by the Smiles: where Parents don't rejoyce,
No God, or Goddess made that House their choice.