Eclogues and Georgics
With the Eclogues, Virgil established his reputation as a major poet, and with the Georgics, he created a masterpiece of Latin poetry. Virgil drew upon the tradition of Greek pastoral poetry, importing it into an Italian setting and providing in these two works the model for subsequent European interpretations of the genre.
The Eclogues unfolds in an idyllic landscape, under less-than-tranquil circumstances. Its shepherds tend their flocks amid not only the inner turmoil of unrequited love but also the external pressures of the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C. Forced from their homes, the dispossessed shepherds voice a heartfelt longing for peace.
Dryden declared the Georgics "the best poem by the best poet," and through the ages, it has been much admired and imitated. A paean to Italy and the country's natural beauty, it rejoices in the values of rustic piety, the pleasures of family life, and the vitality of the Italian people.
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Alack altars Amaryllis Amyntas apples Aristaeus Bacchus bane bear beasts bees beneath boughs breath bulls cattle Ceres Chaonian cleave corn Corydon curvèd Cyrene Damoetas deep doth draw Daphnis home earth ECLOGUE Eurus Eurydice eyes fair feed fields fierce fire flock flood flowers flute forest fruit galbanum Gallus GEORGIC goats gods grape grass green grove hath heart heaven heifer heights hence herds horn Iollas Ismarus kine labour leaves lest limbs Lycidas Maenalian lays Maenalus maid man’s Meliboeus Menalcas mighty milk Moeris Mopsus mother myrtles neath night Nymphs o’er ocean olive Orpheus Phoebus plain plant plough pluck rear Rhodope round Sabellian Scythia shade she-goats sheep shepherds showers sing sire soil songs Spring stars steer streams sun’s swain sweet Taygete teem tender thee thine thou thyme Tityrus toil trees Twixt udders vine wave wild willows winds winter wont woods yield yoke young