Page:Virgil - The Georgics, Thomas Nevile, 1767.djvu/60
48 Book IL
A sure protection 'gainst the rushing rain,
Or when hot Sirius cleaves the gaping plain.
Soon as your sets are plac'd, the glebe raise high
About the roots, and hard-tooth'd drags apply,
Or, winding oft the leafy rows between,
Yok'd to the plough let struggling steers be seen.
Smooth reeds and stakes of ash be then your care ;
And spears of polish'd rods, and forks prepare,
To prop, and teach them to creep stage by stage
Up the tall Elm, and brave the tempest's rage.
In youth's first growth, their shoots just springing, spare
Their tender years ; and while in open air
The bough luxuriant runs with loosen'd rein.
From the sharp pruning-hook a while abstain ;
Nip with your nail the shoots, and ev'ry space
Clear from cart leaves : but when with close embrace
Strong round their elms the rambling tendrils twine.
Then strip the foliage, lop the straggling vine:
Till then they dread the steel : now let them know
Your pow'r's full force, and check the branchy flow.
To keep off cattle weave thick fences round ;
Chief, while the saplings feel at ev'ry wound :
Beside keen winters, and Sol's potent ray.
Of goats and buffaloes annoys the play ;