Page:Virgil - The Georgics, Thomas Nevile, 1767.djvu/92
80 Book III.
Perfume your stalls with cedar, and repel
With odorous gums the snake of noisome smell:
Oft, dire of touch, beneath foul cribs, from sight
The viper skulks, and shudd'ring shuns the light;
Or, pest of kine, the serpent on the ground
Squats, on the watch to fix the venom'd wound,
Sure friend to gloom of shelter and of shade:
Now, now, ye swains! with stones, with clubs invade
The monster, stiff'ning to an horrid spire
His swelling neck, and with collected ire
Hissing dire threats: lo! now to earth he bends
His crest, and, in the middle maim'd, extends
A length of loosen'd folds, and scarce with pain
Drags the last volumes of his ling'ring train.
A snake too in Calabria's woody vales
Lifts his proud breast, and writhes his glist'ring scales;
His parts beneath with large spots speckled glow:
He, while from springs the bursting rivers flow.
While vernal dews, and Auftral showers abound,
Couches in rushy banks, or marshy ground,
With ravening rage makes croaking frogs his food.
Or of the finny natives sweeps the flood.
When the pool parches beneath sultry skies.
And scorcht earth gapes, he rolls his reddening eyes.