Page:Virgil - The Georgics, Thomas Nevile, 1767.djvu/74

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Book III.

Smit with th' Olympic palm who coursers feeds,[1]
Or sturdy bullocks for the ploughshare breeds,
Must mark the mothers; and first choose a cow,
That spreads a brawny neck, of torvous brow,
Of head uncouth, and from whose chin he sees       65
Loose dangling dewlaps trembling at her knees:
Then her side long and large; all vast of size:
Her foot too, and her ears, that bristly rise:
Nor one with white spots dappled would I scorn,
Shy of the yoke, and churlish with her horn;       70
A bull in face, that lofty in her gait
Trails on the ground her tail in sweepy state.
Lucina and the nuptial rites they shun,
Till his fourth annual progress Sol has run;
The ninth year ends their pains; the rest allow       75
Nor plight nor strength for breeding, or the plough.
Indulge the males with liberty betime,
While your herds frolick in youth's wanton prime:
Soon give the cattle love's delights to try,
The sinking race attentive to supply       80
With a perpetual stock: life's better day
From all of mortal birth first flits away,


  1. Ver. 61.] The just suspicion raised by Mr. Hurd concerning the three concluding lines of the Introduction have induced the Translator to pass them over in silence. See note on ver. 16. of Hor. Epist. to Aug.