A poetic 'Consolation.' Nature shows not always her wintry face, but thou, Valgius, art still mourning the loss of thy Mystes. Even Nestor, the father of Antilochus, and the sisters of Troilus were consoled at last. Leave thy womanish laments and let us sing the triumphs of Caesar. There is a translation by Dr. Johnson. Cf. Ronsard, A Mr. Mellin, 'Toujours ne tempeste enragée | Contre ses bords la mer Égée . . . Toujours l'hiver de neiges blanches| Des pins n'enfarine les branches,' etc. C. Valgius Rufus, consul suffectus, B.C. 12, wrote elegies said to be alluded to by Verg. (Ecl. 7.22), medical and rhetorical works, and an epic which Tibullus (?) thought 'Homeric.' Valgius: aeterno propior non alter Homero (Tibull. 4. 1 . 181). Verses 19 and 20 have been thought an allusion to the Eastern embassy of Tiberius, B.C. 20, but may refer to the Oriental envoys sent to Augustus in Spain B.C. 27-25. Mon. Ancyr. 5.51. l. non semper: so 2. 11.9. Cf. Otto, p.113. For sentiment and imagery, cf. Plut. Cons. ad Apoll. 5; Southwell, Time goes by Turns, Ward's Poets, 1. 482; Herrick, Hesper. 726,' Clouds will not ever poure down rain;| A sullen day will cleere again.| First, peales of thunder we must heare,| Then lutes and harpes shall stroke the eare'; Theoc. 4. 43; Sen. Ep. 107, 108. hispidos: squalid, proleptic of the effect of the rain, and suggestive of the neglected beard and hair (hispida facies, cf. 4.10. 5) of grief.
Caspium: a stormy sea. Cf. Milton, P. L. II.: 'As when two black clouds,| With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on| Over the Caspian.' But cf. 1.1.14. n.; 1.26.2.
inaequales procellae: either fitful blasts, Milton's 'gusty flaws,' or on analogy of inaequali tonsore, Epp. 1.1.94, roughening gales. Cf.. Shelley's 'curdling winds,' and Shaks. Sonnet, 6: 'winter's ragged hand.' 'Ruffling winds,' Herrick, 721.
usque: cf. 1.17.4. Armeniis: i.e. on Mount Taurus. Cf. Xen. Anab. 4.4.
stat: cf. 1.9. 1. iners: cf. 3.4.45; 4.7.12; 1.22.17, pigris . . . campis.
Garganus is an exposed sea-girt promontory of Apulia. Cf. Epp. 2.1.202, Garganum mugire putes nemus. laborant: cf. 1.9.3. Arnold, The New Sirens, 'saw the hoarse boughs labor in the wind'; Shaks. M. of V.41, 'forbid the mountain pines | To wag their high tops and to make no noise| When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven' ; Sappho, fr. 42, ἄνεμος κατ᾽ ὄρος δρυσὶν ἐμπεσών.
viduantur: observe the cumulative touches that complete the picture of desolation. Cf. Tenn. Lady of Shalott, Part IV. init.
tu semper: emphasizing his disregard of the lesson of nature, non semper. Cf. 2.18.17; 3.29.25. urges: dwellest on, insistest on. Cf. Propert. 5. 11. 1, desine, Paulle, meum lacrimis urgere sepulcrum.
ademptum: cf. 2.4.10. n.
surgente: of. Verg. G. 1.440; Aen. 4.352; Vesper of course does not' rise,' but becomes visible in the west after sunset. The same planet (Venus) as Phosphorus, the morning star, at other times flees (vanishes in the light of) the swift rising sun. Cf. Cat. 62.35. Cf. Tenn. In Mem. 121, 'Sweet Hesper-Phospher, double name| For what is one, the first, the last.' Cf. Plato's exquisite epigram, Ἀστὴρ πρὶν μὲν ἔλαμπες ἐνὶ ζωοῖσιν Ἑῷς,ι ϝῦν δὲ θανὼν λάμπεις Ἕσπερος ἐν φθιμένοις.'Star of the morning shinedst thou,| Ere life was fled,| Star of the evening art thou now,| Among the dead.' decedunt amores: of. Tenn. Mariana, 'Her tears fell with the dews at even,| Her tears fell ere the dews were dried'; Verg. G. 4. 465, te veniente die te decedente canebat; Helvius Cinna's lovely lines: Te matutinus flentem conspexit Eous,| et flentem paullo vidit post Hesperus idem; Tasso, G. L. xii. 90, 'Lei nel partir, lel nel torrnar del sole| chiama con voce stanca, e prega e plora.'
rapidum: standing epithet of sol (Verg. G. 1.424; 2. 321; cf. Ecl. 2.10), perhaps from swift hot rays, or his rapid movement among the constellations, or the swift sunsets and sunrises of southern climes where twilight is short. Cf. Homer's θοὴ νύξ, and Coleridge, 'At one stride comes the dark,' Anc. Mar.
ter aevo functus: who lived three generations; Nestor, tertiam iam aetatem hominum vivebat, Cic. Cat. Mai. 31; Il. l. 250; τριγέρων, Odyss. 3.245.
Antilochum: son of Nestor, often mentioned in Iliad. Alluded to in Odyss. 3. 112; 4.187. Saves his father's life, Pind. Pyth. 6.28. Nestor at his funeral pyre, Juv. Sat. 10. 253; Propert. 3.5.46-50.
omnis . . . annos: the Homeric ἤματα πάντα.
impubem . . . Troilon: son of Priam, slain by Achilles. Verg. Aen. 1.475, infelix puer atque impar congressus Achilli. Like Antilochus a stock example in the literature of consolations; Plut. Cons. ad Apoll. 24; Cic. Tusc. 1.93.
sorores: Polyxena, Cassandra, etc. The wailing of Phrygian women was proverbial; yet even they were consoled.
desine: with gen. as λήγειν, παύεσθαι. Cf. 3.27.69. n.; 2.13.38.
cantemus takes four objects, tropaea, Niphaten, flumen . . . volvere, and Gelonos . . . equitare, the last three defining the first. tropaea: for date, cf. Intr. and Sellar, p.143.
rigidum: ice-bound, or rock-bound. Niphates: was a mountain in Armenia. Cf. Verg. G. 3.30, addam urbes Asiae domitas pulsumque Niphaten. Cf. Milton, P. L. III. in fine, 'Nor stay'd till on Niphates' top he lights'; Lucan 3. 245 Juv. Sat. 6.409; Claudian and Silius speak of it as a river. Hence Johnson's translation has, 'Niphates rolls an humbler wave.'
Medum flumen: the Euphrates. Cf. 3.4.36, Scythicus amnis; 4.4.38, Metaurum flumen. Cf. Verg. Aen. 8.726, Euphrates ibat iam mollior undis.
Cf. R. C. Trench, 'Alma, roll thy waters proudly,| Proudly roll them to the sea' (Page).
Gelonos: a Sarmatian or Scythian tribe. Cf. Herod 4.108; Verg. Aen. 8.725; infra, 2.20.19; 3.4.35. praescriptum: the limits set them.
exiguis: narrowed, in comparison with their former liberty. equitare: 1.2.51.