Festis

basket-weaving

Nunc facilis rubea texatur fiscina virga,
nunc torrete igni fruges, nunc frangite saxo.
quippe etima festis quaedam exercere diebus
fas et iura sinunt: rivos deducere nulla
relligio vetuit, segeti praetendere saepem,
insidias avibus moliri, incendere vepres,
balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri.
saepe oleo tardi costas agitator aselli
vilibus aut onerat pomis, lapidemque revertens
incusum aut atrae massam picis urbe reportat.
(Vergil, Georg. 1.266-275)

Now, without trouble, weave small baskets of briar canes,
now parch grain over the fire, now grind it on a stone.
In fact, even on holy days, the laws of gods and men
permit some work. No piety forbids bringing down
irrigation water, fencing in crops with a hedge,
setting snares for birds, burning up tangles of briars,
and dipping a bleating flock in a health-promoting stream.
Often, a driver loads the sides of his slow jackass
with oil or abundant fruit and, on return from town,
brings back a chiseled millstone or a lump of black pitch.
(tr. Janet Lembke)

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