Fritz Ebel

Est nemus aërium, trabibus quo frigida quernis
submovet umbra diem; non illic aura, nec aestus,
non gregis aut hominum vernos premit ungula flores;
fontibus aversis circum duo flumina surgunt,
hoc secat Etruscos, petit illud gurgite Romam:
hic, quasi venturi praesagus, tristia mecum
plurima volvebam, flebam quoque; vidit ab alto
Daedalus annosas inter considere fagos;
accessit, citharamque ferens ‘puer, accipe,’ dixit
‘hac casus solare tuos, hac falle laborem.’
(Petrarca, Buc. 4.13-22)

There is a lofty wood where the cool shades drive off daylight from the oak trunks. No breeze nor heat are there, and neither the herd’s hooves nor human feet trample the flowers. Round about two streams emerge from their sources; one flows through Etruscan land, the other rolls its waters towards Rome. Here, as if foreboding what was to come, I would often think unhappy thoughts and weep. But from on high Daedalus saw me sit there amongst the old beech trees; he approached me, lyre in hand, and said: ‘Here, boy, take this. With this instrument soothe your gloom and cheat your woes.’ (tr. David Bauwens)

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