Lo, Tityrus, how are you there, reclining in the shade?
I see you have your reed pipe — is there music in this glade?
O Tityrus, if only I could share in your repose,
If only I could sing amidst the beech and willow-rose.
That city they call Rome I thought was something like our town.
I thought they knew the worth of home, those men who won the crown.
But no, this land is mine no more, though lucky you will stay,
And gaze upon your awns and fields, the frisky goats at play.
I don’t begrudge you, Tityrus, but marvel at your lot.
Such misery afflicts us boys whose banished fates are fraught.
To Scythia, to Africa, to Britain, or to Crete,
I’m off to scorching Egypt, off to face the thirsty heat.
That god of yours who saved your home, who keeps your farmlands yours,
Who gave my land to some impious soldier from the wars,
A god he is to you, not me, and not to many more.
My fields to some barbarian, my clear spring to the boar.
But Tityrus, for you the days are hopeful as can be.
This shady beech to keep you cool — you will not test the sea.
I see you now stretched out below some verdant hedge nearby.
The bees a-buzzing bring you sleep, a humming lullaby.
But sooner will a feathered deer take flight into the sky,
Or sooner will a fish grow feet and walk on land so dry,
And sooner shall I drink the water from some foreign well,
Than in my father’s father’s home will me or my own dwell.
But one more night upon these virid leaves I’ll stay with you:
Ripe apples here, and chestnuts, and there’s dewy honey too.
The sun is sinking lower and the shadows stretch out long,
And maybe I can hear you sing a final rustic song.