Georgicia – a surviving fragment

This georgic poem could be a fragment of a much larger work on agriculture from the 17th century bc. Discovered on a vellum that was found in a clay jar buried in the back of a cave in northern Italy, and translated here for your enjoyment and to satisfy the prompt at GloPoWriMo day 22

Once the land was raised up from the deep,
And fishes, taking to it, grew feet
And the gods did plant it, in one
Region lush, another bare.
Ceres was pleased
Though it was full of wild savagery. She appealed
To the gods for order.
So prometheus made a work of clay
Into which the breath of Athena lay
And thus man came to tame
And train Natures wild ways.
Of the bitter fruited olive tree
A gift to man of great esteem
Erbiage has already written.
From one region comes barley
And another cows, pigs
And from rocky island goats
Vines from Gaul.
The vine reveals
It’s great treasure reluctantly
And it takes much coaxing
For they are weak and feeble
And will yield little fruit, without tending.
Plant them on hillside, in flinty soil
Well drained.  Prune them and to
A post they shall be trained.
Or to an elm they can entwine
Or even graft tree to vine.
Thus held, the seed of wine
Can come full in their time.
Then Bacchus will be pleased
And beneath the wine tree
Dine on loaves and fishes




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