non sibi sed toti

Classics Teaching Resources

Mosella by Ausonius


The Journey ; The Hymn ; Looking into the depths ; The Fishes ; The Vineyards ; The gods ; Reflections in the River ; Boatmen at Play ; The Anglers ; Riverside Villas ; Some of the Villas Described ; Tributaries of the Moselle ; A Salutation ; One day Ausonius will write of eminent Belgians ; The Moselle flows into the Rhine ; Ausonius on himself ; There is so much more to sing ; All other rivers will bow to the Moselle

5. The vineyards

Vine from Moselle vineyard

Enough! We have watched the watery ways. We have seen the slippery shoals of fish. We have ennumerated their manifold companies. The spectacle of vines brings on another show. The gifts of Bacchus hold our gaze like a procession, Where hilltop ridges stretching far around, And crags, and sunny peaks, and winding valleys, Rise tall with vines as in a natural theatre. (In the self-same way kindly vineyards clothe The Gaurus Mountain, and Mount Rhodope; And Mount Pangaeus gleams with its own wine-god Just so Ismarus hill is green above the Thracian Sea, And thus my vineyards lend their colour to the Garonne.)
Looking down the vine-clad hills to the Moselle

For to the hilltops, sweeping ever upwards, The riverís bank is planted with green vines. Happy labourers and hard-working farmers Now hasten to the peak, now down the ridge, Competing with rough shouts. Over there a traveller Trampling the tow-path, and over here a boatman Slipping past, sing rude songs to those working late. The rocks and trembling wood and concave stream Applaud the songs with their echoes.
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