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April 2016, vol 12 no 1

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Fred Lowe

At Mantua


The same Augustus who exiled Ovid to the Black Sea Coast, spared the ancestral lands of Publius Vergilius Maro, the Vergil of the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid. This is said to have been accomplished through the good offices of Pollio, the governor of Mantua, who provided Vergil with a letter of commendation to Octavian. The meeting succeeded. His tenancy secured, Vergil set out on a spring afternoon to walk his bounds.

The ditch-tops
were yellow with the pollen
of the hedgerow willows.

The unfurling leaves
of the oaks glistened pink
as the ears of a young hare.


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