The Eclogues ('Selections'), also know as the Bucolics, were Virgils' first major work. These ten poems were written between 42 and 39 B.C.E. At this time Virgil was in his thirties. These poems are in a particular format, the pastoral, which the Sicilian poet Theocritus (ca. 280 B.C.E.) had developed in his Idyls. Virgil employs this format to expound allegorical themes using the language of classical mythology, much like the bardic poetry of the Druids. The fourth Eclogue stands out from this series, in which Virgil makes some enigmatic prophecies, similar to the Pseudo-Sibylline Oracles. During the middle ages Virgil developed a reputation as a sorceror, and it is possible that the esoteric meaning cloaked in this poem had something to do with this.
This translation has been cross-linked at the chapter level to the original Latin text, which was not included in the MacKail version.