An eclogue is a poem about rural life, generally a conversation between shepherds, in which country life is usually portrayed in an idealistic way. Eclogues are also known as bucolics, idyls, or pastorals.

The following is the beginning of ‘Eclogue I’ by Virgil. In the complete poem, the conversation continues to switch back and forth between the two men.


You, Tityrus, ‘neath a broad beech-canopy
Reclining, on the slender oat rehearse
Your silvan ditties: I from my sweet fields,
And home’s familiar bounds, even now depart.
Exiled from home am I; while, Tityrus, you
Sit careless in the shade, and, at your call,
‘Fair Amaryllis’ bid the woods resound.

O Meliboeus, ’twas a god vouchsafed
This ease to us, for him a god will I
Deem ever, and from my folds a tender lamb
Oft with its life-blood shall his altar stain.
His gift it is that, as your eyes may see,
My kine may roam at large, and I myself
Play on my shepherd’s pipe what songs I will.