"Ultima Thule"

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Last Updated on April 21, 2016, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 103

Context: As Virgil commences his poetic treatise on agriculture, he calls upon the appropriate gods. Then addressing Caesar, he suggests that if the emperor should prefer to rule the sea instead of the land, mariners, even to Ultima Thule, would pray to him and that Neptune would declare his resignation as God of the Sea. In the translation of Dryden, the passage appears:

Or wilt thou, Caesar, choose the watery reign,
To smooth the surges, and correct the main?
Then mariners, in storms, to thee shall pray;
E'en utmost Thule shall thy power obey;
And Neptune shall resign the fasces of the sea.

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