Tales and novels of Jean de La Fontaine

An Imitation of Anacreon

PAINTER in Paphos and Cythera famed

Depict, I pray, the absent Iris’ face.

Thou hast not seen the lovely nymph I’ve named;

The better for thy peace. — Then will I trace

For thy instruction her transcendent grace.

Begin with lily white and blushing rose,

Take then the Loves and Graces . . . But what good

Words, idle words? for Beauty’s Goddess could

By Iris be replaced, nor one suppose

The secret fraud — their grace so equal shows.

Thou at Cythera couldst, at Paphos too,

Of the same Iris Venus form anew.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38