BOOK II. AGAINST THE HARD TO SUIT.* Were I a pet of fair Calliope, I would devote the gifts conferred on me To dress in verse old ^sop's lies divine ; For verse, and they, and truth, do well combine ; But, not a favourite on the Muses' hill, I dare not arrogate the magic skill To ornament these charming stories. A bard might brighten up their glories, No doubt. I try, — what one more wise must do. Thus much I have accomplished hitherto : By help of my translation. The beasts hold conversation, In French, as ne'er they did before. Indeed, to claim a little more, The plants and trees,^ with smiling features, Are turned by me to talking creatures. Who says that this is not enchanting? 'Ah,' say the critics, •• hear what vaunting.
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