TO M. DE MAUCROIX2
Because the arts are plainly birthright matters,
For fables we to ancient Greece are debtors;
But still this field could not be reaped so clean
As not to let us, later comers, glean.
The fiction-world hath deserts yet to dare,
And, daily, authors make discoveries there.
I'd fain repeat one which our man of song,
Old Malherbe, told one day to young Racan.3
Of Horace they the rivals and the heirs,
Apollo's pets, — my masters. I should say, —
Sole by themselves were met, I 'm told, one day,
Confiding each to each their thoughts and cares.
Racan begins : • Pray end my inward strife,
For well you know, my friend, what 's what in life,