Friday, October 12, 2012

La Gazza Ladra

To Calliope (The True Patroness of all Poetry)

It is a statute in deep wisdom's lore,
That for his lines none should a patron chuse
By wealth and poverty, by less or more,
But who the same is able to peruse:
Nor ought a man his labour dedicate,
Without a true and sensible desert,
To any power of such a mighty state
But such a wise defendress as thou art
Thou great and powerful Muse, then pardon me
That I presume thy maiden cheek to stain
In dedicating such a work to thee,
Sprung from the issue of an idle brain:
I use thee as a woman ought to be,
I consecrate my idle hours to thee.

- Francis Beaumont (1584 – 6 March 1616)
Enea Vico, "The Contest of the Pierides" (1553)

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