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(Recueil 1, Livre 6, Fable 20)



The goddess Discord, having made, on high,

Among the gods a general grapple,

And thence a lawsuit, for an apple,

Was turned out, bag and baggage, from the sky.

The animal called man, with open arms,

Received the goddess of such naughty charms,

Herself and Whether or no, her brother,

With Thine-and-mine, her stingy mother.

In this, the lower universe,

Our hemisphere she chose to curse:

For reasons good she did not please

To visit our antipodes

Folks rude and savage like the beasts,

Who, wedding free from forms and priests,

In simple tent or leafy bower,

Make little work for such a power.

That she might know exactly where

Her direful aid was in demand,

Renown flew courier through the land,

Reporting each dispute with care;

Then she, outrunning Peace, was quickly there;

And if she found a spark of ire,

Was sure to blow it to a fire.

At length, Renown got out of patience

At random hurrying over the nations,

And, not without good reason, thought

A goddess, like her mistress, ought

To have some fixed and certain home,

To which her customers might come;

For now they often searched in vain.

With due location, it was plain

She might accomplish vastly more,

And more in season than before.

To find, however, the right facilities,

Was harder, then, than now it is;

For then there were no nunneries.

So, Hymen's inn at last assigned,

Thence lodged the goddess to her mind.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 6, Fable 20



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