(Recueil 3, Livre 12, Fable 14)
Love bears a world of mystery
His arrows, quiver, torch, and infancy:
It's not a trifling work to sound
A sea of science so profound:
And, hence, explain it all today
Is not my aim; but, in my simple way,
To show how that blind archer lad
(And he a god!) came by the loss of sight,
And eke what consequence the evil had,
Or good, perhaps, if named aright
A point I leave the lover to decide,
As fittest judge, who has the matter tried.
Together on a certain day,
Said Love and Folly were at play:
The former yet enjoyed his eyes.
Dispute arose. Love thought it wise
Before the council of the gods to go,
Where both of them by birth held stations;
But Folly, in her lack of patience,
Dealt on his forehead such a blow
As sealed his orbs to all the light of heaven.
Now Venus claimed that vengeance should be given.
And by what force of tears yourselves may guess
The woman and the mother sought redress.
The gods were deafened with her cries
Jove, Nemesis, the stern assize
Of Orcus, all the gods, in short,
From whom she might the boon extort.
The enormous wrong she well portrayed
Her son a wretched groper made,
An ugly staff his steps to aid!
For such a crime, it would appear,
No punishment could be severe:
The damage, too, must be repaired.
The case maturely weighed and cast,
The public weal with private squared:
Poor Folly was condemned at last,
By judgment of the court above,
To serve for aye as guide to Love.
Jean de La Fontaine