by Jean de La Fontaine
PAINTER in Paphos and Cythera famed
Depict, I pray, the absent Iris' face.
Thou hast not seen the lovely nymph I've named;
The better for thy peace.--Then will I trace
For thy instruction her transcendent grace.
Begin with lily white and blushing rose,
Take then the Loves and Graces... But what good
Words, idle words? for Beauty's Goddess could
By Iris be replaced, nor one suppose
The secret fraud--their grace so equal shows.
Thou at Cythera couldst, at Paphos too,
Of the same Iris Venus form anew.
Last updated May 02, 2015