Among the gods a general grapple,
And thence a lawsuit, for an apple,
Was turn'd out, bag and baggage, from the sky.
The animal call'd 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 o'er the nations,
And, not without good reason, thought
A goddess, like her mistress, ought
To have some fix'd and certain home,
To which her customers might come;
For now they often search'd in vain.
With due location, it was plain
She might accomplish vastly more,
And more in season than before.
To find, howe'er, the right facilities,
Was harder, then, than now it is;
For then there were no nunneries.
So, Hymen's inn at last assign'd,
Thence lodged the goddess to her mind.
Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 6.20.
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