Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Boothby: Juno and the Peacock

A Peacock once upbraided heaven,
Who, little favouring, had not given
To him the nightingale's sweet note:
"Whene'er," he says, "I stretch my throat,
All laugh, but stand enchanted round
To listen to his charming sound."
"To thee," says Juno in reply,
(Her favourite bird to satisfy,)
"Nature has grace and colour lent,
Enough the vainest to content;
A neck that with the emerald vies;
A train thick gemm'd with golden eyes."
"Without a voice, ah! what avail,"
He says, "the crest or gaudy tail!"
"To each," the Goddess answers, "Fate
Has given what best becomes his state;
Strength to the Eagle, form to thee,
To Philomel sweet melody,
To the wise Raven times to know,
And divination to the Crow;
Each with his lot contented lives,
Nor asks for more than nature gives."
Learn to enjoy the goods possess't;
And leave unenvied all the rest.

Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 3.17.
Pavo et Iuno

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