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Insignia Poetarum.

Insignia of poets

EMBLEMA CLXXXIV.

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Gentiles clypeos sunt qui in Iovis alite gestant;
Sunt quibus aut serpens, aut leo, signa ferunt.
Dira sed haec vatum fugiant animalia ceras,
Doctaque sustineat stemmata pulcher Olor.
Hic Phoebo sacer[1], & nostrae regionis alumnus:
Rex olim[2], veteres servat adhuc titulos.

Some have a family crest distinguished by the bird of Jove, for others the serpent or the lion provides the sign. But let these dread beasts flee from poets’ images; let the lovely swan support their learned clan. This bird is sacred to Phoebus and is a nursling of my homeland. A king once, it still preserves its ancient titles.

Notes:

1.  ‘sacred to Phoebus’, i.e. to the god of music and poetry (Apollo).

2.  ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).


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