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Poëtica ad Dionysium Lambinum.[1]

Poetry to Denys Lambin

Quidvis cùm recitem, consecter seria, ludos:
Nil est tamen proprium, imitor sed omnia.
Et veris soleo ficta, his miscere vicissim
Vera, ut queam pulchra esse serio, & iocis.
Nec, quod proposui, narro ordine, verba, figurae
Sunt liberae nobis magis, quàm caeteris.
Non mihi materia, aut pannus, deest unica forma,
Vestisque singularis, induor tamen.
Ars sed enim maior variae aptam nectere vestem:
Videor iners, sed artificiosissima.
Non mea sum, fingor, caelestis spiritus intus
Agit, nec omni quod velim sum tempore.

Although I rehearse whatever you please, pursue serious and playful things, yet nothing is my own, but I imitate everything. I am accustomed to mix fiction with truth and truth with fiction, so that I can be beautiful through serious matters and jokes. Nor do I tell what have planned with order; I have freer words and figures than others. I do not have a subject matter or a cloth, a unique form and a special dress are lacking, but still I am clothed. For it is a very big craft to weave a suitable dress for a variable person: I seem craftless, but I am extremely accomplished. I am not my own property, I am devised, a heavenly spirit inside drives me, and I am not each moment what I would wish.


1.  Denis Lambin: humanist, editor of Classical texts in Paris (d. 1572).

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