Friday, 30 November 2018

The Two Friends - Jean de La Fontaine

  Axiochus, a handsome youth of old,
And Alcibiades, (both gay and bold,)
So well agreed, they kept a beauteous belle,
With whom by turns they equally would dwell.

  It happened, one of them so nicely played,
The fav’rite lass produced a little maid,
Which both extolled, and each his own believed,
Though doubtless one or t’other was deceived.

  But when to riper years the bantling grew,
And sought her mother’s foot-steps to pursue,
Each friend desired to be her chosen swain,
And neither would a parent’s name retain.

  Said one, why brother, she’s your very shade;
The features are the same:—your looks pervade.
Oh no, the other cried, it cannot be:
Her chin, mouth, nose, and eyes, with yours agree;
But that as ’twill, let me her favours win,
And for the pleasure I will risk the sin.

Jean de La Fontaine (1621–1695) France
Translated by  Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen
Source: Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse, edited by Thomas Robert Smith. Boni and Liveright, 1921–22

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