- The Faithless Depositary
- The Two Doves
- The Monkey and the Leopard
- The Acorn and the Pumpkin
- The Schoolboy, the Pedant, and the Owner Of A Garden
- The Sculptor and the Statue Of Jupiter
- The Mouse Changed into a Maid
- The Fool who Sold Wisdom
- The Oyster and the Litigants
- The Wolf and the Lean Dog
- The Wax-Candle
- Jupiter and the Passenger
- The Cat and the Fox
- The Husband, the Wife, and the Thief
- Nothing too Much
- The Treasure and the Two Men
- The Monkey and the Cat
- The Kite and the Nightingale
- The Shepherd and his Flock
A block of marble was so fine,
To buy it did a sculptor hasten.
“What shall my chisel, now It’s mine
A god, a table, or a basin?”
“A god,” said he, “the thing shall be;
I’ll arm it, too, with thunder.
Let people quake, and bow the knee
With reverential wonder.”
So well the cunning artist wrought
All things within a mortal’s reach,
That soon the marble wanted nothing
Of being Jupiter, but speech.
Indeed, the man whose skill did make
Had scarcely laid his chisel down,
Before himself began to quake,
And fear his manufacture’s frown.
And even this excess of faith
The poet once scarce fell behind,
The hatred fearing, and the wrath,
Of gods the product of his mind.
This trait we see in infancy
Between the baby and its doll,
Of wax or china, it may be
A pocket stuffed, or folded shawl.
Imagination rules the heart:
And here we find the fountain head
From whence the pagan errors start,
That over the teeming nations spread.
With violent and flaming zeal,
Each takes his own chimera’s part;
Pygmalion does a passion feel
For Venus chiseled by his art.
All men, as far as in them lies,
Create realities of dreams.
To truth our nature proves but ice;
To falsehood, fire it seems.
The Sculptor and the Statue of Jupiter by Jean de La Fontaine Fables – Book 9
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