Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anonymous Elegy to the Reader – Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Gentle reader, hear Poliphilo tells his dreams,
Dreams sent by the highest heaven.
You will not waste your labour, nor will listening irk you,
For this wonderful work abounds in so many things.
If, grave and dour, you despise love stories,
Know, I pray, that things are well ordered herein.
You refuse? But at least style, with its novel language,
Grave discourse and wisdom, commands attention.
If you refuse this, too, note the geometry,
The ancient things expressed in Nilotic signs...
Here you will see the perfect palaces of kings,
The worship of nymphs, fountains and rich banquets.
The guards dance, dressed in motley and the whole
Of human life is expressed in dark labyrinths.
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