In superbia il valor.
Valour to pride hath turned; grave holiness
To vile hypocrisy; all gentle ways
To empty forms; sound sense to idle lays;
Pure love to heat; beauty to paint and dress:--
Thanks to you, Poets! you who sing the praise
Of fabled knights, foul fires, lies, nullities;
Not virtue, nor the wrapped sublimities
Of God, as bards were wont in those old days.
How far more wondrous than your phantasies
Are Nature's works, how far more sweet to sing!
Thus taught, the soul falsehood and truth descries.
That tale alone is worth the pondering,
Which hath not smothered history in lies,
And arms the soul against each sinful thing.