A man may worship this god or that, as he pleases;
devotion to this one or another, one may pursue;
but the one who seeks not Vesta to please
is not a man but a beast.
Who stumbles into the grove of the Furies may recover;
who sullies the altar of Jupiter may repair;
but the one who harms the temple of Vesta
is reduced to the state of a beast.
To lay hands on a priest of Juno is grave;
it is folly to cross the king of the grove;
but those who desecrate a Vestal Virgin
will be hunted like the beast.
The nation that does not know Zeus may prosper;
the gods may to the godless peoples provide;
but the folk who do not kneel before the Hearth
will vanish like herds of beasts.
I sing of arts and of the plan,
the multiversal man,
polytropic poetic form
condensed to flesh and gorm,
the hero of twists on twists,
who fate itself resists.
O music Spirit, my thought inspire
with vivid vision ever higher,
to put in word upon the page
the heart and soul of king and sage.
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