When Poets gave their God in Creete a Birth


Jupiter and the Farmer. A Fable.

Primary Text:

MS: Folger, 285-6* (there is a section of 6 lines which are only lightly crossed out but which nonetheless do not appear in 1713 text; they point to people who grabbed sequestered property as treacherous or bribed, and were themselves dupes).

Here they are:

Folger MS, p 285: crossed out:


For much the Treasury wanted a supply
By Danae's wealthy showed exhausted quite and dry]

(Nor cou'd that Bank suffice, till forfeet Lands
Of quell'd Briarius with the hundred hands
And large demeans from hostile Gyants gain'd
To golden drops dissolv'd, on her loose bosome rain'd
Whilst treason had at last this kind event
To furnish sums a Mistress to content)


La Fontaine, " "Jupiter et le Metayer," VI, 4, 156-7 (a paraphrase into colloquial prose from La Fontaine also exists in 1692 L'Estrange, Aesop's Fables, "Jupiter and a Farmer," Pt 1, No. 435.

Secondary Ed:

1713 Misc, 49-51; rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 165-6; rpt of 1903 Reynolds: 1930 Fausset, 75-6; 1987 Thompson, 64.


In original Folger version an imitation which includes an ironic praise of treason and some exquisite natural landscape description of her own. With the pointed set of lines, this is a political poem.
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Page Last Updated 8 January 2003