Gargantua and Pantagruel

The First Book.

To the Honoured, Noble Translator of Rabelais.

Rabelais, whose wit prodigiously was made, All men, professions, actions to invade, With so much furious vigour, as if it Had lived o’er each of them, and each had quit, Yet with such happy sleight and careless skill, As, like the serpent, doth with laughter kill, So that although his noble leaves appear Antic and Gottish, and dull souls forbear To turn them o’er, lest they should only find Nothing but savage monsters of a mind,— No shapen beauteous thoughts; yet when the wise Seriously strip him of his wild disguise, Melt down his dross, refine his massy ore, And polish that which seem’d rough-cast before, Search his deep sense, unveil his hidden mirth, And make that fiery which before seem’d earth (Conquering those things of highest consequence, What’s difficult of language or of sense),

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