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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 184

The insignia of the poets

There are some who bear family shields with the bird of Jupiter; there some whose signs bear a serpent or a lion. But let these dreadful creatures flee the tablets of the poets, and let the graceful swan sustain the learned family tree. The swan is sacred to Phoebus and brought up in our region: once a king, it has kept its ancient titles until now.