De Idea Platonica quemadmodem
Aristoteles intellexit.

Dicite sacrorum præsides nemorum deæ
Tuque O noveni perbeata numinis
Memoria mater, quæ in immenso procul
Antro recumbis otiosa Æternitas,
Monumenta servans, & ratas leges Jovis, [ 5 ]
Cælique fastos atque ephemeridas Deûm,
Quis ille primus cujus ex imagine
Natura sollers finxit humanum genus,
Æternus, incorruptus, æquævus polo,
Unusque & universus, exemplar Dei? [ 10 ]
Haud ille Palladis gemellus innubæ
Interna proles insidet menti Jovis;
Sed quamlibet natura sit communior,
Tamen seorsùs extat ad morem unius,
Et, mira, certo stringitur spatio loci; [ 15 ]
Seu sempiternus ille syderum comes
Cæli pererrat ordines decemplicis,
Citimúmve terris incolit Lunæ globum:
Sive inter animas corpus adituras sedens
Obliviosas torpet ad Lethes aquas: [ 20 ]
Sive in remotâ forte terraum plagâ
Incedit ingens hominis archetypus gigas,
Et diis tremendus erigit celsum caput
Atlante major poritore syderum.
Non cui profundum cæcitas lumen dedit [ 25 ]
Dircæus augur vidit hunc alto sinu;
Non hunc silenti nocte Plêum;iones nepos
Vatum sagaci præpes ostendit choro;
Non hunc sacerdos novit Assyrius, licet
Longos vetusti commemoret atavos Nini, [ 30 ]
Priscumque Belon, inclytumque Osiridem.
Non ille trino gloriosus nomine
Ter magnus Hermes (ut sit arcani sciens)
Talem reliquit Isidis cultoribus.
At tu perenne ruris Academi decus [ 35 ]
(Hæc monstra si tu primus induxti scholis)
Jam jam pöetas urbis exules tuæ
Revocabis, ipse fabulator maximus,
Aut institutor ipse migrabis foras.

The Platonic Idea as Understood by Aristotle

Declare, O goddesses that guard the sacred groves, and you, O Memory, blessed mother of the ninefold deity, and you, Eternity, who in some vast cave far-off lie stretched at ease, guarding the chronicles and the unalterable laws of Jove, recording the festivals of heaven and the daily life of the gods, declare who is that first being, eternal, incorruptible, coeval with the heavens, one and universal, made in the likeness of God — the being after whose image clever Nature has fashioned the human race. Surely he does not dwell unborn in the mind of Jove, a twin of virgin Pallas. But however general his nature, strange to say, he exists apart as an individual, and is confined to a fixed portion of space. Perchance a comrade of the sempiternal stars he wanders through the ten spheres of heaven, or inhabits the moon, the planet nearest to earth. Perchance by Lethe's waters of oblivion he drowses among the shades that await embodiment; or mayhap in some distant region of the earth this archetype of man walks as a huge giant, raising his head aloft to frighten the gods, larger even than Atlas who bears the stars. The Dircean seer to whom blindness gave profounder insight did not see him in the depths of his vision. Pleione's grandchild did not in the silence of night reveal him to his wise band of prophets. The Assyrian priest, though he could recount the long ancestral line of ancient Ninus, tell of Belus of old time, and of renowned Osiris, knew not this being. Not even thrice-great Hermes, glorious for his threefold name, though skilled in mysteries, left such a prodigy to the worshipers of Isis. But you, the unfading glory of the Academy — if you were the first to introduce such monsters to the schools — surely you will recall the poets exiled from your State, for you are the greatest fabler of them all; or, founder though you be, you must yourself go forth.