The long awaited translation of La Fontaine's fables by Marianne Moore is here to attract the lovers of both poets. Miss Moore's impeccable scholarship in translation is impressive. As she says in her sparkling introduction, she cannot bear inaccuracy -- the eight years in which she has weighed her words attest to that. She has sought to maintain not only the meaning but also the rhythm and even, where possible, the rhymes of La Fontaine's lines. These severe restrictions on spontaneity sometimes weight the lines. The poems themselves, all 241, are here, with La Fontaine's own comments on the ways of his fable ancestor Aesop, and words to the Dauphin and other recipients of his labors. In ministering for a delightful predecessor of wily, penetrating wit, Miss Moore, high poetic priestess that she is, infuses the fables with the complex and concentrated flavor of her own style and candid humanism. Yet she is entirely faithful to La Fontaine, and in her moments of effacement we come to admire Miss Moore more than ever.