This article concerns the potential of figurative meaning in heroic poems as well as the links between epic mimesis and allegorical interpretation. It also deals with an early modern idea of a literary masterpiece and its standards. As an outstanding work, a poem should be attractive for both trained and less advanced readers, those who are capable to grasp intellectually each level of the text, and those who simply want to enjoy poetry as a source of pleasure and otium. The analysis of Alegoria del poema by Torquato Tasso and De perfecta poesi by Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski proves that in the early modern period the idea of figurative meaning of epic poems was still widely recognized. This multidimensional semantic structure, conceptualized by writers and critics, combines both didactic and the ‘pleasure-giving’ aspect of a poem as well as makes the epic plot a vivid actualization of moral beauty, and thus influences a reader in a long-lasting way typical of poetry and art. An allegorical interpretation, built over a structure of a heroic fable, unites the sensual beauty of things with an intellectual experience of the great order of the world. It also adds universal qualities to the mimesis of a poem and opens it up to a cognitive and ethical perspective. The process of intense reading, although described in academic terms in Renaissance and Baroque literary criticism, is initiated in a reader’s mind, as (s)he gets exposed to poetic beauty by the very nature of poesis perfecta.