Monday, May 29, 2023

Phaedrus: Mons Parturiens

This is the collection of Latin fables that started it all: Phaedrus! You can read more about Phaedrus at Wikipedia.

4.22 Mons Parturiens

Mons parturibat, gemitus immanes ciens,
eratque in terris maxima expectatio.
At ille murem peperit. Hoc scriptum est tibi,
qui, magna cum minaris, extricas nihil.

Here is the poem written out in English prose order to help in reading:

Mons parturibat, 
ciens immanes gemitus,
in terris
erat maxima expectatio.
At ille (mons)
peperit murem. 
Hoc scriptum est tibi,
cum minaris magna,
extricas nihil.

This famous fable is also found in Horace, and it has its own Wikipedia article.

The meter is iambic:

Mons par·turi·bat, gemi·tus im·manes · ciens,
erat·qu~ in ter·ris max·im~ ex·pecta·tio.
At il·le mu·rem pepe·rit. Hoc · script~ est · tibi,
qui, mag·na cum · mina·ris, ex·tricas · nihil.

Here is an illustration from a 1701 edition of Phaedrus:

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Faernus: Vulpes et Uva

This is one of the 100 Aesop's fables in verse by the Renaissance scholar and poet Faernus (Gabriello Faerno). You can read more about Faernus at Wikipedia, and here are all the Faernus poems I have posted at this blog.

19. Vulpes et Uva

Vulpes esuriens   alta de vite   racemos
Pendentes   nulla cum prensare arte valeret,
Nec pedibus tantum   aut agili se tollere saltu,
Re infecta      abscedens,   haec secum,   "Age desine!" dixit,
"Immatura uva est    gustuque insuavis acerbo."
Consuevere homines,   eventu si qua sinistro
Vota cadunt,   iis sese alienos   velle videri.

Here is the poem written out in English prose order to help in reading:

Esuriens vulpes,
cum non valeret 
ulla arte
prensare racemos
pendentes de alta vite,
et non [valeret] tollere se
pedibus tantum
aut agili saltu,
re infecta,
dixit haec secum,
"Age desine!
Uva est 
et insuavis,
gustu acerbo."
Homines consuevere, 
si qua vota cadunt
sinistro eventu, 
sese videri 
alienos iis.

This is a famous Aesop's fable (Perry 15), and it's where we get the phrase "sour grapes," meaning the way a person disparages something that they actually want but cannot get.

The meter is dactylic hexameter (Faernus used a variety of meters).

Vulpes · esuri·ens al·ta de · vite ra·cemos
Penden·tes nul·la cum·prensar~ · arte va·leret,
Nec pedi·bus tant~ · aut agi·li se · tollere · saltu,
R~ infec·t~ absce·dens, haec · sec~ "Age · desine!" · dixit,
"Imma·tur~ uv~ · est gus·tuqu~ in·suavis a·cerbo."
Consue·ver~ homi·nes, e·ventu · si qua si·nistro
Vota ca·dunt, iis·ses~ ali·enos·velle vi·deri.

There are several illustrated editions of Faernus, and here is one of the illustrations for this poem (online at the Internet Archive):

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Desbillons: Bos et Vitula

Hector and I did 3 new fables from the Latin poems of Desbillons (see this post for more info). I already blogged about 2 of them earlier: Asellus et Liber and Auceps, Palumbus, et Serpens, so today's post will be about the third one we did today, which happens to be one of my favorite fables!

III.15 Bos et Vitula

Arantem   Vitula pinguis   adspiciens Bovem,
Eum contempsit prae se,      quae nihil ageret.
Sed   sacrificii mox ut advenit dies,
Bovem reservat   rusticus,   Vitulam immolat.
Quod cum videret, "Heus amica," Bos ait,
"Laboravisse numquam      quid te nunc juvat?"

There are some breaks there to help with the pauses, and here is the poem written out in English prose order to help in reading:

Pinguis Vitula,
adspiciens arantem Bovem,
contempsit eum
prae se
quae ageret nihil.
ut mox
dies sacrificii advenit,
rusticus reservat Bovem,
immolat Vitulam.
Cum Bos videret hoc,
"Heus amica,
numquam laboravisse 
nunc juvat te?"

This is a fable from the classical Aesop, indexed as Perry 300, and you can find English versions and illustrations here. I really like how in Desbillons' version, he has not intruded with a moral at the start or end of the fable and instead lets the  hard-working bull have the last word.

The meter is iambic, and here is some help with the meter (for more about iambic meter, see the post about Desbillons 1.1).

Aran · tem Vitu · la pin · guis ad · spiciens · Bovem,
Eum · contemp · sit prae · se, quae · nihil a · geret.
Sed sa · crifici · i mox · ut ad · venit · dies,
Bovem · reser · vat rus · ticus · Vitul~ im · molat.
Quod cum · vide · ret Heus · ami · ca Bos · ait,
Labo · ravis · se num · quam quid · te nunc · juvat?

I used imgflip and this illustration by Bewick to make a graphic:

Meanwhile, for more Desbillons, here are the other poems I've posted so far here at the blog. :-)