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QUI ALTA CONTEM-
plantur cadere.

Those who contemplate the heights come to grief

Dum Turdos visco, pedica dum fallit Alaudas,
Et iactam [=iacta] altivolam figit harundo gruem
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit ultrix,
Illa mala [=mali] emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacit ante pedes.[1]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

Notes:

1.  See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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