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Qui alta contemplantur cadere.

Those who contemplate the heights come to grief

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit harundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit, ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacet 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.

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Qui hault regarde, peult tumber.

Loiseleur aux latz travaillant,
Au gluz & larc, pour oyseaux prandre,
Estoit contre le ciel veillant:
Si marcha sur le serpent tendre:
Lors tost morsure luy sceut rendre.
Ainsi (larc en hault bande) meurt.
Et tel veult haulx cas entreprandre,
Qui devant soy, a lextreme heurt.

Notes:

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


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