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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F7v 94]

In fertilitatem[1] sibi ipsi damnosam.

Fruitfulness bringing its own destruction

XXXIX.

Ludibrium pueris lapides iacientibus, hoc me
In trivio posuit rustica cura nucem.
Quae laceris ramis perstrictoque ardua libro,
Certatim fundis per latus omne petor.
Quid sterili posset contingere turpius? eheu,
Infelix fructus in mea damna fero.[2]

A countryman’s care placed me, a nut tree, at this cross-roads, where I am the butt of stone-throwing boys. I have grown tall, but my branches are broken, my bark bruised, I am attacked with sling-stones, competing on every side. What worse fate could befall a barren tree? Alas, cursed tree that I am, I bear fruit to my own destruction.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F8r p95]

Fruchbarkeyt yer selbs schedlich.

XXXIX.

Wie ste ich Nußbaum hye so kalt
Mit steck unnd stainn von allen plagt,
Fur wolthat gschicht mier schmach und gwalt,
Nicht ist an mier das sich nit klagt:
Ein baum der gantz kayn frucht nit tragt
Stet unverletzt in freyen veld,
Sih wie im mancher layd erjagt,
Der nutzt und frumbt der gantzen welt.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: ‘foecunditatem’.

2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.3, see also Aesop, Fables 152.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F6v p92]

Tandem tandem iustitia obtinet.

At long last justice wins the day

XXXVIII.

Aeacidae Hectoreo perfusum sanguine scutum,
Quod Graecorum Ithaco concio iniqua dedit.
Iustior arripuit Neptunus in aequora iactum
Naufragio, ut dominum posset adire suum:
Littoreo Aiacis tumulo namque intulit unda:
Quae boat, & tali voce sepulchra ferit.
Vicisti Telamoniade tu dignior armis,
Affectus fas est cedere iustitiae.[1]

The shield of Aeacus’ descendant, stained with Hector’s blood, the unjust assembly of the Greeks awarded to the Ithacan. Neptune, showing more respect for equity, seized upon it when it was cast into the sea in the shipwreck, so that it could go to its proper master. For the wave carried it to Ajax’s tomb upon the shore, the wave which booms and smites the sepulchre with these words: ‘Son of Telamon, you have conquered. You are more worthy of these arms’. It is right for partiality to yield to justice.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F7r p93]

Gerechtigkeyt sigt doch zu letsten.

XXXVIII.

Die Griechen des Achillis schilt
Dem Ajax namen wider recht,
Neptunus sagt, wie ist das gspilt?
Lont man also dem gueten knecht?
Drumb in des Ajax grab er schlecht
Den schilt durch gwalt des mers, das schreyt,
O Ajax, dier gschach groß unrecht,
Doch finndt sich dwarheyt mit der zeit.

Notes:

1.  This is a version of Anthologia graeca 9.115-6. See Homer, Odyssey 11.541ff. for the contest for ownership of the divine armour of the dead Achilles (i.e. Aeacus’ descendant), who had earlier killed Hector. The Greek assembly awarded the armour to smooth Odysseus (the Ithacan) rather than to brave Ajax (son of Telamon), and, according to later tradition, Ajax became mad with fury and humiliation. Returning to sanity he committed suicide in shame. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.1.ff; and [A50a175]. Ajax was buried on a promontory near Rhoeteion, not far from Troy.


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