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Fer simile ex Theocrito.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

XC.

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit Amorem
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit
In digitis: tumido gemit at puer anxius ungue,
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem
Indicat, & graviter queritur, qud apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, “You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound”.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [N5r p201]

Schier auff die vorgeend fabel.

XC.

Wie Cupido hoeng fladen stal,
Ein pin hart in die hand in stach,
Seinr mueter klagt er den unfal,
Und wie das sey ein seltzam sach,
Das di klain thier so gro layd mach:
Sagt Venus mit lachendem mund,
Lieber sun, deiner klaynheyt nach
Machst du die leut vil schwerer wund.

Notes:

1. 3rd-century BC bucolic poet, who may or may not have wrriten the Idylls (19, The Honey Stealer), of which this is a fairly close translation, in dactylic hexameters, as in the Greek original.


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QUI ALTA CONTEMPLAN-
tur 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 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.

Notes:

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


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