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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n2r p195]

Cuculi.

Cuckoos

XIX.

Ruricolas agreste genus plerique cuculos
Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita causa fuit?[1]
Vere novo cantat Coccyx, quo tempore vites
Qui non absolvit iure notatur iners.
Fert ova in nidos alienos, qualiter ille
Cui thalamum prodit uxor adulterio.

Whatever explanation has been given for the custom of calling country-dwellers, that rustic race, ‘cuckoos’? - When spring is new, the cuckoo calls, and anyone who has not pruned his vines by this time is rightly blamed for being idle. The cuckoo desposits its eggs in other birds’ nests, like the man on whose account a wife betrays her marriage bed in adultery.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6v f57v]

    EMBLEMA LXXXVIII.

    Cuculi.

    Cuckoos

    Ruricolas agreste genus plerique Cucullos
    Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita causa fuit?[1]
    Vere novo cantat coccyx quo tempore vites
    Qui non absolvit, iure notatur[2] iners.
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I7r f58r]Fert ova in nidos alienos, qualiter ille
    Cui thalamum prodit uxor adulterio.

    Whatever explanation has been given for the custom of calling country-dwellers, that rustic race, ‘cuckoos’? - When spring is new, the cuckoo calls, and anyone who has not pruned his vines by this time is rightly blamed for being idle. The cuckoo desposits its eggs in other birds’ nests, like the man on whose account a wife betrays her marriage bed in adultery.

    Das LXXXVIII.

    Geuch

    Sag mir was ist die ursach gschwind
    Das man in dörffern das grob gsind
    Gemeinglich jeder nennen thut gauch
    Und was da sey die bdeutnuß auch?
    Im Frühling hebt zuschreyen an
    Der Gutzgauch, so thut man dann gan
    In dWeingart welcher dann nit werckt
    Für schendtlich faul er wirt gemerckt
    In ein frembd Nest legt er seyn Eyr
    Dem ist gleich der eim andern Meyr
    Sein Weib beschlafft und mit ir bricht
    Die Ehe heimlich das niemand sicht.

    Notes:

    1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.

    2.  In other editions: ‘vocatur’.


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