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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Captivus ob gulam.

Caught by greed

Regnator penus, & mensae corrosor[1] herilis
Ostrea mus summis vidit hiulca labris.
Queis teneram apponens barbam falsa ossa momordit,
Illa recluserunt[2] tacta repentč domum.
Deprensum & tetro tenuerunt carcere furem,
Semet in obscurum qui dederat tumulum.[3]

A mouse, king of the pantry, nibbler at the master’s table, saw oysters with their shells just slightly open. Applying his sensitive whiskers, he nibbled the deceptive bone. The oysters, when touched, suddenly slammed shut their house and held the thief, caught red-handed, in a noisome prison, a thief who had put himself into a lightless tomb.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M6r p187]

Prins pour la gueule.

Une huitre en son escaille estant,
Entreouverte (comme il advient)
Fut ung jour la souris sentant,
Qui pour sa chair ronger survient.
Lors de sestraindre luy souvient.
La souris est au groing surprise.
Tel chastoy aux gloutons convient,
Qui tousjours font chatte entreprise.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: Regnatorque penus, mensaeque arrosor.

2.  Textual variant: Ast ea clauserunt.

3.  This poem is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.86.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M2v p180]

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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3r p181]

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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