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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E2v]

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P5r p233]

Armoiries des Poëtes.

En leurs escuz aulcuns portent grandz bestes
Aigles, Lyons, Serpens, Mais des Poëtes
Les armes, n’hont de telz animaulx signe.
Mais en ung champ coeleste, le blanc cygne.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [PP5v p234] Oyseau Phoebus, & à nous domesticque
Roy fut,[1] & garde encor’ son tiltre antique.

Le cygne fut jadis Roy: frere de Phaëton,
Oyseau fluvial, chantant tresdoulcement, &
de tresgrande blancheur, consacré à Phoe-
bus
Prince des Muses, & des Poëtes: Les-
quelz le portent en leurs enseignes: car ilz
sont de laurier coronnéz comme Roys: usent
de telle liberté à escripre, que les Roys, à
faire: font les guerres par carmes, comme
les Roys par armes. aiment les rivieres &
lieux plaisans, sont purs, & candides: & chantent tres-
doulcement en leurs vers bien sonnans.

Notes:

1.  ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).


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