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Fruitfulness bringing its own destruction

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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,
Infoelix 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.


1.Textual variant: foecunditatem.

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

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