Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book I - XIII. Vulpis et Corvus (Perry
Quae se laudari gaudent verbis subdolis,
serae dant poenas turpi paenitentia.
Cum de fenestra corvus raptum caseum
comesse vellet, celsa residens arbore,
vulpes invidit, deinde sic coepit loqui:
'O qui tuarum, corve, pinnarum est nitor!
Quantum decoris corpore et vultu geris!
Si vocem haberes, nulla prior ales foret'.
At ille, dum etiam vocem vult ostendere,
lato ore emisit caseum; quem celeriter
dolosa vulpes avidis rapuit dentibus.
Tum demum ingemuit corvi deceptus stupor.
The Fox and the Crow (trans. C. Smart)
His folly in repentance ends,
Who, to a flatt'ring knave attends.
A Crow, her hanger to appease,
Had from a window stolen some cheese,
And sitting on a lofty pine
In state, was just about to dine.
This, when a Fox observed below,
He thus harangued the foolish Crow:
" Lady, how beauteous to the view
Those glossy plumes of sable hue!
Thy features how divinely fair!
With what a shape, and what an air!
Could you but frame your voice to sing,
You'd have no rival on the wing.'
But she, now willing to display
Her talents in the vocal way,
Let go the cheese of luscious taste,
Which Renard seized with greedy haste.
The grudging dupe now sees at last
That for her folly she must fast.
Latin text from Phaedrus at The
Latin Library (Ad Fontes), English translations from The
Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse by Christopher Smart
(London: 1913). Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb),
contains the Latin texts of Phaedrus, with a facing English translation, along
with a valuable appendix listing all the Aesop's fables attested in Greek and/or
in Latin. Invaluable.