Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book I - XXVII. Canis et Thesaurus et Vulturius . (Perry
Haec res avaris esse conveniens potest,
et qui, humiles nati, dici locupletes student.
Humana effodiens ossa thesaurum canis
invenit, et, violarat quia Manes deos,
iniecta est illi divitiarum cupiditas,
poenas ut sanctae religioni penderet.
Itaque, aurum dum custodit oblitus cibi,
fame est consumptus. Quem stans vulturius super
fertur locutus 'O canis, merito iaces,
qui concupisti subito regales opes,
trivio conceptus, educatus stercore'.
The Dog, Treasure, and Vulture (trans. C. Smart)
A Dog, while scratching up the ground,
'Mongst human bones a treasure found;
But as his sacrilege was great,
To covet riches was his fate,
And punishment of his offence;
He therefore never stirr'd from thence,
But both in hunger and the cold,
With anxious care he watch'd the gold,
Till wholly negligent of food,
A ling'ring death at length ensued.
Upon his corse a Vulture stood,
And thus descanted :-" It is good,
O Dog, that there thou liest bereaved
Who in the highway wast conceived,
And on a scurvy dunghill bred,
Hadst royal riches in thy head."
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.