<< Home Page | Phaedrus Index

Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus

Book I - IV. Canis per Fluvium Carnem Ferens (Perry 133)

Amittit merito proprium qui alienum adpetit.
Canis, per fluvium carnem cum ferret, natans
lympharum in speculo vidit simulacrum suum,
aliamque praedam ab altero ferri putans
eripere voluit; verum decepta aviditas
et quem tenebat ore dimisit cibum,
nec quem petebat adeo potuit tangere.

The Dog in the River (trans. C. Smart)

The churl that wants another's fare
Deserves at least to lose his share.
As through the stream a Dog convey'd
A piece of meat, he spied his shade
In the clear mirror of the flood,
And thinking it was flesh and blood,
Snapp'd to deprive him of the treat:-
But mark the glutton's self-defeat,
Miss'd both another's and his own,
Both shade and substance, beef and bone.

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.