Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book IV - XVIII. De Fortunis Hominum (Perry
Cum de fortunis quidam quereretur suis,
Aesopus finxit consolandi hoc gratia.
"Vexata saeuis nauis tempestatibus
inter uectorum lacrimas et mortis metum,
faciem ad serenam ut subito mutatur dies,
ferri secundis tuta coepit flatibus
nimiaque nautas hilaritate extollere.
Factus periclo sic gubernator sophus:
"Parce gaudere oportet et sensim queri,
totam quia uitam miscet dolor et gaudium."
The Pilot and Sailors (trans. C. Smart)
On hearing a poor man lament
His worldly thoughts in discontent,
Esop this tale began to write,
For consolation and delight.
The ship by furious tempests tossed,
The Mariners gave all for lost;
But midst their tears and dread, the scene
Is changed at once, and all serene.
The wind is fair, the vessel speeds,
The Sailors' boisterous joy exceeds:
The Pilot then, by peril wise,
Was prompted to philosophise.
"'Tis right to put a due restraint
On joy, and to retard complaint,
Because alternate hope and fright
Make up our lives of black and white."
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.