Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book IV - XX. Serpens Misericordi Nociua (Perry
Qui fert malis auxilium, post tempus dolet.
Gelu rigentem quidam colubram sustulit
sinuque fouit, contra se ipse misericors;
namque, ut refecta est, necuit hominem protinus.
Hanc alia cum rogaret causam facinoris,
respondit: "Ne quis discat prodesse improbis."
The Man and the Adder (trans. C. Smart)
He, that malicious men relieves,
His folly in a season grieves.
A Man, against himself humane,
Took up an Adder, that had lain
And stiffen'd in the frosty air,
And in his bosom placed with care,
Where she with speed recovering breath,
Her benefactor stung to death.
Another Adder near the place,
On asking why she was so base,
Was told, " 'Tis others to dissuade
From giving wickedness their aid."
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.