Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book IV - III. De Vulpe et Vua (Perry
Fame coacta uulpes alta in uinea
uuam adpetebat, summis saliens uiribus.
Quam tangere ut non potuit, discedens ait:
"Nondum matura es; nolo acerbam sumere."
Qui, facere quae non possunt, uerbis eleuant,
adscribere hoc debebunt exemplum sibi.
The Fox and the Grapes (trans. C. Smart)
An hungry Fox with fierce attack
Sprang on a Vine, but tumbled back,
Nor could attain the point in view,
So near the sky the bunches grew.
As he went off, "They're scurvy stuff,"
Says he, "and not half ripe enough--
And I 've more rev'rence for my tripes
Than to torment them with the gripes."
For those this tale is very pat
Who lessen what they can't come at.
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.