Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book V - VIII. Tempus (Perry 530)
Cursu uolucri, pendens in nouacula,
caluus, comosa fronte, nudo corpore,
quem si occuparis, teneas, elapsum semel
non ipse possit Iuppiter reprehendere,
occasionem rerum significat breuem.
Effectus impediret ne segnis mora,
finxere antiqui talem effigiem Temporis.
Opportunity (trans. C. Smart)
Bald, naked, of a human shape,
With fleet wings ready to escape,
Upon a razor's edge his toes,
And lock that on his forehead grows-
Him hold, when seized, for goodness' sake
For Jove himself cannot retake
The fugitive when once he's gone.
The picture that we here have drawn
Is Opportunity so brief.-
The ancients, in a bas-relief,
Thus made an effigy of Time,
That every one might use their prime;
Nor e'er impede, by dull delay,
Th' effectual business of to-day.
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.