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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 14 years, 7 months ago


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Mus et Rana


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 384.


Rana ferox agili bellum cum Mure gerebat,

Vincendi studio saevus uterque fuit.

Mus parit insidiis animosam vincere Ranam,

At quae non vinci viribus usa potest.

Saevit uterque suum sic dum securus in hostem,

Quo nihil excepto posse nocere putat:

Improvisus adest, rapideque hos Milvius aufert,

Atque cibum rostro dilaniante facit.

Non scelerata diu poenas audacia vitat,

Quas solet illa graves, auspice ferre Deo.

Lite movent stulti dum bella domestica cives,

Hinc externus opem, qua valet hostis, habet.


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


Rana ferox gerebat bellum cum agili Mure;

uterque fuit saevus studio vincendi.

Mus parit vincere animosam Ranam insidiis,

at Rana usa viribus non potest vinci.

Dum uterque sic saevit securus in suum hostem

(uterque putat nihil posse nocere, hoste excepto),

improvisus Milvius adest et rapide aufert hos

atque facit cibum rostro dilaniante.

Non diu scelerata audacia vitat poenas;

Deo auspice, audacia solet ferre poenas graves.

Dum stulti cives lite movent domestica bella

hinc externus hostis habet opem, qua valet.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Rana fe~rox agi~li bel~lum cum ~ Mure ge~rebat,

Vincen~di studi~o = saevus u~terque fu~it.

Mus parit ~ insidi~is ani~mosam ~ vincere ~ Ranam,

At quae ~ non vin~ci = viribus ~ usa po~test.

Saevit u~terque su~um sic ~ dum se~curus in ~ hostem,

Quo nihil ~ excep~to = posse no~cere pu~tat:

Impro~visus a~dest, rapi~dequ(e) hos ~ Milvius ~ aufert,

Atque ci~bum ros~tro = dilani~ante fa~cit.

Non scele~rata di~u poe~nas au~dacia ~ vitat,

Quas solet ~ illa gra~ves, = auspice ~ ferre De~o.

Lite mo~vent stul~ti dum ~ bella do~mestica ~ cives,

Hinc ex~ternus o~pem, = qua valet ~ hostis, ha~bet.




The savage Frog was waging war with the nimble Mouse; both of them were fiercely zealous for victory. The Mouse planned to defeat the brave Frog with deception, but the Frog, relying on its strength, could not be conquered. While both of them thus were raging confidently against their enemy, both thinking that nothing could harm them except for their enemy, unexpectedly a Kite showed up and swiftly carried them off and rendered them into food with its tearing beak. Not for long does criminal boldness escape punishment; with God's supervision, boldness usually suffers serious punishment. While foolish citizens with their quarrelling cause civil wars, an external enemy thus has the means which gives him the advantage.


[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]




Here is an illustration from the 1575 edition; click on the image for a larger view.


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