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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 7 months ago


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Rana Crepans


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 376.


Exaequare Bovem, quem corpore vidit opimo,

Rana volens tali rem ratione gerit:

Incipit in rugas contractam tendere pellem

Illa suam, tauro par ita, dixit, ero.

Sic inflaret ubi iam sese, quaerit an aequet

Paene Bovem, soboles, fallere mater, ait.

Nondum aequata tibi Tauri quia maxima moles,

A qua te multum res sat abesse probat.

Rana tenax coepti tunc se vehementius inflat,

Iamque Bovem num sit paene secuta, rogat.

Unus ibi, quamvis mea te matercula rumpas,

Non tamen hunc aeques corpore, pullus ait.

Qui magis, ac valeant, excellere forte laborent.

Stulta sequi Ranae facta crepantis amant.


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


Rana vidit Bovem corpore opimo;

volens exaequare Bovem

gerit rem tali ratione:

illa incipit tendere suam pellem contractam in rugas;

dixit: "Ita ero par Tauro."

Ubi sic iam inflaret sese,

quaerit an paene aequet Bovem;

soboles ait: "Mater, fallere.

Nondum tibi maxima moles Tauri aequata est,

quia res sat probat

te multum abesse ab hac.

Rana tenax coepti

tunc inflat se vehementius,

et rogat num iam paene secuta sit Bovem.

Ibi unus pullus ait:

"Matercula mea, quamvis rumpas te,

non tamen aeques hunc Taurum corpore."

Qui laborent excellere forte magis ac valeant

amant sequi stulta facta crepantis Ranae.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Exae~quare Bo~vem, quem ~ corpore ~ vidit o~pimo,

Rana vo~lens ta~li = rem rati~one ge~rit:

Incipit ~ in ru~gas con~tractam ~ tendere ~ pellem

Illa su~am, tau~ro = par ita, ~ dixit, e~ro.

Sic in~flaret u~bi iam ~ sese, ~ quaerit an ~ aequet

Paene Bo~vem, sobo~les, = fallere ~ mater, a~it.

Nond(um) ae~quata ti~bi Tau~ri quia ~ maxima ~ moles,

A qua ~ te mul~tum = res sat ab~esse pro~bat.

Rana te~nax coep~ti tunc ~ se vehe~mentius ~ inflat,

Iamque Bo~vem num ~ sit = paene se~cuta, ro~gat.

Unus i~bi, quam~vis mea ~ te ma~tercula ~ rumpas,

Non tamen ~ hunc ae~ques = corpore, ~ pullus a~it.

Qui magis, ~ ac vale~ant, ex~cellere ~ forte la~borent.

Stulta se~qui Ra~nae = facta cre~pantis a~mant.




A Frog saw an Ox, with his corpulent physique. Wanting to equal the Ox, she did it using this strategy: she started to exend her wrinkled-up skin. "This way," she said, "I'll be equal to the Bull." When she thus had started to puff herself up, she asked whether she was almost equal to the Ox; her child said: "Mother, you are mistaken. You haven't equalled the huge bulk of the Bull yet; the fact is that the situation shows quite clearly that you are far from it." The Frog, sticking to what she started, then puffed herself up even more, and asked if she now had almost caught up with the Ox. Then one baby said: "Mommy, even if you were to burst yourself open, you still would not equal that Bull's body." Those who would struggle to exceed by force beyond their abilities love to follow the foolish actions of the exploding Frog.


[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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