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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 10 months ago


HOME | Osius: Previous Page - Next Page


Leo et Vulpes


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 142.


Prae senio vires iam defecere Leonem,

Non poterat solito more parare cibum.

Sustentare tamen qua se queat, invenit artem,

Viribus exhaustis calliditate valet.

Ille gravem simulans morbum decumbit in antro,

Triste malum gestu signa ferentis erant.

His adducta dolis animalia cetera visunt,

Sed quae crudeli more prehensa necat.

Est absumpta fero sic bestia multa Leoni,

Robore quem fraus hoc destituente iuvat.

Tandem immane sagax Vulpecula venit ad antrum,

Protinus haec dubitans substitit ante specum.

Qua cessante Leo sit quaenam causa morandi

Quaerit, et ad sese blandus adire monet.

At Vulpes, suspecta moram vestigia causant,

Introrsum spectant illa frequenter, ait.

Qui sapit ille sibi cavet ante pericula, nec non

Signa mali fuerint obvia siqua notat.

Declinare graves sollers prudentia casus

Novit, et in magnis cautior esse malis.


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


Vires iam defecere Leonem,

prae senio;

non poterat parare cibum

solito more.

Invenit tamen artem

qua queat sustentare se.

Viribus exhaustis,

calliditate valet.

Ille simulans gravem morbum

decumbit in antro;

gestu signa erant

ferentis triste malum.

Cetera animalia

adducta his dolis visunt,

sed necat animalia

quae crudeli more prehensa sunt.

Sic bestia multa

absumpta est

fero Leoni;

hoc robore destituente,

fraus iuvat Leonem.

Tandem Vulpecula, immane sagax,

venit ad antrum,

protinus dubitans haec,

substitit ante specum.

Vulpecula cessante,

Leo quaerit

quae nam sit causa morandi

et blandus monet Vulpem adire ad sese.

At suspecta Vulpes ait:

"Vestigia causant moram:

illa spectant introrsum frequenter."

Ille qui sapit

sibi cavet ante pericula,

nec non notat signa mali siqua fuerint obvia.

Sollers prudentia novit declinare graves casus

et esse cautior in magnis malis.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Prae seni~o vi~res iam ~ defe~cere Le~onem,

Non pote~rat soli~to = more pa~rare ci~bum.

Susten~tare ta~men qua ~ se queat, ~ invenit ~ artem,

Viribus ~ exhaus~tis = callidi~tate va~let.

Ille gra~vem simu~lans mor~bum de~cumbit in ~ antro,

Triste ma~lum ges~tu = signa fe~rentis e~rant.

His ad~ducta do~lis ani~malia ~ cetera ~ visunt,

Sed quae ~ crude~li = more pre~hensa ne~cat.

Est ab~sumpta fe~ro sic ~ bestia ~ multa Le~oni,

Robore ~ quem fraus ~ hoc = destitu~ente iu~vat.

Tand(em) im~mane sa~gax Vul~pecula ~ venit ad ~ antrum,

Protinus ~ haec dubi~tans = substitit ~ ante spe~cum.

Qua ces~sante Le~o sit quae~nam cau~sa mo~randi

Quaerit, et ~ ad se~se = blandus a~dire mo~net.

At Vul~pes, sus~pecta mo~ram ves~tigia ~ causant,

Intror~sum spec~tant = illa fre~quenter, a~it.

Qui sapit ~ ille si~bi cavet ~ ante pe~ricula, ~ nec non

Signa ma~li fue~rint = obvia ~ siqua no~tat.

Decli~nare gra~ves sol~lers pru~dentia ~ casus

Novit, et ~ in mag~nis = cautior ~ esse ma~lis.




Stength had now deserted the Lion, on account of his old age; he was not able to obtain food for himself the usual way - but he found a way that he could use to take care of himself. His strength was worn out, but he prevailed by craftiness. Pretending to be seriously ill, he lay down in a cave; with a gesture, he gave signs of someone suffering a grievous malady. The other animals, lured by these tricks, came to visit him, but he killed the animals which he caught in his cruel way. Thus many animals were eaten by the wild Lion; his strength had left him, but trickery help the Lion. At last the Fox, who was enormously intelligent, came to the cave, and immediately mistrustful of the situation, she stood in front of the cavern. As the Fox hesitated, the Lion asked what was the cause of her delay and sweetly he urged the Fox to approach him. But the suspicious Fox said: "The footprints are making me delay: there are more footsteps facing inwards." The person who is wise warns himself of dangers beforehand, and does not fail to see the signs of evil if they are obvious in any way. Expert foreknowledge manages to avoid serious troubles and to be especially careful great dangers.


[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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