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


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Auceps et Anguis


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 115.


Cum visco calamisque suis quidam exiit Auceps

In nemus, incautas fallere doctus aves.

Aeria qui forte notans super arbore turdum,

Aucupii solito more parabat opus.

Sed dum construeret calamos, viscumque tenacem

Allineret propere, dumque notaret avem.

Calce premens Anguem, qui forte latebat in herbis,

Exitium diro vulnere triste tulit.

Qui moriens, alii fraudem dum molior, inquit,

Flebilis incautum causa perire facit.

Insidiis alios qui non vexare verentur,

Hi sibi plus aliis saepe nocere solent.

Esse mali quem non auctorem depudet olim

Consilii, fraus huic propria saepe nocet.


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


Auceps quidam exiit in nemus,

doctus fallere incautas aves

cum visco et calamis suis.

Forte notans turdum super aeria arbore,

parabat opus aucupii solito more.

Sed dum construeret calamos

et propere allineret viscum tenacem,

et dum notaret avem,

premens calce Anguem, qui forte latebat in herbis,

tulit triste exitium diro vulnere.

Auceps moriens inquit,

"Dum molior fraudem alii,

flebilis causa facit incautum perire."

Qui non verentur vexare alios insidiis

hi saepe solent nocere sibi plus aliis.

Quem non depudet olim esse auctorem mali sonsilii

huic fraus propria saepe nocet.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Cum vis~co cala~misque su~is quid(am) ~ exiit ~ Auceps

In nemus, ~ incau~tas = fallere ~ doctus a~ves.

Aeria ~ qui for~te no~tans super ~ arbore ~ turdum,

Aucupi~i soli~to = more pa~rabat o~pus.

Sed dum ~ construe~ret cala~mos, vis~cumque te~nacem

Alline~ret prope~re, = dumque no~taret a~vem.

Calce pre~mens An~guem, qui ~ forte la~tebat in ~ herbis,

Exiti~um di~ro = vulnere ~ triste tu~lit.

Qui mori~ens, ali~i frau~dem dum ~ molior, ~ inquit,

Flebilis ~ incau~tum = causa pe~rire fa~cit.

Insidi~is ali~os qui ~ non vex~are ve~rentur,

Hi sibi ~ plus ali~is = saepe no~cere so~lent.

Esse ma~li quem ~ non auc~torem ~ depudet ~ olim

Consili~i, fraus ~ huic = propria ~ saepe no~cet.




A certain Birdcatcher went out into the woods, skilled at tricking careless birds with his bird-lime and his snares. By chance he noticed a thrush up in a lofty tree and he prepared his bird-catcher's work the usual way. But while he was arranging the snare and hurriedly smearing on the sticky bird-lime, as he watched the bird, he pressed his heel down on a Snake who by chance was hiding in the grass, and he suffered a grievous death because of a terrible wound. As he was dying, the Birdcatcher said, "While plotting a trick for someone else, a lamentable business has caused me to perish carelessly." Those who do not hesitate to torment others with ambushes are often accustomed to hurt themselves more than others. The person who is not ashamed to sometime carry out a wicked plan, that man is often harmed by his own deception.


[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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