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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 12 months ago


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Canis et Lupus


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 346.


Esse Cani nitidos admirans corporis artus,

Quam, Lupus, es felix optime frater ait?

Hinc ergo venias mecum, Canis inquit, in urbem,

Hospes ut hac una sorte fruare, licet.

Huc ut eunt ambo, collo Lupus ecce canino

Protinus attritos conspicit esse pilos.

Tunc etiamne iugo rogat huic sua colla premantur,

Arguere hoc cervix calva videtur, ait.

Cui durante die tantum Canis alligor inquit,

Acris ut esse queam nocte cadente vigil.

Quae cernis, collare mihi vestigia fecit,

Esse quidem cervix quo mea cincta solet.

Tum Lupus: hac ergo cum sorte valebis amice,

Qua non ipsa frui, sed caruisse velim.

Omnibus est potior libertas aurea rebus,

Cui, nil, quod merito praeferat, orbis habet.


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


Lupus admirans

Cani artus corporis esse nitidos,

ait: "Optime frater, quam es felix?"

Canis inquit:

"Ergo venias mecum hinc in urbem;

licet ut hospes fruare hac una sorte."

Ut ambo eunt huc,

protinus Lupus conspicit - ecce! -

collo canino pilos esse attritos.

Tunc rogat

etiamne huic sua colla premantur iugo,

ait: "Calva cervix videtur arguere hoc."

Canis inquit Lupo:

"Alligor tantum durante die,

ut nocte cadente queam esse vigil acris.

Collare mihi fecit vestigia quae cernis.

Hoc cervix mea solet esse cincta."

Tum Lupus: "Ergo, amice, valebis cum hac sorte.

Velim non frui ipsa sorte, sed caruisse."

Libertas est potior aurea omnibus rebus;

orbis habet nil quod merito praeferat libertati.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Esse Ca~ni niti~dos ad~mirans ~ corporis ~ artus,

Quam, Lupus, ~ es fe~lix = optime ~ frater a~it?

Hinc er~go veni~as me~cum, Canis ~ inquit, in ~ urbem,

Hospes ut ~ hac u~na = sorte fru~are, li~cet.

Huc ut e~unt am~bo, col~lo Lupus ~ ecce ca~nino

Protinus ~ attri~tos = conspicit ~ esse pi~los.

Tunc eti~amne iu~go rogat ~ huic sua ~ colla pre~mantur,

Arguer(e) ~ hoc cer~vix = calva vi~detur, a~it.

Cui du~rante di~e tan~tum Canis ~ alligor ~ inquit,

Acris ut ~ esse que~am = nocte ca~dente vi~gil.

Quae cer~nis, col~lare mi~hi ve~stigia ~ fecit,

Esse qui~dem cer~vix = quo mea ~ cincta so~let.

Tum Lupus: ~ hac er~go cum ~ sorte va~lebis a~mice,

Qua non ~ ipsa fru~i, = sed caru~isse ve~lim.

Omnibus ~ est poti~or li~bertas ~ aurea ~ rebus,

Cui nil ~ quod meri~to = praeferat ~ orbis ha~bet.




The wolf was impressed that the limbs of the dog's body were shining, and said, "My good brother, are you so fortunate?" The dog said: "So come with me into the city; it's possible for you, as my guest, to enjoy this same fate." As the two of them were going there, suddenly the Wolf noticed, lo and behold, that the hairs on the dog's neck were worn away. Then he asked whether his neck was kept under a yoke: "Your bald neck seems to prove this." The dog said to the wolf: "I am tied up only while it is daytime, so that when night falls I can be a sharp watchdog. The collar leaves these traces which you see." Then the Wolf said: "So, friend, best wishes to you and your fate! I would not want to enjoy that same fate, but I prefer to avoid it." Freedom is stronger than gold in all situations; the world has nothing which it places at a higher value than liberty.


[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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