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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 16 years, 2 months ago


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Vulpes et Leo


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 10.


Villosum Vulpes non viderat ante Leonem,

Cui iam facta potest obvia paene mori.

Haec adeo perculsa gravi formidine fertur,

Maxima quae viso mota Leone fuit.

At iam rursus ubi datur obvia forsan eunti,

Hanc minus attonitam, quam prius, esse ferunt.

Tertia spectandi cui postquam oblata facultas,

Sustinet aspiciens tunc animosa feram.

Accedens propius quia compellare Leonem

Audet, et huic blandis vocibus usa loqui.

Nil tam difficile est, quod non tractabile reddas,

Creber ad has operas si ferat usus opem.

Res inopina movet mentes vehementius omnis,

Sed turbare parum saepe revisa solet.


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


Vulpes non viderat ante villosum Leonem,

cui obvia facta

iam potest paene mori.

Viso Leone.

Vulpes fertur perculsa formidine adeo gravi,

quae maxima mota fuit.

At iam ubi rursus forsan datur obvia Leoni eunti,

ferunt Vulpem esse minus attonitam, quam prius.

Vulpi postquam tertia facultas spectandi oblata,

tunc sustinet feram, aspiciens animosa,

quia accedens propius

audet compellare Leonem

et loqui huic, usa blandis vocibus.

Nil tam difficile est, quod non reddas tractabile,

si creber usus ferat opem ad has operas.

Omnis res inopina movet mentes vehementius,

sed saepe revisa solet turbare parum.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Villo~sum Vul~pes non ~ viderat ~ ante Le~onem,

Cui iam ~ facta po~test = obvia ~ paene mo~ri.

Haec ade~o per~culsa gra~vi for~midine ~ fertur,

Maxima ~ quae vi~so = mota Le~one fu~it.

At iam ~ rursus u~bi datur ~ obvia ~ forsan e~unti,

Hanc minus ~ attoni~tam, = quam prius, ~ esse fe~runt.

Tertia ~ spectan~di cui ~ postqu(am) ob~lata fa~cultas,

Sustinet ~ aspici~ens = tunc ani~mosa fe~ram.

Acce~dens propi~us quia ~ compel~lare Le~onem

Audet, et ~ huic blan~dis = vocibus ~ usa lo~qui.

Nil tam ~ diffici~l(e) est, quod ~ non trac~tabile ~ reddas,

Creber ad ~ has ope~ras = si ferat ~ usus o~pem.

Res ino~pina mo~vet men~tes vehe~mentius ~ omnis,

Sed tur~bare pa~rum = saepe re~visa so~let.




The Fox had not ever seen the shaggy Lion before; when she ran into him she could almost have died upon seeing the Lion. The Fox is said to be have been struck with such great fear that it was the greatest fear she had ever felt. But then when it happened by chance a second time that she ran into the Lion as he was walking by, they say the Fox was less thunderstruck than before. When later on the Fox was given a third chance to look at him, she was able to endure looking at the beast, gazing bravely at him, because she even drew closer and dared to address the Lion and speak to him, using flattering words. There is nothing so difficult that you cannot render it manageable if frequent opportunity gives you a chance to try it. Every thing that is unexpected powerfully shakes the mind, but when it is seen again and again it usually causes little disturbance.


[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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