• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 12 years, 5 months ago


HOME | Osius: Previous Page - Next Page



Formica et Columba


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 235.


Se liquidi Formica lubens demittit in undas

Fonticuli, cupiens forte levare sitim.

Undis ablatam sed dira pericula tangunt,

Paene, pedes dum nil falciat, illa perit.

Vidit ut hoc, viridem defringit ab arbore ramum,

Deicit hunc illi, fertque Palumbus opem.

Servat adhaerescens ramo sic anxia vitam,

Fontanis alias quae periisset aquis.

Tempore post parvo, qui falleret, adfuit Auceps,

Hanc ipsam calamis insidiatus avem.

Cui metuens Formica volens avertere mortem

Clam subit arrepens aucupis inter opus.

Sic quem laesit, ut huic mox abiceretur harundo,

Hoc strepitu letum territa vitat avis.

Res pia pro meritis est grata mente probari,

Praestando studii convenientis opus.


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


Formica lubens demittit se in undas liquidi fonticuli,

cupiens forte levare sitim,

sed dira pericula tangunt Formicam ablatam undis:

dum nil falciat pedes, illa paene perit.

Ut vidit hoc,

Palumbus defringit viridem ramum ab arbore,

deicit hunc illi

et fert opem.

Sic anxia Formica servat vitam adhaerescens ramo,

quae alias periisset fontanis aquis.

Tempore parvo post, Auceps adfuit

qui falleret insidiatus calamis hanc ipsam avem,

Formica metuens, volens avertere mortem Palumbo,

clam subit arrepens inter opus aucupis.

Sic Aucupem laesit, ut mox huic harundo abiceretur;

avis vitat letum territa hoc strepitu.

Res pia est probari grata mente pro meritis,

praestando opus convenientis studii.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Se liqui~di For~mica lu~bens de~mittit in ~ undas

Fonticu~li, cupi~ens = forte le~vare si~tim.

Undis ~ abla~tam sed ~ dira pe~ricula ~ tangunt,

Paene, pe~des dum ~ nil = falciat, ~ illa pe~rit.

Vidit ut ~ hoc, viri~dem de~fringit ab ~ arbore ~ ramum,

Deicit ~ hunc il~li, = fertque Pa~lumbus o~pem.

Servat ad~haere~scens ra~mo sic ~ anxia ~ vitam,

Fon~ta~nis ali~as = quae peri~isset a~quis.

Tempore ~ post par~vo, qui ~ falleret, ~ adfuit ~ Auceps,

Hanc ip~sam cala~mis = insidi~atus a~vem.

Cui metu~ens For~mica vo~lens a~vertere ~ mortem

Clam subit ~ arre~pens = aucupis ~ inter o~pus.

Sic quem ~ laesit, ut ~ huic mox ~ abice~retur ha~rundo,

Hoc strepi~tu le~tum = territa ~ vitat a~vis.

Res pia ~ pro meri~tis est ~ grata ~ mente pro~bari,

Praestan~do studi~i = conveni~entis o~pus.




An Ant gladly let herself down into the waves of a tiny spring of water, wanting perhaps to alleviate her thirst, but terrible dangers threatened the Ant when she was borne away by the waves: when she lost her footing, she almost died. When the Dove saw this, he broke off a leafy branch from a tree and threw it down to the Ant and helped her. Thus the worried Ant preserved her life by clinging to the branch; otherwise she would have died in the spring's waters. A little while later, a Bird-Catcher came who was going to trick that same bird by laying a trap for her with his reeds. The Ant was afraid and wanted to rescue the Dove from death; she secretly crept up in the midst of the Bird-Catcher's work and when the Ant bit the Bird-Catcher, he suddenly cast aside his reeds and the bird evaded death, terrified by the Bird-Catcher's shout. It is a good to be shown to have a grateful attitude towards acts of kindness, doing something in return with an equal amount of effort.


[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.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.