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I.4. Canis Carnem Ferens


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 133. For  help in translating the poem, use the page for this poem at NoDictionaries.com, with interlinear word lists! (Here are some tips on using the NoDictionaries tool.)


Āmittit meritō proprium quī aliēnum adpetit.

Canis, per flūmen carnem cum ferret, natāns

lymphārum in speculō vīdit simulācrum suum,

aliamque praedam ab alterō ferrī putāns

ēripere voluit; vērum dēcepta aviditās

et quem tenēbat ōre dīmīsit cibum,

nec quem petēbat potuit adeō tangere.


Quī aliēnum adpetit, meritō proprium āmittit. Canis, cum carnem per flūmen ferret, simulācrum suum natāns lymphārum in speculō vīdit, et, putāns aliam praedam ab alterō ferrī, ēripere voluit; vērum aviditās dēcepta et cibum, quem ōre tenēbat, dīmīsit, nec adeō, quem petēbat, tangere potuit.


Qui aliénum ádpetit, mérito próprium amíttit. Canis, cum carnem per flumen ferret, simúlacrum suum natans lymphárum in spéculo vidit, et, putans áliam praedam ab áltero ferri, erípere vóluit; verum avíditas decépta et cibum, quem ore tenébat, dimísit, nec ádeo, quem petébat, tángere pótuit.


Āmit·tit meri·tō propri·um qu~ ali·ēn~ ad·petit.

Canis, · per flū·men car·nem cum · ferret, · natāns

lymphār~ · in specu·lō vī·dit simu·lācrum · suum,

aliam·que prae·d~ ab al·terō · ferrī · putāns

ēripe·re volu·it; vē·rum dē·cept~ avi·ditās

et quem · tenē·bat ō·re dī·mīsit · cibum,

nec quem · petē·bat potu·it ade·ō tan·gere. 


The Dog in the River (trans. C. Smart)


The churl that wants another's fare

Deserves at least to lose his share.

As through the stream a Dog convey'd

A piece of meat, he spied his shade

In the clear mirror of the flood,

And thinking it was flesh and blood,

Snapp'd to deprive him of the treat:-

But mark the glutton's self-defeat,

Miss'd both another's and his own,

Both shade and substance, beef and bone.

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