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III.1. Anus ad Amphoram


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 493.


Anus iacere uidit epotam amphoram,

adhuc Falerna faece e testa nobili

odorem quae iucundum late spargeret.

Hunc postquam totis auida traxit naribus:

"O suauis anima, quale in te dicam bonum

antehac fuisse, tales cum sint reliquiae!"

Hoc quo pertineat dicet qui me nouerit.


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


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Here is the poem with meter marks:


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An old woman saw a wine jar that had been drained empty, but the lees of the exquisite wine still sent forth a pleasant odour from the noble vessel. The woman greedily imbibed the smell, deeply inhaling through both nostrils, and said, 'Oh sweet spirits, I do declare, how excellent you must once have been to have left behind such fine remains!'

People who know me will be able to say what this fable is about.


The Old Woman and Empty Cask (trans. C. Smart)

An ancient dame a firkin sees,

In which the rich Falernian lees

Send from the nobly tinctured shell

A rare and most delicious smell!

There when a season she had clung

With greedy nostrils to the bung,

"O spirit exquisitely sweet !"

She cried, "how perfectly complete

Were you of old, and at the best,

When ev'n your dregs have such a zest !"

They'll see the drift of this my rhyme,

Who knew the author in his prime.




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