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Appendix 23. Viator et coruus


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 551.


Quidam per agros deuium carpens iter
AVE exaudiuit, et moratus paululum,
adesse ut uidit nullum, corripuit gradum.
Iterum salutat idem ex occulto sonus.
Voce hospitali confirmatus restitit,
ut, quisquis esset, par officium reciperet.
Cum circumspectans errore haesisset diu
et perdidisset tempus aliquot milium,
ostendit sese coruus et superuolans
AVE usque ingessit. Tum se lusum intelligens
"At male tibi sit" inquit, "ales pessime,
qui festinantis sic detinuisti pedes."


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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A man was making his way through the countryside off the beaten track when he heard the word 'Hel-lo!' He halted for a moment and then, when he saw that there was nobody there, he quickened his pace. Out of nowhere he heard the same greeting a second time. Reassured by the friendly voice, he came to a stop, hoping to meet the person who had spoken to him, whoever it was. The traveller stood there for a while in confusion, when he could have walked another mile or more in the time he spent looking around for the source of the voice. Finally the raven came out into the open, flying overhead and continuing to croak 'Hel-lo! Hel-lo!' When the man understood that he had been tricked, he said, 'Damn you, you worthless bird: you made me slow down when I was really in a hurry!'




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