Saturday, March 5, 2011

Phaedrus, The Fable of the Wolf and the Lamb


15 BC-50 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Golden Age of Latin Literature-Imperial Era)

I. Lupus et Agnus (The Wolf and the Lamb)

Ad rivum eundem lupus et agnus venerant,

siti compulsi.

[A wolf and a lamb come up to a nearby riverbank, driven there out of thirst.]

Superior stabat lupus,

longeque inferior agnus.

[The wolf was larger in size, while the lamb was by far smaller.]

Tunc fauce improba

latro incitatus iurgii causam intulit;

[So then, because of his aching throat, he began to quarrel and bark.]

'Cur' inquit 'turbulentam fecisti mihi

aquam bibenti?'

['Why,' he asked, 'did you make this water awful for me to drink?']

Laniger contra timens

'Qui possum, quaeso, facere quod quereris, lupe?

[In response, the wooly animal said, fearfully, 'I beg you, Mr. Wolf, how can I be able to do what you just asked?'

A te decurrit ad meos haustus liquor'.

['This water runs down from you to the area where I drink.']

Repulsus ille veritatis viribus
'Ante hos sex menses male' ait 'dixisti mihi'.

[The other, enraged by his strength of reasoning, said, 'You told me so six month ago, wrongly.']

Respondit agnus 'Equidem natus non eram'.

[The lamb replied, 'Uh, actually, I wasn't even born then.']

'Pater hercle tuus' ille inquit 'male dixit mihi';

[The other then said, 'Well, shoot, it was your father who told me wrong.']

atque ita correptum lacerat iniusta nece.

[So then, he seized the lamb and tore him to pieces in a horrible act of murder.]

Haec propter illos scripta est homines fabula

qui fictis causis innocentes opprimunt.

[This story is written* for any men who persecute innocent people for false justifications.]

*ie, the lesson of the story...