Monday, December 28, 2009

Mus et Rana (Nequam)

SOURCE: The fables of the medieval scholar and poet Alexander Nequam are available in several different editions at GoogleBooks. This is poem 6 in Nequam. For parallel versions, see Perry 384. You can find the word list for this fable online at NoDictionaries.com, and use it interactively

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)


VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons (note that, as often in medieval poetry, the ablative of the gerund, natando, scans as a short o):

Mūs timidus, flūmen cupiēns trānsīre nec audēns,
ā rānā supplex auxilium petiit.
Illa suam prōmittit opem, fīlōque ligāvit
mūris utrōsque pedēs cum pede rāna suō;
Sīcque natando trahēns miserum per flūmina mūrem,
sēsē mersit aquīs, sīcque necāvit eum.
Īnsultāns miserō post haec et laeta coaxāns,
dum tūtam sub aquīs sē putat esse suīs,
Ā milvō rapitur fluitāns mūs, tractaque fīlō
cum sociō rapitur pendula rāna suō.
Quisquis crēdentem sibi prōdit, prōditur; ille,
sīcut rāna, suō iūre perit laqueō.


PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Mūs timidus, flūmen trānsīre cupiēns nec audēns, supplex auxilium petiit ā rānā. Illa rāna opem suam prōmittit, et mūris utrōsque pedēs fīlō ligāvit cum pede suō; et sīc per flūmina natandō, mūrem miserum trahēns, sēsē aquīs mersit, et sīc eum necāvit. Post haec miserō īnsultāns et laeta coaxāns, dum putat sē tūtam esse sub aquīs suīs, mūs fluitāns ā milvō rapitur, et rāna, fīlō suō pendula, cum sociō tracta rapitur. Quisquis crēdentem sibi prōdit, prōditur; ille, sīcut rāna, suō laqueō iūre perit.


STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Mus tímidus, flumen transíre cúpiens nec audens, supplex auxílium pétiit a rana. Illa rana opem suam promíttit, et muris utrósque pedes filo ligávit cum pede suo; et sic per flúmina natándo, murem míserum trahens, sese aquis mersit, et sic eum necávit. Post haec mísero insúltans et laeta coáxans, dum putat se tutam esse sub aquis suis, mus flúitans a milvo rápitur, et rana, filo suo péndula, cum sócio tracta rápitur. Quisquis credéntem sibi prodit, próditur; ille, sicut rana, suo láqueo iure perit.


ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot · to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Mūs timi·dus, flū·men cupi·ēns trān·sīre nec· audēns,
ā rā·nā sup·plex || auxili·um peti·it.
Illa su·am prō·mittit o·pem, fī·lōque li·gāvit
mūris u·trōsque pe·dēs || cum pede· rāna su·ō;
Sīcque na·tando tra·hēns mise·rum per· flūmina· mūrem,
sēsē· mersit a·quīs, || sīcque ne·cāvit e·um.
Īnsul·tāns mise·rō post· haec et· laeta co·axāns,
dum tū·tam sub a·quīs || sē putat· esse su·īs,
Ā mil·vō rapi·tur flui·tāns mūs,· tractaque· fīlō
cum soci·ō rapi·tur || pendula· rāna su·ō.
Quisquis· crēden·tem sibi· prōdit,· prōditur;· ille,
sīcut· rāna, su·ō || iūre pe·rit laque·ō.


IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a Renaissance edition of Aesop:


What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Mus timidus, flumen transire cupiens nec audens, supplex auxilium petiit a rana. Illa rana opem suam promittit, et muris utrosque pedes filo ligavit cum pede suo; et sic per flumina natando, murem miserum trahens, sese aquis mersit, et sic eum necavit. Post haec misero insultans et laeta coaxans, dum putat se tutam esse sub aquis suis, mus fluitans a milvo rapitur, et rana, filo suo pendula, cum socio tracta rapitur. Quisquis credentem sibi prodit, proditur; ille, sicut rana, suo laqueo iure perit.

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