Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Serpens et Lima (Nequam)

SOURCE: The fables of the medieval scholar and poet Alexander Nequam are available in several different editions at GoogleBooks. This is poem 16 in Nequam. For parallel versions, see Perry 93. 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:

Rēpserat in fabricam serpēns, līmāque repertā,
esse putāns escam, rōdere coepit eam.
Rīsit līma; rogat serpēns cūr rīserit, inquit:
Mīrāns stultitiam rīdeo iūre tuam.
Ipsum perdūrum mōs est mihi rōdere ferrum,
et sī quid ferrō dūrius esse potest.
Tū mē rōdentem, stultissima, rōdere tentas:
aspice, iam rubeō sanguine tincta tuō.
Mordācem prohibet mordērī fābula nostra,
nē laesus nimiam reddat et ille vicem.

Hinc discant hominēs nē laedant sē potiōrēs,
nē mage laedantur laedere dum cupiunt!


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

Serpēns rēpserat in fabricam, et, līmā repertā, escam esse putāns, eam rōdere coepit. Lima risit; serpēns rogat cūr rīserit; inquit: Iure rīdeo, stultitiam tuam mirans. Mihi est mos ferrum ipsum perdūrum rōdere, et sī quid ferrō dūrius esse potest. Tū, mē, rōdentem, rōdere tentas, stultissima: aspice! iam sanguine rubeō tuō tincta. Fabula nostra mordācem mordērī prohibet , nē et ille laesus vicem nimiam reddat. Hinc hominēs discant nē laedant sē potiōrēs, nē, dum laedere cupiunt, mage laedantur!


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):

Serpens répserat in fábricam, et, lima repérta, escam esse putans, eam ródere coepit. Lima risit; serpens rogat cur ríserit; inquit: Iure rídeo, stultítiam tuam mirans. Mihi est mos ferrum ipsum perdúrum ródere, et si quid ferro dúrius esse potest. Tu, me, rodéntem, ródere tentas, stultíssima: áspice! iam sánguine rúbeo tuo tincta. Fábula nostra mordácem mordéri próhibet , ne et ille laesus vicem nímiam reddat. Hinc hómines discant ne laedant se potióres, ne, dum laédere cúpiunt, mage laedántur!


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.

Rēpserat· in fabri·cam ser·pēns, lī·māque re·pertā,
esse pu·tāns es·cam, || rōdere· coepit e·am.
Rīsit· līma; ro·gat ser·pēns cūr· rīserit,· inquit:
Mīrāns· stultiti·am || rīdeo· iūre tu·am.
Ipsum· perdū·rum mōs· est mihi· rōdere· ferrum,
et sī· quid fer·rō || dūrius· esse po·test.
Tū mē· rōden·tem, stul·tissima,· rōdere· tentas:
aspice,· iam rube·ō || sanguine· tincta tu·ō.
Mordā·cem prohi·bet mor·dērī· fābula· nostra,
nē lae·sus nimi·am || reddat et· ille vi·cem.
Hinc dis·cant homi·nēs nē· laedant· sē poti·ōrēs,
nē mage· laedan·tur || laedere· dum cupi·unt!


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:
Serpens repserat in fabricam, et, lima reperta, escam esse putans, eam rodere coepit. Lima risit; serpens rogat cur riserit; inquit: Iure rideo, stultitiam tuam mirans. Mihi est mos ferrum ipsum perdurum rodere, et si quid ferro durius esse potest. Tu, me, rodentem, rodere tentas, stultissima: aspice! iam sanguine rubeo tuo tincta. Fabula nostra mordacem morderi prohibet , ne et ille laesus vicem nimiam reddat. Hinc homines discant ne laedant se potiores, ne, dum laedere cupiunt, mage laedantur!

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