Monday, December 28, 2009

Taurus et Mus (Trinity)

SOURCE: This poem was composed by the anonymous "Trinity Master" who published a lovely little book in 1852 setting Latin fables in prose side-by-side with his verse compositions; read the book at Google Books. This is poem 1 in the collection. For parallel versions, see Perry 353.

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:

Strātus humī fuerat Taurus; Mūs forte momordit
Crūra: petēns hostem cornibus ille ruit.
Hic nusquam cernī potuit: bōs cornua frustrā
Vībrat: dēnsa tamen, quem petit, herba tegit.
"Parvula nē spernās; tē Mūs impūne lacessō,
Ā minimō laesus maximus," inquit," erās."


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

Taurus humī strātus fuerat; forte, Mūs crūra momordit. Ille, hostem petēns, cornibus ruit; hic nusquam cernī potuit. Frustrā, bōs cornua vībrat; dēnsa tamen herba tegit quem petit. Mūs inquit: "Nē parvula spernās. Impūne Mūs tē lacessō! Ā minimō maximus laesus erās."


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):

Taurus humi stratus fúerat; forte, Mus crura momórdit. Ille, hostem petens, córnibus ruit; hic nusquam cerni pótuit. Frustra, bos córnua vibrat; densa tamen herba tegit quem petit. Mus inquit: "Ne párvula spernas. Impúne Mus te lacésso! A mínimo máximus laesus eras."


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.

Strātus hu·mī fue·rat Tau·rus; Mūs· forte mo·mordit
Crūra: pe·tēns hos·tem || cornibus· ille ru·it.
Hic nus·quam cer·nī potu·it: bōs· cornua· frustrā
Vībrat:· dēnsa ta·men, || quem petit,· herba te·git.
Parvula· nē sper·nās; tē· Mūs im·pūne la·cessō,
Ā mini·mō lae·sus || maximus,· inquit, e·rās.


IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 15th-century edition of Aesop's fables:


What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Taurus humi stratus fuerat; forte, Mus crura momordit. Ille, hostem petens, cornibus ruit; hic nusquam cerni potuit. Frustra, bos cornua vibrat; densa tamen herba tegit quem petit. Mus inquit: "Ne parvula spernas. Impune Mus te lacesso! A minimo maximus laesus eras."

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