Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cerva et Leaena (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 9 in the collection. For more versions, see Perry 76. You can find the word list for this fable online at, 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:

Dum fugimus parvum, magnum persaepe perīclum
Obfuit: hōc vērum fābula nostra docet.
Forte, canēs fugiēns sē Cerva recēpit in antrum,
Quās latebrās, vultum torva, Leaena tenet.
Nec mora; capta fugax; tum sīc moritūra gemēbat:
"Heu! leve dum fugiō, mē capit ācre malum."

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

Dum periclum parvum fugimus, persaepe perīclum magnum obfuit: fābula nostra hōc vērum docet. Forte, Cerva, canēs fugiēns, in antrum sē recēpit. Quās latebrās tenet Leaena, vultum torva. Nec mora: Cerva fugax capta est; tum sīc gemēbat, moritūra: "Heu! Dum malum leve fugiō, malum ācre mē capit."

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):

Dum períclum parvum fúgimus, persaépe períclum magnum óbfuit: fábula nostra hoc verum docet. Forte, Cerva, canes fúgiens, in antrum se recépit. Quas látebras tenet Leaéna, vultum torva. Nec mora: Cerva fugax capta est; tum sic gemébat, moritúra: "Heu! Dum malum leve fúgio, malum acre me capit."

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.

Dum fugi·mus par·vum, māg·num per·saepe pe·rīclum
Obfuit:· hōc vē·rum || fābula· nostra do·cet.
Forte, ca·nēs fugi·ēns sē· Cerva re·cēpit i·n antrum,
Quās late·brās, vul·tum || torva, Le·aēna te·net.
Nec mora;· capta fu·gax; tum· sīc mori·tūra ge·mēbat:
Heu! leve· dum fugi·ō, || mē capit· ācre ma·lum.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) that shows a stag fleeing from the hunter and his dogs:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Dum periclum parvum fugimus, persaepe periclum magnum obfuit: fabula nostra hoc verum docet. Forte, Cerva, canes fugiens, in antrum se recepit. Quas latebras tenet Leaena, vultum torva. Nec mora: Cerva fugax capta est; tum sic gemebat, moritura: "Heu! Dum malum leve fugio, malum acre me capit."

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