Friday, January 8, 2010

Musca et Currus (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 3 in the collection. This is a fable which is not part of the classical tradition, but is found in the modern collections, beginning with Abstemius, and Perry includes it in his index as Perry 724.

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:

In rapidī radiō currūs fors Musca sedēbat;
Prōgrediente rotā plūrima pulvis erat.
Continuō clāmat iactanter Musca pusilla,
"Ēn! equidem quantum pulveris ipse ciō."

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

Fors, Musca in currūs rapidī radiō edēbat; rotā prōgrediente, pulvis plūrima erat. Continuō Musca pusilla iactanter clāmat, "Ēn! equidem quantum pulveris ipse ciō."

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):

Fors, Musca in currus rápidi rádio edébat; rota progrediénte, pulvis plúrima erat. Contínuo Musca pusílla iactánter clamat, "En! équidem quantum púlveris ipse cio."

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.

In rapi·dī radi·ō cur·rūs fors· Musca se·dēbat;
Prōgredi·ente ro·tā || plūrima· pulvis e·rat.
Continu·ō clā·mat iac·tanter· Musca pu·silla,
Ēn! equi·dem quan·tum || pulveris· ipse ci·ō.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from another Aesop's fable about a boastful fly:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Fors, Musca in currus rapidi radio edebat; rota progrediente, pulvis plurima erat. Continuo Musca pusilla iactanter clamat, "En! equidem quantum pulveris ipse cio."

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