Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Venter et Membra (Osius)

SOURCE: The poem comes from Phryx Aesopus Habitu Poetico, by Hieronymus Osius, published in 1574, and online at the University of Mannheim as page images and text scan. This is poem 41 in the collection. For parallel versions, see Perry 130.

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:

Posse ministeriō nostrō indignantia spērās
Membra cibō dīcunt improbe Venter alī?
Nōn ita fīet, amās sūdantibus ōtia nōbīs,
Fās erit idcircō dēstituāre cibīs.
At dum Membra negant alimentum imprōvida Ventrī,
Corporis hinc vīrtūs facta cadūca fuit.
Paenitet invidiae sīc Membra dolentia sērō,
Est quibus hōc ausū vīta coacta morī.
Seditiōsa gravī damnō discordia cīvēs
Afficit, hīs sociam cum fera turbat opem.


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

Membra indignantia dīcunt: "Improbe Venter, spērās cibō alī posse ministeriō nostrō? Nōn ita fīet: ōtia amās, sūdantibus nōbīs. Idcircō fās erit dēstituāre cibīs." At dum Membra imprōvida Ventrī negant alimentum, hinc corporis vīrtūs cadūca facta fuit. Sīc Membra dolentia sērō invidiae paenitet. Quibus, hōc ausū, vīta coacta est morī. Discordia seditiōsa damnō gravī cīvēs afficit, cum fera opem sociam hīs turbat.


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):

Membra indignántia dicunt: "Ímprobe Venter, speras cibo ali posse ministério nostro? Non ita fiet: ótia amas, sudántibus nobis. Idcírco fas erit destituáre cibis." At dum Membra impróvida Ventri negant aliméntum, hinc córporis virtus cadúca facta fuit. Sic Membra doléntia sero invídiae paénitet. Quibus, hoc ausu, vita coácta est mori. Discórdia seditiósa damno gravi cives áfficit, cum fera opem sóciam his turbat.


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.

Posse mi·nisteri·ō nos·tr~ indig·nantia ·spērās
Membra ci·bō dī·cunt || improbe ·Venter a·lī?
Nōn ita· fīet, a·mās sū·dantibus ·ōtia ·nōbīs,
Fās erit· idcir·cō || dēstitu·āre ci·bīs.
At dum· Membra ne·gant ali·ment~ im·prōvida· Ventrī,
Corporis ·hinc vīr·tūs || facta ca·dūca fu·it.
Paenitet ·invidi·ae sīc ·Membra do·lentia ·sērō,
Est quibus· hōc au·sū· vīta co·acta mo·rī.
Sediti·ōsa gra·vī dam·nō dis·cordia· cīvēs
Afficit, ·hīs soci·am || cum fera· turbat o·pem.


IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), from a Renaissance edition of Aesop:


What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Membra indignantia dīcunt: "Improbe Venter, spērās cibō alī posse ministeriō nostrō? Nōn ita fīet: ōtia amās, sūdantibus nōbīs. Idcircō fās erit dēstituāre cibīs." At dum Membra imprōvida Ventrī negant alimentum, hinc corporis vīrtūs cadūca facta fuit. Sīc Membra dolentia sērō invidiae paenitet. Quibus, hōc ausū, vīta coacta est morī. Discordia seditiōsa damnō gravī cīvēs afficit, cum fera opem sociam hīs turbat.

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