Thursday, April 29, 2010

Asinus, Simia et Talpa (Desbillons)

SOURCE: For a complete edition of the fables of Desbillons, the 18th-century Jesuit scholar and poet, see GoogleBooks. This is fable 2.30. This is not a fable in the classical Aesopic corpus; it comes from Abstemius.

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 iambic meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)


VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Dum conqueruntur, Sīmia quod dēsit sibi
Cauda, Asinus autem quod nōn habeat cornua:
Tacēte, dīxit Talpa; mē miserrimum
Caecum vidētis, et potestis conquerī?
Luctū, et querēlīs cūr aevum cōnsūmimus?
Quīn intuēmur, sors sī quem gravior premit?
Miserō levāmen miseriōris est malum.



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

Dum conqueruntur, Sīmia quod cauda sibi dēsit, Asinus autem quod cornua nōn habeat, Talpa dīxit: Tacēte! Caecum mē vidētis, miserrimum, et conquerī potestis? Cūr aevum cōnsūmimus luctū et querēlīs? Quīn intuēmur, sī quem sors gravior premit? Miseriōris malum levāmen miserō est.


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 conquerúntur, Símia quod cauda sibi desit, Ásinus autem quod córnua non hábeat, Talpa dixit: Tacéte! Caecum me vidétis, misérrimum, et cónqueri potéstis? Cur aevum consúmimus luctu et querélis? Quin intuémur, si quem sors grávior premit? Miserióris malum levámen mísero est.


IAMBIC METER. Here is the verse text with some color coding to assist in the iambic meter. The disyllabic elements (iambs/spondees) are not marked, but the trisyllabic elements are color-coded: dactyls are red, anapests are purple, and tribrachs are green (as is any proceleusmaticus, although that is a rare creature); for more information, here are some Notes on Iambic Meter.

Dum con·querun·tur, Sī·mia quod· dēsit· sibi
Caud~ Asi·nus au·tem quod· nōn habe·at cor·nua:
Tacē·te, dīx·it Tal·pa; mē· miser·rimum
Caecum· vidē·tis, et· potes·tis con·querī?
Luct~ et· querē·līs cūr· aevum· cōnsū·mimus?
Quīn in·tuē·mur, sors· sī quem· gravior· premit?
Miserō· levā·men mise·riō·ris est· malum.



IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source), showing a real mole:


What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Dum conqueruntur, Simia quod cauda sibi desit, Asinus autem quod cornua non habeat, Talpa dixit: Tacete! Caecum me videtis, miserrimum, et conqueri potestis? Cur aevum consumimus luctu et querelis? Quin intuemur, si quem sors gravior premit? Miserioris malum levamen misero est.

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