Friday, April 30, 2010

Cerva, Venator et Leo (Desbillons)

SOURCE: For a complete edition of the fables of Desbillons, the 18th-century Jesuit scholar and poet, see GoogleBooks. This is fable 2.23. For parallel versions, see Perry 76.

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:

Venātōrem ōlim Cerva fugiēns, in ferī
Leōnis antrum sē imprūdēns recēperat:
Quae comprehēnsa dum necātur: Hei mihi,
Quid, inquit, hominem tam celerī prōdest pede
Fugisse saevum? Saevior occurrit fera.

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

Cerva ōlim, venātōrem fugiēns, imprūdēns sē recēperat in ferī leōnis antrum: quae comprehēnsa, dum necātur, inquit: Hei mihi, quid prōdest hominem saevum fugisse pede tam celerī? Fera occurrit saevior.

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):

Cerva olim, venatórem fúgiens, imprúdens se recéperat in feri leónis antrum: quae comprehénsa, dum necátur, inquit: Hei mihi, quid prodest hóminem saevum fugísse pede tam céleri? Fera occúrrit saévior.

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.

Venā·tōr~ ō·lim Cer·va fugi·ēns, in· ferī
Leō·nis an·trum s~ im·prūdēns· recē·perat:
Quae com·prehēn·sa dum· necā·tur: Hei· mihi,
Quid, in·
quit, homi·nem tam· celerī· prōdest· pede
Fugis·se sae·vum? Sae·
vior oc·currit· fera.

Here is an illustration from the Medici Aesop, which is online at the New York Public Library website.

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Cerva olim, venatorem fugiens, imprudens se receperat in feri leonis antrum: quae comprehensa, dum necatur, inquit: Hei mihi, quid prodest hominem saevum fugisse pede tam celeri? Fera occurrit saevior.

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