Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mors et Rusticus (Desbillons)

SOURCE: For a complete edition of the fables of Desbillons, the 18th-century Jesuit scholar and poet, see GoogleBooks. This is fable 2.11. For parallel versions, see Perry 60.

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:

Fascem lignōrum Rusticus, senex miser,
Portābat aegrē: longiōre sed viā
Fractus, victusque, abiēcit infēlix onus:
Mortem invocāvit. Mors advēnit. Tum senex:
Fascem, ait, in umerōs hunc mihi repōnās precor.



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

Rusticus, senex miser, lignōrum fascem aegrē portābat, sed longiōre viā fractus et victus, infēlix, onus abiēcit. Mortem invocāvit; Mors advēnit. Tum senex ait: Precor fascem hunc mihi in umerōs repōnās.


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):

Rústicus, senex miser, lignórum fascem aegre portábat, sed longióre via fractus et victus, infélix, onus abiécit. Mortem invocávit; Mors advénit. Tum senex ait: Precor fascem hunc mihi in úmeros repónas.


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.

Fascem· lignō·rum Rus·ticus,· senex· miser,
Portā·bat ae·grē: lon·giō·re sed· viā
Fractus,· victus·qu~ abiē·cit in·fēlix· onus:
Mort~ in·vocā·vit. Mors· advē·nit. Tum· senex:
Fasc~ ait,· in ume·rōs hunc· mihi re·pōnās· precor.



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:
Rusticus, senex miser, lignorum fascem aegre portabat, sed longiore via fractus et victus, infelix, onus abiecit. Mortem invocavit; Mors advenit. Tum senex ait: Precor fascem hunc mihi in umeros reponas.

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