Friday, September 17, 2010

Herford: The Stag and the Lion

A Stag came to a pool to drink
And, bending o'er the mossy brink,
Beheld as in a mirror bright
His shapely image. At the sight
Of his great antlers, spreading wide
In graceful curves, he swelled with pride;
But when he looked upon his long,
Thin legs, it seemed a cruel wrong
That one with horns so fierce and grand
Upon such spindle legs should stand.
While thus he mused, it came to pass
A Lion hiding in the grass
Sprang out at him. The spindle shanks
So late despised now earned his thanks;
Alas, in vain! - - for even as he thought
The foe outstripped, a low branch caught
His horns and held him till his fate
O'ertook him, thus he learned too late
How his best points he had despised,
To be betrayed by those he prized.

Source: Herford Aesop 21.
cervus et venator

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the colored Steinhowel images. In this illustration, the stag is about to fall victim to a human hunter, rather than a lion.

M0161 Perry074

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