Thursday, December 30, 2010

Boothby: The Eagle, The Raven and the Tortoise

Who in their foe united find
Force, art, and a remorseless mind,
Whate'er their strength and prowess be,
To perish, stand in jeopardy.
An Eagle once a Tortoise held,
Safe in his horny house conceal'd,
Which he in vain essay'd to break
With all the fury of his beak.
As with his prey he wing'd the air,
A wily Raven ventur'd near:
"Your prize is excellent," says she,
"And if you'll give a share to me,
I know, for all his iron hide,
How we the dainty may divide."
The bargain made, "On yonder wall,
Down," says the Raven, "let him fall."
He listen'd to the hoary sinner;
And they on turtle made their dinner.
Thus fraud and force their purpose gain,
And nature fortifies in vain.

Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 2.6.
Aquila, Corvus et Testudo

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