Monday, November 21, 2011

Davies: Apollo and Jupiter

Said the far darter to the gods on high,
"Not one can farther shoot or throw than I."
In sport great Jove Apollo's challenge took,
And quick the lots in Mars' cap Hermes shook.
Luck was with Phoebus. Soon the golden bow
And string he circles, lets the arrow go,
And shoots within the gardens of the West.
Said Jove, when the same range his feet had prest,
"Space fails me, boy. To what point can I shoot?"
Thus without shaft he won the arrow's fruit.

Source: Davies: Fables of Babrius = Babrius 68.

M0766 Perry104

Davies: The Wild Ass and the Lion

Chase partners were the lion and wild ass:
That did in prowess, this in speed surpass:
A booty of fat beasts their hunt supplied,
Which into three the lion would divide.
"This first," said he, "as foremost, I shall take
In right of kinghood. That my equal stake
Marks as my part. And, for the hindmost lot,
'Twill cause you hurt, unless you flee, I wot."
Measure your strength, nor, with a man more strong,
To company or partnership belong.

Source: Davies: Fables of Babrius.

(an onager: image source)
M0016 Perry339

Davies: The Man with Two Wallets

Prometheus was a god, an elder god:
Man, the brutes' lord, he fashion'd of the sod,
'Tis said, and round his neck two wallets hung,
Full of all ills that rise mankind among:
One holding others' faults in front was thrown;
The larger, slung behind him, held his own.
Hence others' falls, methinks, men clearly see,
But when one should look homeward, blind are we!

Source: Davies: Fables of Babrius = Babrius 66.

M0793 Perry266

Davies: The Crane and the Peacock

To a bright-plumaged peacock smart and vain
This sharp retort fell from an ashen crane:
"Through these dull wings, whose colour you decry,
I scream aloft, in starry heights I fly.
You, cock-like, flap your wings. The tail you spread
With all its gold, is never seen o'erhead."
Rather would I in threadbare coat aspire
Than live inglorious, tho' in rich attire.

Source: Davies: Fables of Babrius = Babrius 65.

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Barlow images.
M0548 Perry294

Davies: The Fir-Tree and the Bramble

A fir tree and a bramble disagreed,
For the fir alway paid to self the meed
Of praise, "I'm fine, well-grown in point of size:
And my straight top is neighbour to the skies;
'Tis I am roof of mansions, keel of ships:
So much my comeliness all trees outstrips."
To whom the bramble said, "Keep well in view
The axe, whose business is thy trunk to hew,
And saws that cut thee: haply thou'lt prefer
To be the bramble rather than the fir."

Source: Davies: Fables of Babrius = Babrius 64.

Abies et Rubus

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Rackham images. I like the subtle way that Rackham turns the plants into something like people!

M0722 Perry304