Sunday, February 15, 2009

Alciato LXIV: In eum qui sibi damnum apparat

Alciato LXIV:
In eum qui sibi damnum apparat

Capra, lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod male pastoris provida cura iubet.
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet:
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.

This image comes from a 1621 edition of the emblems (click on the image for a larger view), and you can also read an English translation online. For help with the Latin, here is the poem presented in an easier-to-read format, with the word order rearranged (the word order in poetry often serves the sound more than the sense), and with the phrase segments clearly marked:
non sponte meo.
nunc lacto ubere
pastoris cura,
male provida,
Simul ille creverit,
post mea ubera
me pascet:
nullo obsequio
The poor goat is criticizing the foolish action of the shepherd who chooses to raise a wolf cub - you can find out more about the shepherd's motives in this Aesop's fable on the same topic. Below you can see some more images from other editions of Alciato's Emblemata:
Liber emblematum ... Kunstbuch (1567), Franckfurt am Main

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