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Fable of the Day: De Cygno et Ciconia

[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]

Title
: De Cygno in morte canente reprehenso a Ciconia: About the Swan, singing in death, criticized by the Stork, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Cygnus moriens interrogabatur a ciconia, cur in morte, quam cetera animalia adeo exhorrent, multo suaviores quam in omni vita emitteret sonos, cum penitus maestus esse deberet. Cui cygnus: "Quia (inquit) neque cibi quaerendi cura amplius excurciabor, neque aucupum laqueos extimescam." Haec fabula nos admonet ne mortem formidemus, qua omnes vitae miseriae praeciduntur.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Cygnus moriens
interrogabatur a ciconia,
cur in morte,
quam
cetera animalia adeo exhorrent,
multo suaviores
quam in omni vita
emitteret sonos,
cum penitus maestus esse deberet.
Cui cygnus:
"Quia (inquit)
neque cibi quaerendi cura
amplius excurciabor,
neque aucupum laqueos
extimescam."
Haec fabula nos admonet
ne mortem formidemus,
qua
omnes vitae miseriae praeciduntur.

Crossword Puzzle: While I am in the process of moving to North Carolina, I may be slow to add the crossword puzzled, but I'll get caught up eventually. If you subscribe to the Bestiaria Latina round-up, you can find out when new materials are added.



Translation:



A swan, as it was dying, was asked by a stork why, in death, which other animals feared so much, the swan produced sounds sweeter by far than in its whole life before now, when it ought to be thoroughly sad. The swan said to the stork, "It is because I will no longer be tortured by worrying about finding food and I will no longer fear the snares of the bird-catchers." This fable warns us not to fear death; in death, all life's miseries are cut short.



[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]



Source: Abstemius 13 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. So, here is L'Estrange's translation:



A Stork that was present at the Song of a dying Swan, told her 'twas contrary to Nature to sing so much out of Season; and ask'd her the Reason of it? Why, says the Swan, I am now entering into a State where I shall be no longer in danger of either Snares, Guns, or Hunger; and who would not joy at such a Deliverance?
Death is the Last Farewell to all the Difficulties, Pains, and Hazards of Life.

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