Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Information

Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Cicada et Noctua

Country of origin: Italy

Translations

English - aligned

French - viewaligned


Add a translation

The Owl and the Grasshopper

Phaedrus / C. Smart

Those who will not the forms obey
To be obliging in their way,
Must often punishment abide
For their ill-nature, and their pride.
A Grasshopper, in rank ill-will,
Was very loud and very shrill
Against a sapient Owl's repose,
Who was compelled by day to doze
Within a hollow oak's retreat,
As wont by night to quest for meat--
She is desired to hold her peace.
But at the word her cries increase;
Again requested to abate
Her noise, she's more importunate.
The Owl perceiving no redress,
And that her words were less and less
Accounted of, no longer pray'd,
But thus an artifice essay'd:
" Since 'tis impossible to nod,
While harping like the Delphian god,
You charm our ears, stead of a nap,
A batch of nectar will I tap,
Which lately from Minerva came;
Now if you do not scorn the same,
Together let us bumpers ply."
The Grasshopper, extremely dry,
And, finding she had hit the key
That gain'd applause, approach'd with glee;
At which the Owl upon her flew,
And quick the trembling vixen slew.
Thus by her death she was adjudged
To give what in her life she grudged.