Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Information

Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Caluus et Musca

Country of origin: Italy

Translations

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Adaptations

Esopet (Middle Dutch) - viewaligned

The Bald Man and the Fly

Phaedrus / C. Smart

As on his head she chanced to sit,
A Man's bald pate a Gadfly bit;
He, prompt to crush the little foe,
Dealt on himself a grievous blow:
At which the Fly, deriding said,
" You that would strike an insect dead
For one slight sting, in wrath so strict,
What punishment will you inflict
Upon yourself, who was so blunt
To do yourself this gross affront ?"-
"0," says the party, "as for me,
I with myself can soon agree.
The spirit of th' intention's all;
But thou, detested cannibal!
Blood-sucker! to have thee secured
More would I gladly have endured."
What by this moral tale is meant
Is-those who wrong not with intent
Are venial; but to those that do
Severity, I think, is due.