Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
204. THE ROSE AND THE AMARANTH
Perry 369 (Chambry
An amaranth plant, whose flower never fades, had sprung up next to a
rosebush. The amaranth said, 'What a delightful flower you are! You are
desired by the gods and mortals alike. I congratulate you on your beauty
and your fragrance.' The rose said, 'O amaranth, everlasting flower, I
live for only a brief time and even if no one plucks me, I die, while
you are able to blossom and bloom with eternal youth!'
This fable shows that it is better to last for a long time while being
contented with little than to live sumptuously for a short time and then
suffer a reversal of fortune, perhaps even death.
Note: The Greek word 'amaranth' means 'undying.' It is not clear to
what plant the Greek word might have referred; it could even have been
a poetic invention. In modern times, the name amaranth has been given
to a genus of plants commonly known as African spinach or Indian spinach.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.