Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book IV - VIII. Serpens ad Fabrum Ferrarium (Perry
Mordaciorem qui improbo dente adpetit,
hoc argumento se describi sentiat.
In officinam fabri uenit uipera.
Haec, cum temptaret si qua res esset cibi,
limam momordit. Illa contra contumax,
"Quid me," inquit, "stulta, dente captas laedere,
omne adsueui ferrum quae conrodere?"
The Viper and the File (trans. C. Smart)
He that a greater biter bites,
His folly on himself requites,
As we shall manifest forthwith.-
There was a hovel of a smith,
Where a poor Viper chanced to steal,
And being greedy of a meal,
When she had seized upon a file,
Was answer'd in this rugged style:
" Why do you think, 0 stupid snake!
On me your usual meal to make,
Who've sharper teeth than thine by far,
And can corrode an iron bar ?"
Latin text from Phaedrus at The
Latin Library (Ad Fontes), English translations from The
Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse by Christopher Smart
(London: 1913). Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb),
contains the Latin texts of Phaedrus, with a facing English translation, along
with a valuable appendix listing all the Aesop's fables attested in Greek and/or
in Latin. Invaluable.