Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book I - XV. Asinus ad Senem Pastorem (Perry
In principatu commutando civium
nil praeter domini nomen mutant pauperes.
Id esse verum, parva haec fabella indicat.
Asellum in prato timidus pascebat senex.
Is hostium clamore subito territus
suadebat asino fugere, ne possent capi.
At ille lentus 'Quaeso, num binas mihi
clitellas impositurum victorem putas?'
Senex negavit. 'Ergo, quid refert mea
cui serviam, clitellas dum portem unicas?'
The Sapient Ass (trans. C. Smart)
In all the changes of a state,
The poor are the most fortunate,
Who, save the name of him they call
Their king, can find no odds at all.
The truth of this you now may read-
A fearful old man in a mead,
While leading of his Ass about,
Was startled at the sudden shout
Of enemies approaching nigh.
He then advised the Ass to fly,
"Lest we be taken in the place:"
But loth at all to mend his pace,
"Pray, will the conqueror," quoth Jack,
"With double panniers load my back ?"
"No," says the man. "If that's the thing,"
Cries he, "I care not who is king."
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.