Phaedrus, Fabula 1.1 (Go to the Scaife Viewer for the Full Latin text)
“A wolf and lamb arrived at the same stream
Compelled by thirst. The wolf was standing above it,
And the lamb far below. Then with wicked jaw agape
For a bark the wolf began to argue his case:
“Why”, he asked, “did you dirty up the water that
I am drinking?” The little lamb responded in fear:
“Please, how can I have done what you have accused, wolf?
The water runs from you to my jaws.”
Rebuffed by the strength of truth, he said,
“Six months ago you maligned my name.”
The lamb responded, “But I was not yet born!”
The wolf said, “By god, then your father did me wrong.”
And he then he killed the lamb by tearing him to pieces.
This fable has been written against those men
Who oppress the innocent for trumped-up reasons.”
Ad rivum eundem lupus et agnus venerant,
siti compulsi. Superior stabat lupus,
longeque inferior agnus. Tunc fauce improba
latro incitatus iurgii causam intulit;
‘Cur’ inquit ‘turbulentam fecisti mihi
aquam bibenti?’ Laniger contra timens
‘Qui possum, quaeso, facere quod quereris, lupe?
A te decurrit ad meos haustus liquor’.
Repulsus ille veritatis viribus
‘Ante hos sex menses male’ ait ‘dixisti mihi’.
Respondit agnus ‘Equidem natus non eram’.
‘Pater hercle tuus’ ille inquit ‘male dixit mihi’;
atque ita correptum lacerat iniusta nece.
Haec propter illos scripta est homines fabula
qui fictis causis innocentes opprimunt.
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