The Wolf and the Lamb (Early Modern English) with translations in English

The wolf and the lamb

This parallel text is part of The wolf and the lamb equilang.

Text by Christopher Smart written in year 1765 in Early Modern English.

Translation by Henry Thomas Riley written in year 1887 in English.

  • Source: Phaedrus (1887). The Comedies of Terence and The Fables of Phædrus (Henry Thomas Riley, Trans.). GEORGE BELL & SONS, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN..

Based in the original work Lupus et Agnus of Phaedrus

The Wolf and the Lamb
The Wolf and the Lamb

BY thirst incited; to the brook the Wolf and Lamb themselves betook.
Driven by thirst, a Wolf and a Lamb had come to the same stream;
The Wolf high up the current drank, the Lamb far lower down the bank.
the Wolf stood above, and the Lamb at a distance below.
Then, bent his ravenous maw to cram, the Wolf took umbrage at the Lamb.
Then, the spoiler, prompted by a ravenous maw, alleged a pretext for a quarrel.
"How dare you trouble all the flood, and mingle my good drink with mud?"
“Why,” said he, “have you made the water muddy for me while I am drinking?”
"Sir," says the Lambkin, sore afraid, "How should I act, as you upbraid? The thing you mention cannot be, The stream descends from you to me."
The Fleece-bearer, trembling, answered: “Prithee, Wolf, how can I do what you complain of? The water is flowing downwards from you to where I am drinking.”
Abash'd by facts, says he, " I know 'Tis now exact six months ago You strove my honest fame to blot"-
The other, disconcerted by the force of truth, exclaimed: “Six months ago, you slandered me.”
"Six months ago, sir, I was not!" "Then 'twas th' old ram thy sire," he cried,
“Indeed,” answered the Lamb, “I was not born then.”
“By Hercules,” said the Wolf, “then ’twas your father slandered me;”
And so he tore him, till he died.
and so, snatching him up, he tore him to pieces, killing him unjustly.
To those this fable I address who are determined to oppress, and trump up any false pretence, but they will injure innocence.
This Fable is applicable to those men who, under false pretences, oppress the innocent.

Early Modern English