"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The four great loves of Gerard Manley Hopkins

The four great loves of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a man of intense passion and intense loves, and he can best be understood, perhaps, by probing his four great loves.  But first it helps to know a bit about the man himself, this grand, musical poet and priest.
Gerard Hopkins was a short man--5’3” or so--with a high-pitched voice.  He liked to hike and swim, enjoyed music, puns, and sketching, and once thought of becoming a painter.  Nicknamed “Skin” at school and “Hop” among his fellow Jesuits, he rarely used his middle name “Manley,” was sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes melancholy, was unknown and largely unpublished when he died, and is now recognized as a major, experimental English poet.
Born in 1844 as the eldest child of an Anglican businessman, he grew up in the London suburb of Hampstead, did brilliantly at Oxford, became a Catholic in 1866, entered the Jesuit Order, and was ordained a priest in 1877.  Fr. Hopkins worked in schools and parishes in England and Scotland, taught Classics at University College Dublin, and died in 1889 at the age of 44.  Unpublished until 1918 and largely unknown until the second edition of his poems in 1930, he permanently changed the face of English poetry, influencing such major figures as W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, and the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.  Who was this Gerard Hopkins?  We can best discover him, I suggest, by probing his four great loves: nature, humans, God, and words. 
I. Nature: Its Beauty and Shape
Hopkins loved nature’s beauty, and described it with rare skill and vivid images.  At 19, he wrote in his Oxford diary of “moonlight hanging or dropping on treetops like blue cobweb.”  At 21, he noted how “over the green water of the river...swallows [were] shooting, blue and purple above and shewing their amber-tinged breasts..., their flight unsteady with wagging wings.”  Lying awake one night, he saw lightning “coloured violet...but afterwards sometimes yellow, sometimes red and blue.”  He watched young lambs in springtime “toss and toss...as if it were the earth that flung them, not themselves.”  Whether describing moonlight, birds, lightning, or cavorting lambs, Hopkins always sought the exact detail and the accurate, fresh word: “blue cobweb,” “wagging wings,” “toss and toss.”  Loving nature, he wanted to make nature’s beauty permanent—at least in the words and images of his notebook.
He also loved the shapes of nature.  Clouds were “repeatedly formed in horizontal ribs.  At a distance their straightness of line was wonderful.  In passing overhead...the splits [were] fretted with lacy curves and honeycomb work.”  He noted the “curves and close folding” of tulip petals, and at his grandparents' home in Croydon the lawn had “half-circle curves of the scythe in parallel ranks.”  Even hailstones intrigued him, being “shaped like the cut of diamonds called brilliants.”  Loving nature, Hopkins loved its very shapes--its uniqueness of form.  This fascination with uniqueness, spurred by the philosophy of the medieval Duns Scotus, brought Hopkins to his famous concept of “inscape”—a word he created to express both an object's external shape and its “inner core of individuality.”  In poetry he worked to capture the inscapes of nature.
In 1877, for example, he expressed his love of nature, shape, and individuality in his rapturous sonnet “Spring”: 
    Nothing is so beautiful as Spring--
  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
    Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
    The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
  The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  The descending blue;  that blue is all in a rush
    With richness;  the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
Notice how the tossing lambs of his journal reappear in the poem, as does his interest in the shapes of nature: “weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush.”
Another poem, “The Starlight Night,” catches his breathless, childlike joy in discovering towns, castles, diamond-mines, even elves in the night sky: 
    Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
  O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
  The bright bóroughs, the circle-citadels there!
    Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves'-eyes!
Autumn evokes a similar delight in the poem “Hurrahing in Harvest”:
    Summer énds now;  now, bárbarous in béauty, the stóoks ríse
    Around;  up above, what wind-walks!  what lovely behaviour
    Of sílk-sack clóuds! has wilder, wilful-wávier
    Méal-drift moulded ever and melted acróss skíes?
No wonder Hopkins is considered one of the finest nature-poets in English.

His famous poem “Pied Beauty” celebrates not only nature's variety but also its peculiarities, as he contemplates a cow’s hairy flanks, a trout’s rosy spots, a chestnut cracked open by falling, and the angular fields of a Welsh valley:
    Glóry be to God for dappled things--
       For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
          For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-fálls;  fínches' wings;
       Lándscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough.            
“Lándscape plotted and pieced”: again he notes nature's shapes—the plots into which farmland is divided, the contours of a field lying fallow, the straight rows made by a plough.
Loving nature's beauty, Hopkins also grieves at the loss of this beauty.  He is a major environmental poet, and his poem “Binsey Poplars” mourns the cutting of shade trees upriver from Oxford: 
My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quélled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
Áll félled, félled, are áll félled....
O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew--
Hack and rack the growing green!

He also stresses nature’s beauty and permanence.  After watching tossed clouds, dancing elm branches, tree-shadows on a white wall, and drying mud, Hopkins cries out, “Million-fuelèd, nature's bonfire burns on.”  For him, nature is a never-dying bonfire, always changing, ever brilliant, surpassingly beautiful.
II. Humans: Heroes, Plain People, and the Self
 Hopkins' second great love was for humans—men, women, and children.  In life, he loved his family and had many friends, lay and Jesuit, and often ended his letters, “Your affectionate friend.”  In poetry, he celebrates heroes and simple people, some brave to the point of death, others just laborers or soldiers or sailors, or generous children, or innocent youths.
The greatest hero of Hopkins' poems—except for Christ—is not a hero but a heroine, the “Tall Nun” in his ode “The Wreck of the Deutschland.”  Exiled from her native Germany by Bismarck's Kulturkampf, she and four other Franciscan nuns were sailing to America in 1875 when, in a swirling snowstorm, their ship ran aground on a sandbar in the Thames estuary.  Unaided for thirty hours, many passengers and crewmen perished from the cold or were washed overboard by fierce waves.  Amid the tumult, the “Tall Nun” stood on a table in the ship’s cabin, thrust her head through a skylight, and kept crying out, “O Christ, Christ, come quickly.”  Deeply moved, Hopkins began his first great poem, one of the finest odes in English, about the Tall Nun who recognized God in her suffering:
Ah! thére was a héart right!
There was single eye!
Réad the unshápeable shóck níght
And knew the who and the why.
She was “a líoness,” “a próphetess,” who found Christ even in the fury of a winter storm.  Her reward was great: “for the pain, for the / Pátience” she was to be with “Jésu, héart's líght, / Jésu, máid's són,” for all eternity.
Other heroes are more common.  One is a blacksmith, “Felix Randal,” a Liverpool parishioner to whom Hopkins ministered in his illness.  Hopkins had watched his strong body weaken—a body once “big-bóned and hardy-handsome”—and memorializes him in a sonnet.  In other poems Hopkins praises an altar boy's generosity, a sailor's heroism, a beggar’s cheerfulness, a bugler's innocence, a ploughman's physical grace, and a worried boy watching his younger brother in a school play.  He praises a Welsh family for their kindness, and prays for a Lancashire couple marrying in th dull industrial town of Bedford Leigh. He celebrates his favorite saints: the Virgin Mary, St. Dorothea, St. Thecla, St. Winefred, St. Margaret Clitheroe, and his fellow Jesuits St. Francis Xavier and St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.  He also celebrates his fellow Jesuits in a comic poem I discovered in London in 1998.  Entitled “‘Consule Jones’” and written to a rollicking Welsh melody, the 48-line poem jokes about Hopkins’ fellow theologians at St. Beuno’s College in North Wales:
Murphy makes sermons so fierce and hell-fiery
Mothers miscarry and spinsters go mad.
Hayes pens his seven and twentieth diary,
Bodo’ does not, there’s no time to be had.
Lund, ever youthful, well vizor’d and turban’d,
Robs hives of that honey which we are to sip....
Hopkins’ regard for children inspired one of his finest and most accessible poems, “Spring and Fall.”  As autumn leaves fall, a young girl grieves over the loss of nature’s beauty. Naming her “Margaret” but stressing the last syllable—Margarét—Hopkins plays on the word's root-meaning: the girl is a “margareta” or “pearl.”  And as this pearl mourns for the death of nature, a greater sadness soon grows clear to the poet: lovely young Margarét is also mourning for herself.  She too will die.  “Spring and Fall” thus becomes a meditation on nature, childhood, growth, and death.  It is one of Hopkins' simplest, loveliest, saddest poems:
Spring and Fall: to a young child
Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Léaves, líke the thíngs of mán, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the héart grows ólder
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the sáme.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It ís the blíght mán was bórn for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Like Margaret, Hopkins also suffered, and in Dublin he was depressed and feared madness, penning a sonnet that screams in pain: 
No worst, there is none.  Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long;  huddle in a main, a chief-
Woe, wórld sorrow;  on an áge-old ánvil wínce and síng--
Then lull, then leave off.  Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
Ering!  Let me be fell: force I must be brief.’
O the mind, mind has mountains;  cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.  Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there.  Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep.  Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
In another sonnet he describes himself as “gall” and “heartburn,” bitter-tasting, no better than the damned in hell.  He knew well that a human, so lovable, is also so fragile, so able to suffer.
More commonly, though, he celebrates the unique selfhood of every human.  Fascinated by self, he turns to distinctive images of camphor, ale, and alum, of a plucked violin, a swinging bell, and a flame-colored kingfisher, to describe the self’s uniqueness.  And he includes himself: “I find myself more important to myself than anything I see....Nothing else in nature comes near...this selfbeing of my own.”  His most eloquent poem about selfhood is his 1877 sonnet “As kingfishers catch fire”: 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves--goes its self;  myself it speaks and spells.
Yet all humans, even such glorious, unique selves, will perish and die, and only his third great love—God—can offer full hope. 
III. Hopkins and God
In God, Hopkins finds the best hope for humans.  God is the source of nature's beauty, a creator who so loves the world that he is always present and active in his world, working in his creation and giving eternal life. Hopkins' most memorable poem about God is “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” which begins with a divine portrait that is cosmic, powerful, compelling:
Thou mastering me
God! giver of breath and bread;
Wórld's stránd, swáy of the séa;
Lord of living and dead....
Hopkins then grows personal, recalling his own terror before God, most likely when deciding to become a Catholic:
Thou hast bóund bónes and véins in me, fástened me flésh,
 And áfter it álmost únmade, what with dréad,
Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh?
 Over agáin I féel thy fínger and fínd thée.
I did say yes
O at líghtning and láshed ród;
Thou heardst me, truer than tongue, confess
Thy terror, O Christ, O God....

In such terror, Hopkins finds a fearsome God of “dréad” and “láshed ród” who wants to “master” Hopkins.  But even in terror Hopkins remembers another aspect of God, the Christ of the Eucharist, and flees to him in relief: 
...where, where was a, where was a place?--
I whirled out wings that spell
   And fled with a fling of the heart to the heart of the
Hopkins flees to the Eucharistic Christ as his savior and his love. In various poems he sees Christ as “heavenly Bread” and the “sweet Vintage of our Lord”;  as an Anglo-Saxon “hero of Calvary,” “hero of us,” “holiest, loveliest, bravest...Hero”;  as “Our passion-plungèd giant risen;  as “king,” “prince,” “high-priest,” “God-made-flesh”;  as “spouse” and “Saviour”;  as “immortal diamond”; even, in a poem about a soldier’s First Communion, as a whimsical “royal ration” and “treat” “from cupboard fetched”—as if the Eucharist were stored in a kitchen breadbox!
For Hopkins, God and Christ are always present and active in the world.  He uses a metaphor from electricity: “The world is charged wíth the grándeur of God, / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil.”  As sheet-metal flashes in the sun, so God's presence flames out in all creation, almost forcing our eyes to recognize him.  Even the wild behavior of clouds raises his mind to God: “I wálk, I líft up, Í lift úp heart, éyes, / Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour.”
Hopkins also sees God living and acting in humans.  In the sonnet “As kingfishers catch fire,” the just man 
Ácts in God's eye what in God's eye he is--
  Chríst.  For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
  To the Father through the features of men's faces.
The metaphor here is of an actor on stage: even more than an actor is Hamlet, or is Lear, or is the Fool, Christ himself is acting in, is working in you and me and every human.
Hopkins' lovable God, finally, is present even in absence, pain, and death.  In his “Terrible Sonnets” of 1885, Hopkins feels that God is absent, yet still recognizes him and complains to him: “Comforter, where, where is your comforting?” or, “...my lament / Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent / To dearest him that lives alas! away.”  Yet Hopkins later looks back on his pain and sees that even then God has been actively present with him: “That níght, that yéar / Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.”  Whether present or absent, God is Hopkins’ firm hope and firm love, and Hopkins ultimately is part of Christ:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
  I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
  Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal
Is immortal diamond.
IV. A Poet's Delight: Words, Sounds, Rhymes, Rhythms
But the world knows Gerard Hopkins primarily as a poet, and I now turn to him as poet: as a lover of words—of their sounds and rhymes and rhythms.  In truth, perhaps Hopkins’ most obvious love is his love for words. Even as a teenager, Hopkins loved words.  His secondary-school poems show an uncontrolled, adolescent fascination with rhythm and alliteration: “Rowing, I reach’d a rock,” “the dainty-delicate fretted fringe of fingers.”  At Oxford and as a Jesuit, Hopkins was fascinated by the meanings, derivations, histories, sounds, and rhythm of words, as when a Jesuit from Lancashire called a grindstone a “grindlestone.”  In his journal he notes Irish expressions, Spanish accents, and an old lady who still speaks the Cornish language.  He corresponds with a friend about Semitic and Egyptian influences on Greek, and enjoys foreign accents, once noting, with humor, how “an Italian preaching in England upon Faith said ‘He zat has no face cannot be shaved.’”
Hopkins had a lifelong love of words and of their varieties.  In his poems he sometimes chooses the uncommon word for stunning effect: “the móth-soft Mílky Wáy” or “my cries heave, herds-long.” Sometimes the unexpected common word shocks: “I am gall, I am heartburn.”  He incongruously mixes textures and temperatures, combining hard with soft and cold with hot: in “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” wintry waves are “cobbled foam-fleece” and snow is “Wíry and white-fíery.”  He invents words with abandon: “Goldengrove,” “Betweenpie,” “fallowbootfellow,” “onewhere,” “Churlsgrace,” “Amansstrength,” “shípwrack,” “downdolfinry.”  He creates hyphenated combinations that would puzzle a lexicographer: “wimpledwater-dimpled,” “wíndpuff-bónnet of fáwn-fróth,” “down-dugged ground-hugged grey,” and his famous “dapple-dáwn-drawn Falcon.”  Like an alchemist he transmutes parts of speech, turning nouns into verbs (“Let him éaster in us,” “the just man justices”), participles into nouns (“leaves me a lonely began”), and nouns into adjectives (“a madrigal start”).  To strengthen a line, he omits relative pronouns: “O Hero savest” instead of “O Hero [who] savest.”  Strange verb forms delight him: “Have fáir fállen.”  He puts exclamations into mid-sentence: “I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.”  In one poem he mixes homely dialect words (“Squandering,” “Shive”), his own compounds (“rutpeel,” “fíredint”), formal words (“resíduary”), and the basic, undignified “worm.”  Rejecting rules, he forces words to be lively and colorful, so as to catch the motion and verve and variety—and uniqueness—of life.
His rhymes are likewise wild.  To make a rhyme, he freely splits words between lines (“king- / dom,” “ling- / Ering”), breaks a contraction (“smile / 'S not wrung”), and carries a word’s final letter into the next line (“wear- / y”).  Tradition is unimportant: Hopkins, ever self-confident, prizes original word-music.  Refusing to be bound by mechanics—iambic pentameter, for example—he invents “sprung rhythm” for freshness and strength.  Thus, in “Binsey Poplars” (the poem about trees which had been cut down), instead of normal iambic pentameter which requires ten syllables for five stresses (_’_’_’_’_’), Hopkins omits unimportant syllables to make a line of only six syllables with five stresses: “Áll félled, félled, are áll félled” (’’’_’’).  The line is stronger, more telling—and more like the sound of an axe—because Hopkins uses what he calls “sprung rhythm” which makes a line “spring”—leap—from stress to stress, ignoring the unstressed syllables.  He even gives careful directions on how to perform—not “read” but “perform”—his poems.  How he loved his words!  How he loved their sounds and rhymes and rhythms!
* * * * * *
Such, then, was Gerard Hopkins: lover of nature, of people, of God, and of words.  This funny, short little poet with a high-pitched voice was a playful man, a good friend, a fine priest, a so-so teacher, a poet who liked science and despised ugliness.  Often eccentric, he was a political conservative with a strong social conscience.  He felt grand elation and deep depression.  He was holy and loved sense-experience.  He was, in short, a consummate individualist.  And a rare, truly splendid poet.
It is good to turn one last time to a poem—to the sonnet “God's Grandeur,” where with wonderful sounds and images Gerard Hopkins proclaims God's presence in the world while asking why men ignore God and damage his world.  Yet however much humans damage his world, Hopkins knows that God’s lovely nature still remains fresh and, as the rising sun spreads its first light-rays like the wings of a bird, he imagines how God broods over the world with love and is the very rays of light:
The world is charged wíth the grándeur of God.
  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
  It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed.  Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Génerátions have trod, have trod, have trod;
     And all is seared with trade;  bleared, smeared with toil;
  And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
Ánd, for all this, náture is never spent;
  There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
  Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost óver the bent
  World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
That is how Hopkins loves nature and humans and God and words.  That is the passion of a poet and a lover.
Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Praise Him: Celebrating the life and work of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Praise Him: Celebrating the life and work
of Gerard Manley Hopkins

March 25, 2015

‘I am so happy, I am so happy,” said Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., as he was dying in Dublin on June 8, 1889. As rich and resonant as any words in his poems, these words offer a multilayered commentary on his life and reputation. In 1889 he was happy to go to God as an unknown poet; in 2015 he enjoys worldwide fame as a major poet in the company of Donne, Milton, Keats and Eliot. How did this happen?

Gerard Hopkins was born on July 28, 1844, in the London suburb of Stratford, Essex, the oldest child of nine in a comfortable Church of England family. His father, Manley Hopkins, owned a London firm that insured ships against shipwreck. But Stratford was soon industrialized, and when Gerard was 8, the family moved to Hampstead, a quiet, leafy London suburb. Young Gerard was a happy boy who loved to climb trees, joined in family prayers and wrote schoolboy poems. He went up to Oxford University in 1863, made many new friends, was a brilliant student of the classics and wrote more poems, including his first sonnets. Like all Oxford students, he went to Church of England services, but he gradually grew uncertain about his religion. He read, thought and prayed, talked with the famed convert John Henry Newman (later a cardinal) and became a Roman Catholic in 1866. In 1867 he won a “first”—Oxford’s highest degree—in Greek and Latin classics, then went off to begin his life.

At Oxford Hopkins wanted to be both a painter and a poet, and after his conversion he also considered the Catholic priesthood. For eight months he taught at Newman’s school in Birmingham—the Oratory School—then, deciding to be a priest, he became a Jesuit in 1868. As a novice in London he learned Jesuit life and prayer, then studied philosophy in Lancashire and theology at St. Beuno’s College in North Wales. The first flashes of his poetic genius shone out at St. Beuno’s in 1875, when he wrote his great shipwreck ode, “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” and later 11 brilliant sonnets about nature and God. In 1877 he was ordained a priest at St. Beuno’s and at the age of 33 became Father Hopkins.

For seven years he worked in Jesuit schools and parishes in England and Scotland, writing poems about the environment, about his students and parishioners (like the Liverpool blacksmith “Felix Randal”) and about the Blessed Virgin Mary. He wrote lively sermons too. Once in Liverpool he compared the Holy Spirit to a cricket player urging a teammate, “Come on, come on!” As Paraclete, he told the congregation, the Holy Spirit “cheers the spirit of man...calling him on...: This way to do God’s will, this way to save your soul, come on, come on!” The Holy Ghost as a cricket player? Hopkins had a most lively sense of humor!

In 1884 he was sent to Dublin as a professor of Greek in the new University College on St. Stephen’s Green and as an examiner in the Royal University. He made many good friends in Ireland and enjoyed his teaching and his students but twice a year grew exhausted from grading hundreds of examination papers from all over the country. For months in 1885 he suffered from deep depression, even failing to contact God in prayer and wondering if he was losing his mind. He screamed out his pain in anguished—and brilliant—sonnets like “I wake and feel the fell of dark” and “No worst, there is none.” After a few months he recovered from his depression, but in 1889 he contracted typhoid fever and died at the age of 44, seven weeks before his 45th birthday. People remembered him as a warm friend and fine priest, but he was unknown as a poet.

Who was this man they remembered? Who was Gerard Hopkins as a person? Hopkins stood about 5’3” tall, had a high-pitched voice, a lively sense of fun and was nicknamed “Hop.” As a boy he joined in school games and loved to sketch trees and their shapes. As a Jesuit he prayed, hiked, swam, climbed mountains, wrote poems and once hurt his wrist arm-wrestling. He was always close to his family and made warm, lifelong friends at Oxford, with fellow Jesuits and with Irish families; at St. Beuno’s, a Jesuit later wrote, he was “the most popular man in the house.” For recreation he visited art exhibitions and old churches, enjoyed concerts and took vacations with his family, with Oxford friends and with fellow Jesuits, in Switzerland, Holland, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. He also composed small pieces of music but was not very good at it.

Hopkins’s major passions were beauty, nature and the environment, language and poetry, art and music, family and friends, England, the saints and God. He was mostly a happy Jesuit, though he suffered from a lifelong “melancholy” (his word) that helped bring on that depression in Dublin. As a young man he worried excessively about sin but later learned the more positive Jesuit way of finding God in all things, and in the poem “God’s Grandeur” he wrote, “The world is charged wíth the grándeur of God”—God is in the world like an electric charge ready to spark out—“pfft, pfft”—to show God’s presence. He loved Christ deeply, especially as really present in the Eucharist, and in a sermon he delivered in Liverpool he celebrated Christ as a “Hero” for all humans. His intellectual hero was a medieval philosopher, Duns Scotus, who celebrated individuality and selfhood. Hopkins even saw a unique selfhood in every tree and every bird! He had a strong sense of his own self, too, and though recognizing the dangers of fame, he was highly self-confident as a poet, even writing in his last poem that though he was losing his inspiration, his technique remained perfect: my “hand at work [is] now never wrong.” Today, 179 of his poems survive, most in English and a few in Greek, Latin and Welsh, but very few were published during his lifetime. Hopkins died in 1889 as an unknown poet.

Who Is Hopkins Now?

Today Gerard Manley Hopkins is a poet of worldwide fame, and the story is fascinating. His poems were not published until 1918, 29 years after his death, when his Oxford friend Robert Bridges edited Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins for Oxford University Press. Only 750 copies of the book were printed, though, and just 180 were sold in the first year. Hopkins remained unknown.

But in the 1920s and ’30s, a new way of reading poetry—called the New Criticism—was being developed in England and the United States. Its practitioners rejected the old ways of literary critics—studying a writer’s life, sources, intentions and effect on readers—and studied the poem itself through a “close reading” of the text: its words, images, sounds and form. The New Critics admired Hopkins’s vivid language and rich sound—his “texture”—and showed his brilliance to readers, poets and fellow critics. Gradually, Hopkins became famous and over the decades influenced such poets as W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath and the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. He also inspired some 500 musical works by Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Ned Rorem, Sir Michael Tippett and others. Many books study him—commentaries, critical studies, biographies—and countless articles. There are three journals devoted to him: The Hopkins Quarterly, an international journal (of which I am co-editor), published in Philadelphia, and Hopkins Research and Nondum, both published in Japan.

Hopkins is also memorialized in art. A grand but little-known tribute is a huge bas-relief in the United Nations’ Palais des Nations in Geneva, which the United Kingdom presented to the League of Nations in 1938 as the Lord Cecil Memorial. The bas-relief is called “The Creation of Adam”; around Adam’s reclining figure the great English sculptor Eric Gill carved five lines from the opening stanza of “The Wreck of the Deutschland.” In 1975 Hopkins was honored in Westminster Abbey’s famed Poets’ Corner with a large floor stone of black marble bearing the tribute “Priest & poet/ ‘Immortal diamond’” carved below his name. In 2004 the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh was formally opened, and on its “Canongate Wall” 24 quotations were carved in stone, one bearing the last four lines of Hopkins’s environmental poem “Inversnaid” about a waterfall at Loch Lomond. Two monuments honor him at Regis University in Denver and in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Smaller memorials also celebrate him: in London a “Blue Plaque” decorates the wall of Manresa House, Roehampton, where he lived and studied; and in Dublin, a plaque at the door of No. 86 St. Stephen’s Green, the original building of University College Dublin, records three famous figures who worked there: “John Henry Newman, Rector; Gerard Manley Hopkins, Professor of Greek; James Augustine Joyce, Student.” Notable company for a once-unknown poet!

The 1989 centennial of Hopkins’s death brought him new international fame. The centennial day itself, June 8, was celebrated in London, Oxford, Dublin, Washington, D.C., and at Loch Lomond. Major exhibitions were mounted by Oxford University, by University College Dublin and by the University of Texas at Austin, with smaller exhibitions at St. Beuno’s, at Hopkins’s birthplace in Stratford, Essex, at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash, and in a travelling exhibition in North Wales. Academic events honored him in England, Wales, Ireland, Italy and the United States; and lectures celebrated him in France, England, Wales, Canada, the United States, Paraguay, the Philippines and Japan.

Today, 25 years after his centennial, Hopkins’s poems still inspire music, new books still proliferate, and scholars of many religions—or none—teach, translate and write about him in countries as diverse as Israel, Sweden, Poland, Italy, France, England, the United States, Mexico, Korea and Japan. Book-length translations of his poems are published in Japanese, Korean, Dutch, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew, and a Russian translation is now underway. He has had novels written about him, notably Ron Hansen’s Exiles (2008); three one-man plays portray his life; and actors like Richard Burton and Richard Austin have recorded his poems. Every year, Regis University in Denver holds an international Hopkins Conference, and the Hopkins Society of Ireland sponsors a Hopkins Festival in Co. Kildare. Oxford University Press currently is publishing a new scholarly edition of everythingHopkins wrote, in eight large volumes.

A few final signs of Hopkins’s current fame complete the picture. Just before Christmas 2009, a theater company in Santa Fe, N.M., performed 30 Hopkins poems spoken, sung and danced by 35 people; the two performances drew audiences of several hundred. In 2011, at the funeral of the actress Elizabeth Taylor and following her wish, an actor read Hopkins’s poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo.” In 2013, just after his election, Pope Francis told an interviewer (Am., 09/30/2013) that he “liked Gerard Manley Hopkins very much.” And with a touch of whimsy, I add that two pubs memorialize Hopkins. In England, his birthplace of Stratford has a pub named the “Goldengrove” (a rich word from his poem “Spring and Fall”) with Hopkins displays inside, and in Ireland, Monasterevin has a pub called “The Manley Hopkins.” Not every poet—or every Jesuit priest—has two pubs named for him!

All these details tell a larger story: the man unknown at his death in 1889 is alive and famed today throughout the world.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gerard Manley Hopkins - The Poet & His Poetry

The best ideal is the true
And other truth is none.
All glory be ascribèd to
The holy Three in One.

- "Summa," by GMH

The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To Christ our Lord

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, —the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.


The Best Gerard Manley Hopkins
~ Poems Everyone Should Read ~

10 great poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins and why you should read them

Whittling down a great poet’s oeuvre to 10 essential must-read poems is always going to be difficult, and the list of the best Hopkins poems which follows is, we confess, somewhat personal. But if you’re looking for an introduction to the spellbinding poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) or an excuse to revisit his work, we hope you’ll enjoy this list, which might be considered a follow-up to our post detailing our favourite Gerard Manley Hopkins facts. Click on the link in the title of each poem to read it.

10. Thou art indeed just, Lord. One of a number of very popular sonnets Hopkins wrote, this one earns its place in this top-ten list of the best Hopkins poems because of the wonderful use of language in the phrase, ‘birds build, but not I build’. The poet’s sense of disappointment and frustration with life is brilliantly captured by his inability, here, even to build a simple, clear statement (it would have been very different had Hopkins written ‘birds build, but I don’t build’).

9. Binsey Poplars. Hopkins was moved to write this poem after hearing about the felling of some poplar trees in Oxford in 1879. By the end, the poplars were all gone: ‘All felled, felled, are all felled’ (how well that line captures the heartless and systematic felling of the trees through its bald repetition). The end of this poem reminds us a little of the song-like quality of some of Christina Rossetti’s verse; it’s not often that Hopkins reminds us of Rossetti, but there is something in the repetition of phrases and movement of the lines which evokes the song as much as the poem here.

8. ‘Felix Randal‘. Another one of Hopkins’s sonnets, ‘Felix Randal’ was written in response to the news that one of Hopkins’s parishioners had died. Like ‘The Windhover’ (see below) it’s a sonnet, and employs Hopkins’s distinctive sprung rhythm effectively within the longer lines of the poem. (For more on the sonnet form, see our introduction to the sonnet.)

7. Pied Beauty. A celebration of ‘dappled things’, from the pattern of clouds in the sky to the ‘stipple’ on the skin of trout, ‘Pied Beauty’ is another sonnet – but a very particular kind of sonnet, the ‘curtal sonnet‘. This shortened form of the usual fourteen-line poem was invented by Hopkins and used in ‘Pied Beauty’ as well as several other poems, but this is the best of them.

6. Carrion Comfort. Written in Ireland around the same time as the Terrible Sonnets, ‘Carrion Comfort’ (another sonnet) sees Hopkins refusing to give in to dark despair, no matter how much it wants him to. Worth reading for the last four words alone.

5. I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day. One of Hopkins’s ‘Terrible Sonnets’ (so named not because they’re badly written, of course, but because they date from a terrible period of depression in Hopkins’s life – this is actually one of the best Hopkins poems ever!), this poem is one of the finest evocations of a sleepless night that English poetry has produced: ‘But where I say / Hours I mean years, mean life.’ Ouch. Desolation has seldom been expressed so exquisitely.

4. Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves. This poem is yet another sonnet, but is another unusual and original take on the form, with each line containing even more syllables than ‘Felix Randal’. In Greek myth the Sibyls were seers who would foretell the future, though their messages would often be cryptic, leaving the recipient to make of them what he or she wished. Many poets have written about evening turning slowly into night, but none had done it quite the way Hopkins does here.

3. ‘God’s Grandeur. Starting with the arresting image of the grandeur of God flaming out ‘like shook foil’, this sonnet is among Hopkins’s most widely anthologised. The poet complains that the modern world has lost its spiritual connection with God because we have become estranged from nature: now that we wear shoes, our feet don’t even truly feel the grass beneath our feet!

2. ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland. Hopkins gave up writing poetry in the late 1860s when he joined the Society of Jesus, because he thought poetry was self-indulgent. However, an event that occurred in late 1875 convinced him to take up his pen again. ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’ was written in 1876 to commemorate the sinking of a ship named the Deutschland. Aboard the ship were five Franciscan nuns, all of whom drowned off the Kentish coast along with nearly 200 other passengers. Hopkins’s poem grapples with the central issue for any believer: how can one reconcile such a tragedy with a belief in a benevolent God? One of the strengths of Hopkins’s poem is that he views God as all-powerful and benevolent but also terrifying and mighty. As we revealed in our post about Hopkins’s life, very little of his poetry was published in his lifetime (1844-89), and the first full book of his writing didn’t appear until 1918. This is Hopkins’s longest poem and was described by his friend (and, later, his first editor) Robert Bridges as ‘like a great dragon folded in the gate to forbid all entrance’, because it was printed at the beginning of The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1918. Readers would have to confront and overcome it if they were to make any sense of Hopkins’s poetry. Watch out for the 6ft-tall nun – she was based on real reports of such a nun among the five who lost their lives in the wreck.

1. ‘The Windhover. Hopkins himself called ‘The Windhover’ ‘the best thing I ever wrote’; we agree. It’s a tour de force as a piece of nature poetry and devotional poetry, and its language is vibrant and inventive throughout, from its splitting of the word ‘king-dom’ across the first two lines of the sonnet (yes, ‘The Windhover’ is another Hopkins sonnet) to the invented word ‘sillion’. A ‘windhover’ is an old poetic name for the kestrel, and Hopkins’s poem beautifully captures the experience of seeing the bird majestically in flight.

The best edition of Hopkins’s poems to get is Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works (Oxford World’s Classics). It contains a pretty complete collection of Hopkins’s poetry and also includes highlights from his letters and journals, which are written in the same idiosyncratic manner and reflect Hopkins’s individual and distinctive way of looking at the world. It also has a helpful introduction and detailed notes on the poems.

Have we missed any of Hopkins’s greatest poems off this list? Let us know what would make your top 10 of best Hopkins poems, and what would get the top spot.


Popular Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins

God's Grandeur The world is charged with the grandeur of ...

Heaven-Haven I have desired to go Where springs not ...

The Alchemist In The City My window shews the travelling ...

Spring And Fall: To A Young Ch... Margaret, are you ...

Moonless Darkness Stands Betwe... Moonless darkness stands ...

Easter Communion Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast: ...

The Windhover I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, ...

Gerard Manley Hopkins, c.1863

Biography of Hopkins

Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Manley_Hopkins

Poetry Foundation - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/gerard-manley-hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins, c.1880
Poems by Hopkins

Poem Hunter - https://www.poemhunter.com/gerard-manley-hopkins/

Bartleby - http://www.bartleby.com/122/

Saturday, September 16, 2017

R.E. Slater - Love and Time Explored Through Prose, Video, and Poem

Love in Pictures

Love pictures our lives placed like mirrors facing each other in timeless, or endless, reflection played as unending symphonies expressing being. A being that is innumerably, relentlessly, persistently expressed against all else which would undo its hold.

Love's melody plays in the background of our lives. It's tempo threads throughout our identity, relationships, existence. It confounds the human breast unsure its truth but driven by its madness.

Within its mystery comes the crescendos and decrecendos of our lives. It persists, can destroy, wreck, or ruin us till in weakness we turn to its destructive force to rebuild, restore, absolve, and become.

In our becoming, love lives best even as it rends all else apart until a balance is found restoring our lives back to the sublime symphonies we bear heard upon the winds of creation and within our very hearts beating its mystery.

In both the pauses, and the sustained chords, love finds recreation - as it must - until all comes to rest within the bosom of its melodious nocturne.

R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017

Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror)
for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)

Spiegel im Spiegel ('Mirror in the Mirror') is a piece of music written by Arvo Pärt in 1978, just before his departure from Estonia. The piece is in the tintinnabular style of composition, wherein a melodic voice, operating over diatonic scales, and tintinnabular voice, operating within a triad on the tonic, accompany each other. It is about ten minutes long.

The piece was originally written for a single piano and violin – though the violin has often been replaced with either a cello or a viola. Versions also exist for double bassclarinethornflugelhornflutebassoontrombone, and percussion. The piece is an example of minimal music.

The piece is in F major in 6/4 time, with the piano playing rising crotchet triads and the second instrument playing slow F major scales, alternately rising and falling, of increasing length, which all end on the note A (the mediant of F). The piano's left hand also plays notes, synchronised with the violin (or other instrument).

"Spiegel im Spiegel" in German literally can mean both "mirror in the mirror" as well as "mirrors in the mirror", referring to an infinity mirror, which produces an infinity of images reflected by parallel plane mirrors: the tonic triads are endlessly repeated with small variations as if reflected back and forth. The structure of melody is made by couple of phrases characterized by the alternation between ascending and descending movement with the fulcrum on the note A. This, with also the overturning of the final intervals between adjacent phrases (for example, ascending sixth in the question - descending sixth in the answer), contribute to give the impression of a figure reflecting on a mirror and walking back and towards it.

In 2011, the piece was the focus of a half-hour BBC Radio 4 programme, Soul Music, which examined pieces of music "with a powerful emotional impact". Violinist Tasmin Little discussed her relationship to the piece.

* * * * * * * *


Love transcends the dialation of time.
It moves and morphs
    by that aspect we know as relationality,
    so entwined within the fabric of creative chaos,
    whose entropy destroys all we had,
    or have,
    or will.

And yet love, like gravity,
    binds all time,
    across its spaces,
    whatever the time slice,
    whatever the moment,
    whatever the distance.

Love's pain is bourne -
    in the losses we feel.
It's relevance -
    in the groundedness we experience.
It's possibility -
    in the willingness to lose oneself in another,
    that it might be held briefly as a living thing,
    before becoming mere memory,
    leaving only lingering trace winds,
    of feeling and memory.

Love is the binding metaphysical gravity
of all human chaos-recreation.
    It transcends,
    it brings near distant objects,
    moves to action the necessary,
    and refuses any kind of objectivity,
    it is an elemental mystery.

Though the mind dissects it the heart lives it.
    It lives unnoticed most of the time,
    but its force overturns our lives,
    at every stage of our being,
    both the bad and the good.

Its force, like gravity,
    is seemingly weak in daily transactions,
    but is exceedingly strong across large distances,
    unrealized until we take the backwards look
    of introspection to life's biography.

Love is always present,
    yet, like the beating heart,
    or, act of breathing,
    unnoticed, until displayed.
It exists because we exist.
    And we exist because it exists.

Love is the breath of life
    we most depend, need, want, and crave.
Its addiction can do phenomenal things
    in the lives of those willing its power.
Its what we call God's image
    which we image back,
    to the Divine mystery,
    through ferocity,
    or, grief.

Love is,
    and its capture is what gives to us meaning.
Nothing else exists so pervasively,
    so powerfully,
    so beautifully,
   or, so independently.

Love just is.

Love is the why,
    the what,
    the sustenance,
    to all else.
Love transects all living
    or, future.

Love's process is unlike
    any other force we know,
    or will ever know,
    so complete is its knowledge,
    of both divine and human,

Love is us and we are it.

R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017

Transcending Time | Interstellar's Hidden Meaning

Arrival | Facing the Fear of Existence

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Aesop's Fables - History, Links, Images & Popular Usages

Wikipedia - Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media.

The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him, although some of that material was from sources earlier than him or came from beyond the Greek cultural sphere. The process of inclusion has continued until the present, with some of the fables unrecorded before the later Middle Ages and others arriving from outside Europe. The process is continuous and new stories are still being added to the Aesop corpus, even when they are demonstrably more recent work and sometimes from known authors.

Manuscripts in Latin and Greek were important avenues of transmission, although poetical treatments in European vernaculars eventually formed another. On the arrival of printing, collections of Aesop's fables were among the earliest books in a variety of languages. Through the means of later collections, and translations or adaptations of them, Aesop's reputation as a fabulist was transmitted throughout the world.

Initially the fables were addressed to adults and covered religious, social and political themes. They were also put to use as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children. Their ethical dimension was reinforced in the adult world through depiction in sculpture, painting and other illustrative means, as well as adaptation to drama and song. In addition, there have been reinterpretations of the meaning of fables and changes in emphasis over time.

* * * * * * * *

The Wind and the Sun

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

* * * * * * * *

Aesop’s Fables

with clipart, and illustrations by Milo Winter

* * * * * * * *

Wikipedia List of some fables by Aesop

Titles A–L

Titles M–Z


Wikipedia - The Perry Index

The Perry Index is a widely used index of "Aesop's Fables" or "Aesopica", the fables credited to Aesop, the storyteller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC. Modern scholarship takes the view that Aesop probably did not compose all of the fables attributed to him; indeed, a few are known to have first been used before Aesop lived, while the first record we have of many others is from well over a millennium after his time. Traditionally, Aesop's fables were arranged alphabetically, which is not helpful to the reader. Perry and Rodriguez Adardos separated the Greek fables from the Latin ones, with the Greek ones first; then they arranged each group chronologically and by source; finally they arranged the fables alphabetically within these groups. This system also does not help the casual reader, but is the best for scholarly purposes.

Ben Edwin Perry (1892–1968) was a professor of classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1924 to 1960. He was author of Studies in the Text History of the Life and Fables of Aesop and many other books. His Aesopica ("A Series of Texts Relating to Aesop Or Ascribed to Him Or Closely Connected with the Literal Tradition that Bears His Name") has become the definitive edition of all fables reputed to be by Aesop, with fables arranged by earliest known source. His index of fables has been used as a reference system by later authors.

Additional Reference Material - The Perry Index in Full

Go to the bottom of this article for a complete Wikipedia list
of the Perry Index with links back to Wikipedia describing
the fable and citing the verse in Greek, Latin, and English.

Other Reference Links to The Perry Index

Perry Index of Aesop's Fables - List

Perry Index of Aesop's Fables - Home Page

* * * * * * * *

19 Everyday Expressions That Came from Aesop


September 3, 2014

Aesop: We’ve all heard the name, and most of us are familiar with at least a few of his fables with the anthropomorphized animals facing extremely unrealistic yet entertaining dilemmas.

There is no concrete evidence that the ancient Greek moralist and former slave we call Aesop ever wrote down any of his stories (in fact, it was several centuries after Aesop’s purported death that the first collection of his fables appeared), nor is there even proof that he actually existed at all. But the wisdom and warnings offered up by the morals of his many popular tales have survived more than two millennia, weaseling their way into the English language as common everyday expressions. Here are a handful of Aesop’s most popular contributions that we still use today, along with a taste of the stories that spawned them:

1. “Quality, not quantity.”—From “The Lioness and the Vixen”

A mother fox and lioness were boasting to each other about their young when the fox pointed out that where she gave birth to a litter of cubs each time, the lioness had only one. “But that one is a lion,” responded the lioness. Checkmate.

2. “Honesty is the best policy.”—From the tale “Mercury and the Woodsman”

A woodsman lost his axe in a river and Mercury (the one with the wings on his shoes) appeared to retrieve it. Mercury offered the woodsman an axe made of silver and another made of gold before offering the man his own and, since the man admitted that the first two were not his, he was given all three axes as a reward. When a friend heard this story, he dropped his own axe into the same river. Smart. Mercury appeared again but this time the friend claimed the golden axe as his own, which disgusted the god so much that he returned all three tools back to the bottom of the river, leaving the man empty-handed.

3. “Pride comes before a fall.”—From “The Eagle and the Cockerels”

Two cocks were fighting for control of a roost. When it was over, the loser of the battle went and hid himself in a dark corner while the winner climbed atop the barn and began to crow where he was promptly snatched up by a hungry eagle. The emo rooster was cock of the walk thereafter despite his excessive use of eyeliner.

4. “Revenge is a Two-Edged Sword.”—From “The Farmer and the Fox”

A farmer was fed up with a fox prowling his hen house at night and so set out for revenge. He trapped the fox and tied some tinder to his tail which he then set ablaze. In a panic, the fox set off at a run and, making his way through the farmer’s corn field, burned the farmer’s entire harvest to the ground.

5. “Don’t make much ado about nothing,” or “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”—From “The Mountain in Labor”.

It would seem that even Shakespeare gave props to Aesop. In this tale, a mountain was groaning and appeared ready to burst and so attracted a great crowd, all of them anticipating some incredible tragedy. Finally, at the peak of this activity, from out of the mound surfaced a mouse, and for some reason everyone was completely disappointed despite the most likely alternative having been a volcanic eruption.

6. “It’s easy to kick a man when he’s down.”—From “The Dogs and the Fox”.

A fox came across some dogs gnawing on a lion skin and said (paraphrased) “that lion would kill you all if it wasn’t dead already.”

7. To take the “lion’s share.”—From “The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass”

A lion, a fox, and an ass went hunting together and set to divide the spoils of their efforts between them. First, the ass divided the goods into three even piles, at which point the lion attacked and devoured him, then asked the fox to divide the food. The fox, taking a lesson from the ass, gave the lion nearly all of the game and set aside a meager portion for himself, which pleased the lion, who then allowed the fox to live. Another lesson gleaned from this tale? "Happy is the man who learns from the misfortunes of others."

8. “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.”—From “The Milkmaid and Her Pail”

A farmer’s daughter was musing about the value of the milk she carried in the pail atop her head and began planning to use the profits to buy enough eggs to start a poultry farm. Eventually, her wild mind led her to ponder using the spoils of her poultry farm to buy a fancy gown for the fair. As the girl imagined how the boys would flock to her in her sparkling new duds she tossed her hair, sending the pail of milk and all of her dreams to the dirt below.

9. “Necessity is the mother of invention.”—From “The Crow and the Pitcher”

A thirsty crow happened upon a tall pitcher, inside of which was a small quantity of water that he could not reach. The crow, apparently a genius bird, gathered a crop of stones and dropped them one by one into the pitcher until the water level had was high enough for him to drink. Ahh.

10. “Look before you leap.”—From “The Fox and the Goat”

A fox found himself trapped in a well and so he coaxed a goat down with him into the water below. When the goat reached the bottom of the well the fox climbed on his back and out of his prison, leaving the goat to suffer his fate alone.

11. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”—From “The Hawk and the Nightingale”

A nightingale was caught in the talons of a hawk and pled for his life, saying that the hawk ought to let him go and pursue much larger birds that might have a better shot at slaking his hunger. “I should indeed have lost my senses,” said the hawk, “If I should let go food ready to my hand, for the sake of pursuing birds which are not yet even within sight.” And he ate him.

12. “One good turn deserves another.”—From “The Serpent and the Eagle”

A snake and an eagle were locked in a life-and-death battle when a countryman came upon them and freed the eagle from the serpent’s grasp. As retribution, the snake spat venom into the man’s drinking horn and, as he went to drink, the grateful eagle knocked the poisoned drink from his hand and onto the ground below. The man was probably just ticked about his drink, though, if you think about it. Unless he spoke eagle.

13. “Fair weather friends are not much worth.”—From “The Swallow and the Crow”

In the story, a swallow and crow were arguing over who had the superior plumage when the crow ended the discussion by pointing out that, though the swallow’s feathers were pretty, his kept him from freezing during the winter. The crow then dropped the mic and walked off the stage.

14. To have “sour grapes”.—From “The Fox and the Grapes”

A fox came across a bunch of grapes hanging from a trellis high above but, try as he might, he just couldn’t reach them. As he gave up on the fruit and began to walk away, he said to himself, “I thought those grapes were ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.” It's easy to disparage something you can't attain.

15. “Slow and steady wins the race.”—From “The Hare and the Tortoise”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one...You have? So you know the turtle wins the race despite the hare's incredible speed? Thought so. Moving on, then.

16. “Birds of a feather flock together.”—From “The Farmer and the Stork”

When a flock of cranes descended on a farmer’s newly seeded field, he cast a net with the intention of trapping and killing them all. In the process, the farmer gathered a single stork along with the cranes, who naturally pleaded for his life, citing his noble character and pointing out that his plumage was different from his cohorts. The farmer, however, was not moved and, since the stork had seen fit to take up with the scoundrel cranes, he did him in with the other birds all the same.

17. “Nip evil in the bud.”—From “The Thief and His Mother”

When a woman failed to discipline her son for stealing a book from a schoolmate, he continued to up the ante and was eventually caught and hung. As the woman cried about her son’s fate, a neighbor basically rubbed it in her face by pointing out that if she’d put a stop to his thieving ways long before he never would have been executed.

18. “A man is known by the company he keeps.”—From “The Ass and His Purchaser”

A man looking to purchase an ass took one home on a trial basis and released him in the pasture with his other donkeys. When the new addition took an instant liking to the laziest ass of the bunch, the farmer yoked him up and led him straight back to the vendor, saying that he expected the new donkey would probably just turn out as worthless as his choice of companion.

19. “Out of the frying pan, into the fire.”—From “The Stag and the Lion”

No surprise ending here—a stag took refuge in a cave to hide from a pack of dogs that were on his trail only to find something much worse inside: a lion. Not quite sure how anyone can take anything from this particular fable except maybe ‘Keep yourself out of strange caves if you don’t want to get eaten by a lion.’ Still, it’s pretty sound advice.

* * * * * * * *

The Perry Index

Perry 1–100

Perry 1. Eagle and Fox

Perry 2. Eagle, Jackdaw and Shepherd

Perry 3. Eagle and Beetle

Perry 4. Hawk and Nightingale

Perry 5. The Athenian Debtor

Perry 6. The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

Perry 7. Cat as Physician and the Hens

Perry 8. Aesop at the Shipyard

Perry 9. The Fox and the Goat in the Well

Perry 10. Fox and Lion

Perry 11. The Fisherman Pipes to the Fish

Perry 12. Fox and Leopard

Perry 13. The Fisherman

Perry 14. The Ape boasting to the Fox about his Ancestry

Perry 15. The Fox and the Grapes out of Reach

Perry 16. The Cat and the Cock

Perry 17. The Fox without a Tail

Perry 18. The Fisherman and the Little Fish

Perry 19. The Fox and the Thornbush

Perry 20. Fox and Crocodile

Perry 21. The Fishermen and the Tunny

Perry 22. The Fox and the Woodcutter

Perry 23. Cocks and Partridge

Perry 24. The Fox with the Swollen Belly

Perry 25. The Halcyon

Perry 26. A Fisherman

Perry 27. The Fox looks at the Actor's Mask

Perry 28. The Cheater

Perry 29. The Charcoal Dealer and the Fuller

Perry 30. The Shipwrecked Man - noticed under Hercules and the Wagoner

Perry 31. The Middle-aged Man and his Two Mistresses

Perry 32. The Murderer

Perry 33. The Braggart

Perry 34. Impossible Promises

Perry 35. The Man and the Satyr

Perry 36. Evil-wit

Perry 37. A Blind Man

Perry 38. The Ploughman and the Wolf

Perry 39. The Wise Swallow

Perry 40. The Astrologer

Perry 41. Fox and Lamb

Perry 42. The Farmer's Bequest to his Sons

Perry 43. Two Frogs

Perry 44. The Frogs ask Zeus for a King

Perry 45. The Oxen and the Squeaking-Axle

Perry 46. The North Wind and the Sun

Perry 47. The Boy with the Stomach-Ache

Perry 48. The Nightingale and the Bat

Perry 49. The Herdsman who lost a Calf

Perry 50. The Weasel and Aphrodite

Perry 51. The Farmer and the Snake

Perry 52. The Farmer and his Dogs

Perry 53. The Farmer's Sons

Perry 54. The Snails in the Fire

Perry 55. The Woman and her Overworked Maidservants

Perry 56. The Witch

Perry 57. The Old Woman and the Thieving Physician

Perry 58. The Overfed Hen (noticed under The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs)

Perry 59. Weasel and File

Perry 60. The Old Man and Death

Perry 61. Fortune and the Farmer

Perry 62. The Dolphins at War and the Gudgeon (or Crab)

Perry 63. Demades the Orator

Perry 64. The Wrong Remedy for Dog-bite

Perry 65. The Travellers and the Bear

Perry 66. The Youngsters in the Butcher's Shop

Perry 67. The Wayfarers who Found an Axe

Perry 68. The Enemies

Perry 69. Two Frogs were Neighbours

Perry 70. The Oak and the Reed

Perry 71. The Timid and Covetous Man who found a Lion made of Gold

Perry 72. The Beekeeper

Perry 73. The Ape and the Dolphin

Perry 74. The Stag at the Fountain

Perry 75. The One-eyed Stag

Perry 76. The Stag and the Lion in a Cave

Perry 77. The Stag and the Vine

Perry 78. The Passengers at Sea

Perry 79. Cat and Mice

Perry 80. The Flies in the Honey

Perry 81. The Ape and the Fox

Perry 82. Ass, Cock, and Lion

Perry 83. The Ape and the Camel

Perry 84. The Two Beetles

Perry 85. The Pig and the Sheep

Perry 86. The Thrush

Perry 87. The Goose that laid the Golden Eggs

Perry 88. Hermes and the Statuary

Perry 89. Hermes and Tiresias

Perry 90. Viper and Watersnake

Perry 91. The Ass who would be Playmate to his Master

Perry 92. The Two Dogs

Perry 93. The Viper and the File

Perry 94. The Father and his Two Daughters

Perry 95. The Ill-tempered Wife

Perry 96. Viper and Fox

Perry 97. The Young Goat and the Wolf as Musicians

Perry 98. The Kid on the House-top and the Wolf

Perry 99. A Statue of Hermes on Sale

Perry 100. Zeus, Prometheus, Athena and Momus

Perry 101–200

Perry 102. Hermes and Earth

Perry 103. Hermes and the Artisans

Perry 104. Zeus and Apollo, a Contest in Archery

Perry 105. Man's Years

Perry 106. Zeus and the Tortoise

Perry 107. Zeus and the Fox

Perry 108. Zeus and Man

Perry 109. Zeus and Shame

Perry 110. The Hero

Perry 111. Heracles and Plutus

Perry 112. Ant and Beetle

Perry 113. The Tunny and the Dolphin

Perry 114. The Physician at the Funeral

Perry 115. The Fowler and the Asp

Perry 116. The Crab and the Fox

Perry 117. The Camel who wanted Horns

Perry 118. The Beaver

Perry 119. The Gardener watering his Vegetables

Perry 120. The Gardener and his Dog

Perry 121. The Cithara Player

Perry 122. The Thieves and the Cock

Perry 123. The Jackdaw and the Crows

Perry 124. Fox and Crow

Perry 125. The Crow and the Raven

Perry 126. Jackdaw and Fox

Perry 127. The Crow and the Dog

Perry 128. The Crow and the Snake

Perry 129. The Jackdaw and the Pigeons

Perry 130. The Stomach and the Feet

Perry 131. The Jackdaw fleeing from Captivity

Perry 132. The Dog who would chase a Lion

Perry 133. The Dog with the Meat and his Shadow

Perry 134. The Sleeping Dog and the Wolf

Perry 135. The Famished Dogs

Perry 136. The Dog and the Hare

Perry 137. The Gnat and the Bull

Perry 138. The Hares and the Frogs

Perry 139. The Sea-gull and the Kite

Perry 140. The Lion in Love

Perry 141. The Lion and the Frog

Perry 142. The Aged Lion and the Fox

Perry 143. The Lion and the Bull invited to Dinner

Perry 144. The Lion in the Farmer's Yard

Perry 145. Lion and Dolphin

Perry 146. The Lion startled by a Mouse

Perry 147. Lion and Bear

Perry 148. The Lion and the Hare

Perry 149. The Lion, Ass, and Fox

Perry 150. The Lion and the Mouse

Perry 151. The Lion and the Ass Hunting

Perry 152. The Brigand and the Mulberry Tree

Perry 153. The Wolves and the Sheep

Perry 154. The Wolf and the Horse

Perry 155. The Wolf and the Lamb

Perry 156. The Wolf and the Heron

Perry 157. The Wolf and the Goat

Perry 158. The Wolf and the Old Woman Nurse

Perry 159. Wolf and Sheep (Three True Statements)

Perry 160. The Disabled Wolf and the Sheep

Perry 161. The Fortune-teller

Perry 162. The Baby and the Crow

Perry 163. Zeus and the Bees

Perry 164. The Mendicant Priests

Perry 165. Battle of the Mice and Cats

Perry 166. The Ant (noticed under The Ant and the Grasshopper)

Perry 167. The Fly

Perry 168. The Shipwrecked Man

Perry 169. The Prodigal Young Man and the Swallow

Perry 170. Physician and Sick Man

Perry 171. Bat, Thorn Bush, and Gull

Perry 172. The Bat and the Two Weasels

Perry 173. Hermes and the Woodcutter

Perry 174. Fortune and the Traveller by the Well

Perry 175. The Travellers and the Plane Tree

Perry 176. The Man who warmed a Snake

Perry 177. The Driftwood on the Sea

Perry 178. The Traveller's Offering to Hermes

Perry 179. The Ass and Gardener

Perry 180. The Ass with a Burden of Salt

Perry 181. The Ass and the Mule

Perry 182. The Ass carrying the Image of a God

Perry 183. The Wild Ass and the Tame Ass (noticed under The Dog and the Wolf)

Perry 184. The Ass and the Cicadas

Perry 185. The Donkeys make a Petition to Zeus

Perry 186. The Ass and his Driver

Perry 187. The Wolf as Physician

Perry 188. Ass in Lion's Skin

Perry 189. The Ass and the Frogs

Perry 190. Ass, Crow, and Wolf

Perry 191. The Fox betrays the Ass

Perry 192. The Hen and the Swallow

Perry 193. The Fowler and the Lark

Perry 194. The Fowler and the Stork

Perry 195. The Camel seen for the First Time (noticed under The Lion and the Fox)

Perry 196. The Snake and the Crab

Perry 197. Snake, Weasel and Mice

Perry 198. Zeus and the Downtrodden Snake

Perry 199. The Boy and the Scorpion

Perry 200. The Thief and his Mother

Perry 201–300

Perry 201. The Pigeon and the Picture

Perry 202. The Pigeon and the Crow

Perry 203. The Ape and the Fisherman

Perry 204. The Rich Man and the Tanner

Perry 205. The Hired Mourners

Perry 206. Shepherd and Dog

Perry 207. The Shepherd and the Sea

Perry 208. The Shepherd and his Sheep

Perry 209. The Shepherd and the Young Wolves

Perry 210. The Shepherd who cried "Wolf!" in Jest

Perry 211. The Boy bathing in the River

Perry 212. The Sheep unskilfully Sheared

Perry 213. Pomegranate, Apple Tree, and Bramble

Perry 214. The Mole

Perry 215. The Wasps and the Partridges

Perry 216. The Wasp and the Snake

Perry 217. The Bull and the Wild Goats

Perry 218. The Ape's Twin Offspring

Perry 219. The Peacock and the Jackdaw

Perry 220. Camel and Elephant, Candidates for King

Perry 221. Zeus and the Snake

Perry 222. The Sow and the Bitch

Perry 223. A Dispute concerning Fecundity

Perry 224. The Wild Boar and the Fox

Perry 225. The Miser and his Gold

Perry 226. The Tortoise and the Hare

Perry 227. The Swallow nesting on the Courthouse

Perry 228. The Geese and the Cranes

Perry 229. The Swallow and the Crow

Perry 230. The Turtles takes Lessons from the Eagle

Perry 231. The Athlete and the Flea

Perry 232. The Foxes at the Meander River

Perry 233. The Swan and his Owner (noticed under The Swan and the Goose)

Perry 234. The Wolf and the Shepherd (Referenced under The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing)

Perry 235. The Ant and the Dove

Perry 236. The Travellers and the Crow

Perry 237. A Donkey Bought on Approval

Perry 238. The Fowler and the Pigeons

Perry 239. The Depositary and the god Horkos (Oath)

Perry 240. Prometheus and Men

Perry 241. Cicada and Fox

Perry 242. The Hyena and the Fox

Perry 243. The Hyenas

Perry 244. The Parrot and the Cat (Partridge and Cat)

Perry 245. The Timid Soldier and the Crows

Perry 246. The Wife and her Drunken Husband

Perry 247. Diogenes on a Journey

Perry 248. Diogenes and the Bald Man

Perry 249. The Dancing Camel

Perry 250. The Nut Tree

Perry 251. The Lark

Perry 252. The Dog, the Rooster, and the Fox

Perry 253. Dog and Shellfish

Perry 254. Dog and Butcher

Perry 255. Mosquito and Lion

Perry 256. Hares and Foxes

Perry 257. Lioness and Fox

Perry 258. The Sick Lion, the Wolf, and Fox

Perry 259. The Lion, Prometheus and the Elephant

Perry 260. The Wolf admiring his Shadow

Perry 261. The Wolf and the Lamb

Perry 262. The Trees and the Olive

Perry 263. The Ass and the Mule

Perry 264. The Ass and his Fellow Traveller the Dog

Perry 265. The Fowler and the Partridge

Perry 266. The Two Wallets

Perry 267. The Shepherd and the Wolf that he brought up with his Dogs (Referenced under The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing)

Perry 268. The Caterpillar and the Snake (Referenced under The Frog and the Ox)

Perry 269. The Wild Boar, the Horse, and the Hunter

Perry 270. The Wall and the Stake

Perry 271. Winter and Spring

Perry 272. Man and Flea

Perry 273. The Flea and the Ox

Perry 274. Good Things and Evil

Perry 275. The Eagle who had his Wings Cropped

Perry 276. The Eagle Wounded by an Arrow

Perry 277. The Nightingale and the Swallow

Perry 278. The Athenian and the Theban

Perry 279. The Goat and the Ass

Perry 280. Goat and Goatherd

Perry 281. The Fighting Cocks

Perry 282. Little Fish escape the Net

Perry 283. The Fire-Bearing Fox

Perry 284. The Man and the Lion travelling together

Perry 285. The Man who broke a Statue of Hermes

Perry 286. Spider and Lizard

Perry 287. The Arab and his Camel

Perry 288. The Bear and the Fox

Perry 289. The Frog Physician

Perry 290. The Oxen and the Butchers

Perry 291. The Ox-driver and Heracles

Perry 292. Ox and Ass Ploughing

Perry 293. The Weasel Caught

Perry 294. The Crane and the Peacock

Perry 295. The Farmer who lost his Mattock

Perry 296. The Farmer and the Eagle

Perry 297. Farmer and Cranes

Perry 298. Farmer and Starlings

Perry 299. The Farmer and the Tree

Perry 300. The Steer and the Bull

Perry 301–400

Perry 301. The Slave Girl and Aphrodite

Perry 302. The Oak Trees and Zeus - noticed under The Woodcutter and the Trees

Perry 303. The Woodcutters and the Pine

Perry 304. The Fir Tree and the Thistle

Perry 305. The Sick Stag and his Friends

Perry 306. Hermes and a Man bitten by an Ant

Perry 307. Hermes and the Sculptor

Perry 308. The Dog and the Square-hewn Statue of Hermes

Perry 309. Hermes with a Wagon full of Lies among the Arabs

Perry 310. The Eunuch and the Soothsayer

Perry 311. Zeus, the Animals, and Men

Perry 312. Zeus and the Jar full of Good Things

Perry 313. The Judgments of Zeus

Perry 314. The Frogs and the Sun

Perry 315. The Mule

Perry 316. Heracles and Athena

Perry 317. The Unskilled Physician

Perry 318. The Old Race Horse in the Mill

Perry 319. The Horse and his Groom

Perry 320. The Soldier and his Horse

Perry 321. The Camel in the River

Perry 322. The Crab and his Mother (noticed under The Snake and the Crab)

Perry 323. The Crow and Hermes

Perry 324. The Sick Crow and his Mother

Perry 325. The Lark and the Farmer

Perry 326. The Timid Hunter

Perry 327. The Hunter and the Fisherman

Perry 328. The Dog at the Banquet

Perry 329. The Hunting Dog

Perry 330. The Dog and his Master

Perry 331. Dog and Hare

Perry 332. The Dog with a Bell on his Neck

Perry 333. The Rabbit and the Fox

Perry 334. The Lion's Reign

Perry 335. The Lion and the Eagle

Perry 336. Sick Lion, Fox, and Stag, referenced in The Deer without a Heart

Perry 337. Lion, Fox, and Ape

Perry 338. The Lion and the Boar

Perry 339. Lion and Wild Ass, Partners in the Hunt

Perry 340. The Lion and the Bowman

Perry 341. The Mad Lion

Perry 342. The Wolves and the Dogs

Perry 343. The Wolves and the Dogs at War

Perry 344. A Wolf among the Lions

Perry 345. The Wolf and the Fox at a Trap

Perry 346. The Wolf and the Well-fed Dog

Perry 347. Wolf and Lion

Perry 348. The Wolf as Governor and the Ass

Perry 349. The Lamp

Perry 350. Adulterer and Husband

Perry 351. The Calf and the Deer

Perry 352. The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

Perry 353. The Mouse and the Bull

Perry 354. The Mouse and the Blacksmiths

Perry 355. The Wayfarer and Truth

Perry 356. The Sheep and the Dog

Perry 357. The Ass that envied the Horse

Perry 358. The Ass in the Lion's Skin

Perry 359. The Donkey on the Tiles

Perry 360. The Ass eating Thorns

Perry 361. The Fowler, the Partridge and the Cock

Perry 362. The Snake's Tail and the Other Members

Perry 363. The Boy and the Painted Lion

Perry 364. The Ape Mother and Zeus

Perry 365. The Shepherd about to enclose a Wolf in the Fold

Perry 366. The Shepherd who reared a Wolf

Perry 367. War and Insolence

Perry 368. The Hide in the River

Perry 369. The Rose and the Amaranth

Perry 370. The Trumpeter

Perry 371. The Lizard and the Snake (Referenced under The Frog and the Ox)

Perry 372. Three Bulls and a Lion

Perry 373. The Cicada and the Ant

Perry 374. The Goat and the Vine

Perry 375. The Baldheaded Horseman

Perry 376. The Toad puffing herself up to equal an Ox

Perry 377. The Boasting Swallow and the Crow

Perry 378. The Two Pots

Perry 379. The Man enamoured of his own Daughter

Perry 380. The Man who evacuated his own Wits

Perry 381. The Aged Farmer and the Donkeys

Perry 382. The Ancestors of the Delphians

Perry 383. The Two Roads

Perry 384. The Frog and the Mouse

Perry 385. Dreams

Perry 386. The Foolish Girl

Perry 387. The Poor Man catching Insects

Perry 388. The Widow and the Ploughman

Perry 389. The Cat's Birthday Dinner

Perry 390. The Crow and the Pitcher

Perry 391. The Landlord and the Sailors

Perry 392. The Sick Donkey and the Wolf Physician

Perry 393. The Aethiopian

Perry 394. The Fox as Helper to the Lion

Perry 395. The Serpent and the Eagle

Perry 396. The Kites and the Swans

Perry 397. The Fowler and the Cicada

Perry 398. The Crow and the Swan (noticed under Washing the Ethiopian white)

Perry 399. The Swan that was caught instead of a Goose

Perry 400. The Bees and the Shepherd

Perry 401–500

Perry 401. The Foal

Perry 402. The Hunter and the Horseman

Perry 403. The Hunter and the Dog

Perry 404. Hunter and Wolf

Perry 405. Cyclops

Perry 406. Dogs tearing a Lion's Skin

Perry 407. A Dog, chasing a Wolf

Perry 408. A Thirsty Rabbit descended into a Well

Perry 409. The Fox and the Lion in a Cage

Perry 410. The Youth and the Woman

Perry 411. The Onager and the Ass (noticed under The Dog and the Wolf)

Perry 412. The Rivers and the Sea

Perry 413. The Fig and the Olive

Perry 414. The Bull, Lioness, and the Wild Boar

Perry 415. The Dog and the Smiths

Perry 416. A Bear, a Fox, and a Lion hunted together

Perry 417. A Wolf and Lycophron

Perry 418. The Ostrich

Perry 419. The Thief and the Innkeeper

Perry 420. The Two Adulterers

Perry 421. The Sailor and his Son

Perry 422. The Eagle once a Man

Perry 423. Aesop and the Bitch

Perry 424. Aesop to the Corinthians

Perry 425. The Fisherman and the Octopus

Perry 426. Fox and Crane

Perry 427. Fox and Hedgehog

Perry 428. The Sybarite and the Chariot

Perry 429. The Man who tried to count the Waves

Perry 430. The Creation of Man

Perry 431. Man's Loquacity

Perry 432. Apollo, the Muses and the Dryads

Perry 433. Aphrodite and the Merchant

Perry 434. The Wren on the Eagle's Back

Perry 435. The Black Cat

Perry 436. The Priest of Cybele and the Lion

Perry 437. The Owl and the Birds

Perry 438. The Sybarite Woman and the Jug

Perry 439. The Laurel and the Olive

Perry 440. The Runaway Slave

Perry 441. The Feast Day and the Day After

Perry 442. The Origin of Blushes

Perry 443. Heron and Buzzard

Perry 444. Eros among Men

Perry 445. Pleasure and Pain

Perry 446. The Cuckoo and the Little Birds

Perry 447. The Crested Lark, burying her Father

Perry 448. The Musical Dogs

Perry 449. The Dog's House

Perry 450. The Lions and the Hares

Perry 451. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Perry 452. The Wolf and the Ass on Trial

Perry 453. The Wolf and the Shepherds

Perry 454. The Mouse and the Oyster

Perry 455. Momus and Aphrodite

Perry 456. The Fool and the Sieve

Perry 457. The Boy on the Wild Horse

Perry 458. The Ass and the Snake called Dipsas

Perry 459. The Peeping of an Ass

Perry 460. The Shadow of an Ass

Perry 461. The Eyes and the Mouth

Perry 462. The Privilege of Grief

Perry 463. The Dancing Apes

Perry 464. The Apes Founding a City

Perry 465. The Shepherd and the Butcher

Perry 466. Plenty and Poverty

Perry 467. The Satyr and Fire

Perry 468. The Moon and her Mother

Perry 469. The Bull deceived by the Lion

Perry 470. The Cicadas

Perry 471. The Lice and the Farmer

Perry 472. The Vainglorious Jackdaw and the Peacock

Perry 473. The Sparrow gives Advice to the Hare

Perry 474. The Wolf and the Fox before Judge Ape

Perry 475. From Cobbler to Physician

Perry 476. What the Ass said to the Old Shepherd

Perry 477. Sheep, Stag, and Wolf

Perry 478. Sheep, Dog, and Wolf

Perry 479. Woman in Childbirth

Perry 480. Dog and her Puppies

Perry 481. The Old Lion, the Boar, the Bull, and the Ass

Perry 482. The Dogs and the Crocodiles

Perry 483. The Dog, the Treasure and the Vulture

Perry 484. The Ass insults the Boar

Perry 485. The Frogs Dread the Battle of the Bulls

Perry 486. The Kite and the Doves

Perry 487. The Bullock, the Lion, and the Robber

Perry 488. The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow

Perry 489. Caesar to a Flunkey

Perry 490. The Eagle and the Crow

Perry 491. The Two Mules and the Robbers

Perry 492. The Stag and the Oxen

Perry 493. What the Old Woman said to the Wine Jar

Perry 494. The Panther and the Shepherds

Perry 495. Aesop and the Farmer

Perry 496. The Butcher and the Ape

Perry 497. Aesop and the Saucy Fellow

Perry 498. The Fly and the Mule

Perry 499. Brother and Sister

Perry 500. Socrates to his Friends

Perry 501–584

Perry 501. On Believing and Not Believing

Perry 502. The Eunuch's Reply to the Scurrilous Person

Perry 503. The Cockerel and the Pearl

Perry 504. The Bees and the Drones get Judgment from the Easp

Perry 505. Concerning Relaxation and Tension

Perry 506. The Dog to the Lamb

Perry 507. The Cicada and the Owl

Perry 508. Trees under the Patronage of the Gods

Perry 509. The Peacock complains to Juno about his Voice

Perry 510. Aesop's Reply to an Inquisitive Fellow

Perry 511. The Weasel and the Mice - Noticed under The Cat and the Mice

Perry 512. The Enigmatic Will

Perry 513. The Thief and his Lamp

Perry 514. The Rule of King Lion

Perry 515. Prometheus

Perry 516. The Bearded She-Goats

Perry 517. The Dogs send an Embassy to Jupiter

Perry 518. The Fox and the Dragon

Perry 519. About Simonides

Perry 520. The Mountain in Labour

Perry 521. The Ant and the Fly

Perry 522. How Simonides was saved by the Gods

Perry 523. King Demetrius and the Poet Menander

Perry 524. Two Soldiers and a Robber

Perry 525. The Bald Man and the Fly

Perry 526. The Ass and the Pig's Barley

Perry 527. The Buffoon and the Country Fellow

Perry 528. Two Bald Men

Perry 529. Prince, the Fluteplayer

Perry 530. Time (Opportunity)

Perry 531. The Bull and the Calf

Perry 532. The Old Dog and the Hunter

Perry 533. The Ape and the Fox

Perry 534. Mercury and the Two Women

Perry 535. Prometheus and Guile

Perry 536. On Apollo's Oracle

Perry 537. Aesop and the Writer

Perry 538. Pompey and his Soldier

Perry 539. Juno, Venus, and the Hen

Perry 540. The Bullock and the Old Ox

Perry 541. Aesop and the Victorious Athlete

Perry 542. The Ass and the Lyre

Perry 543. The Widow and the Soldier

Perry 544. The Two Suitors

Perry 545. Aesop and the his Mistress

Perry 546. The Cock carried in a litter by Cats

Perry 547. The Sow giving birth and the Wolf

Perry 548. Aesop and the Runaway Slave

Perry 549. The Race Horse

Perry 550. When the Bear gets Hungry

Perry 551. The Traveller and the Raven

Perry 552. The Snake and the Lizard

Perry 553. The Crow and the Sheep

Perry 554. Socrates and a Worthless Servant

Perry 555. The Harlot and the Young Man

Perry 556. The Butterfly and the Wasp

Perry 557. The Ground-Swallow and the Fox

Perry 558. Two Cocks and a Hawk

Perry 559. The Snail and the Mirror

Perry 560. The Bald Man and the Gardener

Perry 561. The Owl, the Cat, and the Mouse

Perry 562. The Partridge and the Fox (The Rooster and the Fox)

Perry 563. The Lion and the Shepherd

Perry 564. The Gnat and the Bull

Perry 565. The Disdainful Horse

Perry 566. The Bat

Perry 567. The Nightingale and the Hawk

Perry 568. The Envious Fox and the Wolf

Perry 569. The King of the Apes

Perry 570. The Goose and the Stork

Perry 571. The Obliging Horse

Perry 572. The Kid and the Wolf

Perry 573. The Domestic Snake

Perry 574. The Eagle and the Kite

Perry 575. The Wethers and the Butcher

Perry 576. The Fowler and the Birds

Perry 577. The Crow and the other Birds at Dinner

Perry 578. The Horse, the Lion and the Goats

Perry 579. The Sword and the Passer-by

Perry 580. The Covetous Man and the Envious Man

Perry 581. The Boy and the Thief

Perry 582. The Farmer and his Ox

Perry 583. The Pig without a Heart, referenced in The Deer without a Heart

Perry 584. The River-fish and the Sea-fish

Extended Perry

Paulus Diaconus

585. Sick Lion, Fox and Bear. cf. 258

586. Calf and Stork

587. Flea and Gout

Odo of Cheriton

588. Hawk and Doves

589. Bird of Saint Martin

590. Stork and his Beak (Magpie and her Tail)

591. Toad and Beautiful Son

592. Cat as Monk

593. Fox and Wolf in Well

594. Cat, Rat, and Cheese

595. Isengrim as Monk

596. Complaint of Sheep against Wolf

597. Fox Confesses Sins to Rooster

598. Wasp and Spier

599. Eagle and Crow Physician

600. Donkey and Pig

601. Hen, Chicks and Kite

602. Dinner at the Lion's House

603. Goose and Crow

604. Kite Imitates Hawk

605. Fox and Cat

606. Crow and Dove (cf. 567)

607. Wolf's Funeral

608. Dirty Dog

609. Man and Unicorn

610. Fox and Ferryman

611. Fox and Hens

612. Falcon and Kite

613. Belling the Cat

614. Owl and Birds

615. Mouse in Wine Jar and Cat

616. Hare Contends with Wolf

617. Serpent in Man's Bostom

618. Ungrateful Man

619. Mouse in quest of Mate

620. Stork and Serpent

621. Peacock stripped of Feathers

622. Toad and Frog

623. Athenian Philosopher / Goat and Donkey

624. Aged Father and Cruel Son

625. Wolf as Fisherman and Fox

626. Cuckoo and Eagle

627. Nightingale and Bowman

628. Wolf Confessor to Fox and Donkey

629. Rustic Invited to Dinner

630. Rustic Reared in Cow Barn

631. King of Greece and his Brother

632. Julian the Apostate and a Demon

633. Man Condemned to be Hanged

634. Philosopher who spit in King's Beard

635. Judgments of God revealed by Angel

636. Wolf and Sheep Kissing Each Other

637. Tame Asp

638. Ass with Privilege, Fox and Wolf

639. Eagle and Rat

640. Soldier and Serpent / Dragon and Peasant

641. Wolf and Priest

642. Soldier and Religious Man

643. Ape and Merchant

John of Schepey

644. Buzzard and hawk

645. Lion and unicorn


646. Capon and hawk

647. Merchant and wife


648. Vulture and eagle

Rhymed verse

649. Stag, hedgehog and boar

Robert's Romulus

650. Presumptuous beetle

651. Rustic and his wife

652. Cuckoo and birds

653. Farmer sold his horse

654. Eagle, hawk and crane

655. Wolf fasting for Lent

656. Swallow and sparrows

657. Cattle hauling dung

658. Hare wanted horns

659. Wolf and beetle


660. Thief and beetle

661. Wife and Paramour

662. Thief and Satan

663. Dragon's Deposit

664. Hermit Tested Servant

665. Farmer Prayed for Horse

666. Man Praying for Himself

667. Townsman and Tame Daw

668. Three Wishes

669. Fox and Shadow of Moon as Cheese

670. Wolf sees Crow on Sheep

671. Fox and Dove

672. Eagle, Hawk, Doves

673. Horse and grain

674. Horse and Goat in package deal

675. Wolf and Hedgehog

676. Well-Meaning Wolves

677. Painter and Wife

678. Deer instructing Fawn

679. Crow and Young Ones

680. Goat and Wolf

681. Contentious Wife

682. Contrary Wife

683. Whispering Brigands

684. Physician, Rich Man and Daughter

685. Badger among Pigs

686. Wolf in Trap and Hedgehog

687. Wolf and Ferryman

688. Wolf Learning Letters

689. Wolf and Dove Gathering Twigs

690. Man in Boat

691. Old Man and Son

692. Bishop Cat


693. Unlucky Wolf, Fox and Mule (written on hoof)

694. Little Boar

695. He-Goat and Wolf

696. Wolf and Ass

697. Serpent as Adviser

698. Wolf as Fisherman

699. Wolf's Misfortune

700. Hunter and Ploughman

701. Dog and Wolf

702. Dog in Manger

703. Three Sons Dividing Inheritance

704. Little Fox under Wolf's Tutelage

705. Dog, Wolf and Ram

706. Lion's Son learns about Man

707. Knight and Mendacious Squire


708. Ape and Bear

709. Dog and Slain Master

710. Dog and Boy in River

711. Ram and Baldheaded Master

712. Wolf and Hungry Fox

713. Adulterous Stork

714. Ram and Wolf

715. Fox and Sick Ape

716. Mouse and Daughter

717. Rooster and Horse Talking about Master

718. Generous Fox and Wolf

719. Dog begging Bone from Master


720. Scarecrow

Poggio and Abstemius