11. Beast Fable II

Series Title
Archilochos Suite
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Plate : 11 3/4 x 10 in. (29.85 x 25.4 cm)
Sheet : 18 1/4 x 15 1/4 in. (46.36 x 38.74 cm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection, Gift of Jacob E. and Leona M. Nyenhuis
Object Number

The poetic verses by Archilochos translated by Michael Ayrton and selected by him to accompany this image:

Charilaos, son of Erasmon
I will tell you a comic story which
you will consider, old friend,
to be a great joke...

I will tell you a story, son of Keryx,
one with a dreadful outcome.
A monkey went alone into the border lands,
cut off from other creatures, isolated.
A vixen met him.
She had a subtle cunning...

...having such a bottom, oh monkey...

You see on that high rock,
rugged and sheer,
he sits, jeering at your prowess...

...a sea crow, rocking on a jutting cliff,
shaking her wings and working her trade...

Object Type
Academic Themes
Literary Connections