Blue-grey herons,1 in fleeing the raging abyss of the ocean,
Utter their warnings, discordant and wild, from tremulous gullets,
Shrilly proclaiming that storms are impending and laden with terrors.
Often at dawn, when Aurora releases the frost in the dew-drops,
Does the nightingale2 pour from its breast predictions of evil;
Then does it threaten and hurl from its throat its incessant complaining.
Often the dark-hued crow, while restlessly roaming the seashore,
Plunges its crest in the flood, as its neck encounters the billows.
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2 Acredula (Cicero's translation of ὀλολυγών of Aratus, 216) is used nowhere else in Latin except in this passage and its meaning is uncertain. The rendering “nightingale” accords with the sense, whereas “owl,” the translation of Meyer, Hottinger, and Kühner, does not. Others understand it to mean “tree-frog,” “dove,” etc.
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