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[15] 9. "Hardly ever do we see such signs deceive us and yet we do not see why it is so.
Ye, too, distinguish the signs, ye dwellers in waters delightful,
When, with a clamour, you utter your cries that are empty of meaning,
Stirring the fountains and ponds with absurd and ridiculous croaking.
Who could suppose that frogs had this foresight? And yet they do have by nature some faculty of premonition, clear enough of itself, but too dark for human comprehension.
Slow, clumsy oxen, their glances upturned to the light of the heavens,
Sniff at the air with their nostrils and know it is freighted with moisture.
I do not ask why, since I know what happens. [p. 241]
Now 'tis a fact that the evergreen mastic, e'er burdened with leafage,
Thrice is expanding and budding and thrice producing its berries;
Triple its signs for the purpose of showing three seasons for ploughing.

1 For frogs as weather-prophets cf. Arat. 214; Pliny H.N. xviii. 87; Virg. Georg. i. 378.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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