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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Carter and Hercules

By Babrius (c. Second Century A.D.)

Translation of James Davies

A CARTER from the village drove his wain:

And when it fell into a rugged lane,

Inactive stood, nor lent a helping hand;

But to that god, whom of the heavenly band

He really honored most, Alcides, prayed:

“Push at your wheels,” the god appearing said,

“And goad your team; but when you pray again,

Help yourself likewise, or you’ll pray in vain.”