Fasce praegravatus Senex, et misellae suae pertaesus sortis, Mortem invocabat, ut finem aerumnosae vitae tandem defigeret. Invocata advenit Mors, percontata Senex quid secum velit; ad cuius adventum territus, nil respondit sed “Ut auxilio mihi sis, et fascem collapsum rursus umeris imponas!”Fasce praegravatus Senex,
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the opening lines of the story, the old man.
et misellae suae pertaesus sortis,
= The adjective pertaesus takes a genitive complement (“be thoroughly tired of”), with the phrase misellae suae sortis wrapping around the adjective. The adjective misellus is a diminutive form of miser.
= Although death, Mors, is a feminine noun in Latin, the skeletal figure in Barlow's illustration is part of a visual tradition representing death as the "Grim Reaper," a masculine, rather than a feminine, figure.
ut finem aerumnosae vitae tandem defigeret.
= This is the old man's purpose in calling upon Death, expressed in an ut clause, with Death as the implied subject of the verb defigeret.
Invocata advenit Mors,
= As often, Latin expresses with a participle, a single word, what English would express with an entire clause: (Upon being) summoned (by the man), Death arrived
= Don't be fooled by the form of this deponent verb: although it looks passive (much like invocata in the previous clause), the meaning is active: Death asked man a question, percontata (est).
Senex quid secum velit;
= The word quid introduces an indirect question with the subjunctive verb, velit, whose subject is senex. The reflexive pronoun se (secum = cum se) refers back to Mors, the subject of the main verb: “Death asked what the old man wanted with him” (i.e., with Death).
ad cuius adventum territus,
= The referent of the relative pronoun is Death: ad cuius (Mortis) adventum.
nil respondit sed
= The subject of the verb, agreeing with the participle territus, is the old man.
“Ut auxilio mihi sis,
= The predicate dative expresses the purpose which Death should serve; the man wants Death to be “helpful” to him.
et fascem collapsum rursus umeris imponas!”
= The subjunctive imponas, like the verb sis, express the man's purpose in summoning Death... at least, so he claims now!
Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:
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