Sunday, November 20, 2011

De Die

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 1:82. The paradoxical contrast here is between the sun, the single light (unum lumen) of the one-eyed day (lusca dies) and the many eyes of the night, the stars. Although the sun is but one it sees more than the many-eyed night!

De Die
Sit nox centoculo quamvis oculatior Argo,
Plus uno cernit lumine lusca dies.

Though Night than Argus be more full of Eyes,
The Day’s One Eye more clearly things descries.

Here is the vocabulary:

de - about
dies - day
sum - be, exist
nox - night
centoculus - hundred-eyes
quamvis - although
oculatus - eyed, with eyes
Argus - Argus
plus - more
unus - one
cerno - see, perceive
lumen - light
luscus - one-eyed

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