Thursday, December 29, 2011

Omnis Caro Faenum

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 2.98, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is Wither's poem to accompany the emblem:
This Infant, and this little Trusse of Hay,
When they are moralized, seeme to say,
That, Flesh is but tuft of Morning Grasse,
Both greene, and wither'd, ere the day-light passe.
And, such we truly finde it; for, behold,
Assoone as Man is borne, hee waxeth old,
In Griefes, in Sorrowes, or Necessities;
And, withers ev'ry houre, untill hee dyes:
Now, flourishing, as Grasse, when it is growne,
Straight perishing, as Grasse, when it is mowne.
The emblem shows a baby, the beginning of life, but in the background you can see the mowing and the gathering in of the hay - the end of life, in the great cycle of living and dying.

Omnis Caro Faenum

Omnis homo faenum, quod mane virescit et aret
Discendente die, crescit ut intereat.


All Flesh, is like the wither'd Hay
And, so it strings, and fades away.


Here is the vocabulary:

omnis - all, every
caro - flesh, meat
faenum - hay
homo - person, man
quod - because
mane - morning, in the morning
viresco - grow green, turn green
et - and
areo - be dry, wither
discedo - depart, pass away
dies - day
cresco - grow, increase
ut - so that, so, in order to
intereo - perish, die


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