Monday, January 2, 2012

Ad Lectore De Suo Libro

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3.3. This is a couplet based on the juxtaposition of two kinds of readers: candidus and ineptus. Owen is worried that a bright reader might not like his poems, and at the same time he is worried that the foolish reader will like them!

Ad Lectore De Suo Libro
Ne tibi non placeant vereor mea carmina, lector
Candide; ne placeant, lector inepte, tibi.


TO THE READER. OF HIS BOOK
Lest this my Book displease the candid Eye
I fear; and fear lest it with Fools comply.


The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are only two words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

ineptus -a -um - silly, inept, foolish
lector, lectōris m. - reader

ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
candidus -a -um: white, fair
carmen -inis n.: song
dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
liber librī m.: book
meus -a -um: my
nē: lest, that not
nōn: not
placeō placēre placuī placitum: please
suus -a -um: his own, her own, its own
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
vereor verērī veritus sum: fear, stand in awe of



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