Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ad Scopum Licet Aegre et Frustra

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.19, with an English rendering by George Wither. You can see poor Sisyphus rolling his rock up the hill and then watching it roll back down again. Meanwhile, I am quite curious about those rabbits there in their rabbit hole at the bottom of the hill; I wonder how they fit into the symbolic picture!

Ad Scopum Licet Aegre et Frustra
Volve, scopum donec, licet aegre, attingere possis;
Et frustra, molem volve, revolve tamen.

A Foole, in Folly taketh Paine,
Although he labour still in vaine.

Here is the vocabulary:

ad - to, towards
scopus - goal, target
licet - however, although
aegre - painfully, with difficulty
et - and
frustra - in vain, for nothing
volvo - roll
donec - until
attingo - touch, reach
possum - can, be able
moles - mass, bulk
revolvo - roll back
tamen - yet, still

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