Monday, January 16, 2012

Concussus Surgo

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.16, with an English rendering by George Wither. The motto "concussus, surgo" is one of my personal favorites, and I like the idea of illustrating that with a ball in play! Wither's poem inspired by the emblem is delightful!
When we observe the Ball, how to and fro
The Gamesters force it; we may ponder thus:
That whil'st we live we shall be playd with so,
And that the World will make her Game of us.
Adversities, one while our hearts constraine
To stoope, and knock the Pavements of Despaire;
Hope, like a Whirle-wind mounts us up againe,
Till oft it lose us in the empty ayre.
For more of Wither's poem, see the edition at the University of Virginia website.

Concussus Surgo
Concussus surgo: casus me tollit in altum,
Plaudit ut in mediis mens cruce pressa malis.

When to suppresse us, Men intend,
They make us higher to ascend.

Here is the vocabulary:

concutio - strike, shake, harass
surgo - rise up
casus - chance, calamity
ego - I, me
tollo - lift up
in - in, into
altus - high, tall
plaudo - clap
ut - as
medius - middle, midst
mens - mind
crux - cross
premo - press, oppress, overwhelm
malus - bad, wicked, evil

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