Monday, January 9, 2012

In Nocte Consilium

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.9, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is Wither's explanation of the emblem:
An Owle (the Hieroglyphicke us'd for Night )
Twixt Mercury and Pallas, here takes place,
Vpon a crown'd Caduceus fixt upright;
And, each a Cornucopia doth imbrace.
At the bottom of this post, you can see just what is written on Athena's shield! The owl, of course, is Athena's sacred bird, which reinforces the symbolism very nicely.

In Nocte Consilium
Consilium in tenebris capias et nocte profunda:
Humanis obstat sensibus alma dies.

Before thou bring thy Workes to Light,
Consider on them, in the Night.

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

almus -a -um - nourishing, kind, indulgent
obstō, obstāre, obstitī, obstātum - oppose, hinder
profundus -a -um - deep, profound, vast

capiō capere cēpī captum: seize
cōnsilium -ī n.: plan; council, group of advisors
diēs diēī m./f.: day
et: and
hūmānus -a -um: human
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
nox noctis f.: night
sēnsus -ūs m.: feeling, emotion, sense
tenebrae -brārum f. pl.: darkness, the shadows

If you look closely at the shield held by the woman, you can see that it says "La nuit a conseil."

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