Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quid Si Sic

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.22, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is more of Wither's poem:
What though an Apish-Pigmie, in attire,
His Dwarfish Body Gyant-like, array?
Turne Brave, and get him Stilts to seem the higher?
What would so doing, handsome him I pray?
now, surely, such a Mimicke fight as that,
Would with excessive Laughter move your Spleene,
Till you had made the little Dandiprat,
To lye within some Auger-hold, unseene.
Of course, you can see the stilts in the emblem, and you can also see the reflection in the mirror of the shield, too!

Quid Si Sic
Quid si sic? forsan cubito sim longior, heuheu.
Non ars Naturae corrigit ingenium.

Though he endeavour all he can,
An Ape, will never be a Man.

Here is the vocabulary:

quid - what
si - if
sic - thus, so, in this way
forsan - perhaps
cubitus - forearm, cubit (17 inches)
sum - be, exist
longus - long, tall
heuheu - oh, alas
non - not, no
ars - technique, skill, device
Natura - nature
corrigo - correct, improve, reform
ingenium - innate quality, character

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