Monday, January 23, 2012

Sermo et Scriptura

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.12. This is one of Owen's complex parallels, where in the first line the silent hand can be the interpreter of the speaking tongue while, in turn, the tongue is the messenger that speaks on behalf of the silent heart.

Sermo et Scriptura
Interpres linguae manus est, at muta, loquentis,
Pectoris ut muti nuntia lingua loquens.

Mute Hand’s the speaking Tongues Interpreter,
As speaking Tongue’s the mute Hearts messenger.

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:

interpres, interpretis - interpreter, translator, expounder
mūtus -a -um - silent, mute
scriptūra f. - writing, composition, scripture
at: but, but yet
et: and
lingua -ae f.: tongue; language
loquor loquī locūtus sum: speak, talk
manus -ūs m.: hand; band of men
nūntius -iī m.: messenger; news
pectus -oris n.: chest, breast
sermo -ōnis m.: conversation, discourse
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
ut, uti: as (+ indic.); so that, with the result that (+ subj.)

(Image: Abecedario demonstrativo, 1620)

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