Thursday, February 23, 2012

De Natura et Gratia

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3.29. Owen addresses the poem Ad Theodorum Price Theologum, Cognatum Suum. Theodore Price (d. 1631) became prebendary of Winchester. In this poem Owen sets up an equation between two visible symbols, the moon and the sun, to express the contrast between the abstract ideas of nature and grace.

De Natura et Gratia
Natura obscuram lucem ceu luna ministrat,
Sol quasi splendidus gratia lumen habet.


OF NATURE AND GRACE
Nature like to the Moon gives pallid Light:
Grace like the Sun more splendid shines and bright.

Here is the vocabulary:

de - about, concerning
natura - nature
et - and
gratia - grace
obscurus - dark, vague, obscure
lux - light
ceu - like
luna - moon
ministro - supply, furnish, serve
sol - sun
quasi - as if, like
splendidus - glittering, splendid
lumen - light, lamp
habeo - have

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