Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.25. This lovely comparison between the movement of a ship and the movement of a bird is reinforced in Latin by the word play: navis and avis.

Puppis cauda, carinaque venter, proraque rostrum,
Velaque sunt alae, totaque navis avis.

The Stern’s the Train, Bulk Belly, Bill the Prore;
The Sayls are Wings; Ships sayl, as Birds do soar.

Here is the vocabulary:

navis - ship
puppis - stern
cauda - tail
carina - keel
que - and
venter - stomach, belly,
prora - prow
rostrum - beak
velum - sail
sum - be, exist
ala - wing
totus - all, entire, whole
avis - bird

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