Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mortis et Macelli Apologia

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 9.53. This is a seriously hard-hitting poem - it's even more cynical than I am!

Mortis et Macelli Apologia
Mors nisi mactaret iuvenes, laniique iuvencos,
Omnia stultorum plena boumque forent.


APOLOGY OF DEATH, AND THE SHAMBLES
If Death no Youths, Butchers no Bullocks kill’d,
The World with Fools and Calves would soon be fill’d.

Here is the vocabulary:

mors - death
et - and
macellum - meat market, butcher stall
apologia - apology, defense
nisi - unless
macto - slaughter, sacrifice
iuvenis - youth
lanius - butcher
que - and
iuvencus - young bull
omnis - all, every
stultus - foolish; fool
plenus - full
bos - bull, ox
sum - be, exist

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