Sunday, April 15, 2012

Virtute Duce, Comite Fortuna

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 2:5, with an English rendering by George Wither.
The Gryphon, is the figure of a creature,
Not found within the Catalogues of Nature:
But, by those Wits created, who, to shew
Internall things, externall Figures drew:
The Shape, in which this Fiction they exprest,
Was borrow'd from a Fowle, and, from a Beast;
Importing (when their parts were thus combin'd)
The Vertues, both of Body, and of minde:
And, Men are sayd on Gryphons backes to ride,
When those mixt Vertues, them have dignify'd.
The Stone (this Brute supporting) may expresse
The firme abiding, and the solidnesse
Of all true Vertues. That, long-winged Ball,
Which doth appeare fast-linked therewithall,
The gifts of changing Fortune, doe implye:
And, all those things together, signifie,
That, when by such-like Vertues Men are guided,
Good Fortune cannot be from them divided.
If you look closely off to the right, you will see the light of divine favor shining down on the battlefield.

Virtute Duce, Comite Fortuna
Sit Fortuna comes, Virtus dux inclyta facti,
Non labor in Domino, noster inanis erit.

Good Fortune will with him abide
That hath true Vertue, for his guide.

Here is the vocabulary:

virtus - excellence, virtue
dux - leader
comes - partner, companion
fortuna - fortune, luck
sum - be, exist
inclytus - famous, celebrated
factum - deed
non - not, no
labor - work, effort, labor
in - in, into
Dominus - Lord
noster - our, ours
inanis - empty, in vain

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