Friday, May 25, 2012

Cum dubia et frragilis...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 1.19, with English translations by Duff and Chase.

Cum dubia et fragilis nobis sit vita tributa,
In morte alterius spem tu tibi ponere noli.

Our life is but a frail uncertain breath:
Rest not thy hopes, then, on another's death.
(Duff)

Since with so frail a thread thy life is spun,
Thou hope of gain from other's death shouldst shun.
(Chase)

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

fragilis, fragile; fragilis - frail, fragile

alter altera alterum: other of two
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
dubius -a -um: doubtful, sine dubio, without a doubt, certainly
et: and
in: in, on (+ abl.); into onto (+ acc)
mors mortis f.: death
nōlo nōlle, nōluī: be unwilling
nōs, nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
pōno -ere posuī positum: put, place; put aside
spēs, speī f.: hope
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tribuo -ere -uī tribūtum: assign, bestow, grant
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
vīta -ae f.: life

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