Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Initium Sapientiae Timor

Here is another distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey,

Initium Sapientiae Timor
Speraret caelos nemo, si nemo timeret
Infera; prudenti spem facit ipse metus.


WISDOMS BEGINNING
None would for Heaven hope, if none fear’d Hell:
Fear in the prudent hope creates: ’tis well.

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:

prūdens, prūdentis - knowledgeable, foreseeing

caelum -ī n.: sky, heavens
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
īnferus -a -um: low; īnferior: lower; īnfimus or īmus: lowest
initium -iī n.: beginning
ipse ipsa ipsum: him- her- itself
metus -ūs m.: fear, dread
nēmo: no one (gen. nullius, dat. nulli, abl. nullo or nulla > nullus -a -um)
sapientia -ae f.: wisdom
sī: if
spērō -āre: to hope
spēs speī f.: hope
timeō -ēre -uī: to fear, to dread
timor -ōris m.: fear

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