Saturday, October 29, 2011

Felix et Miser

140     -     141     -     142

Felix et Miser
Dupliciter miser es, quia felix ante fuisti.
Dupliciter felix, qui fuit ante miser.

Twice wretched thou, because once fortunate,
Twice happy’s he, who wretched was of late.

Source: John Owen (c.1564-c.1628), Epigrammata, 3.157. The English version is by Thomas Harvey. Meter: Elegiac. The identity of the recipient, A.D., is unknown. I thought the wheel of Fortune, with its ups and down, would be a good image to use for this little poem.

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:

You are doubly wretched (dupliciter miser es) because you were happy in the past (quia felix ante fuisti); he is doubly happy (dupliciter felix) who was wretched in the past (qui fuit ante miser).

dūpliciter: doubly

ante: before, in front of (adv. and prep. + acc.)
fēlīx -īcis: lucky; adv. fēlīciter
miser misera miserum: wretched, pitiable
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
quia: because
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist