Monday, November 14, 2011


Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2:186. When the silkworm spins its cocoon, it uses a thread of raw silk that is between 300 and 900 meters in length. It takes several thousand of these cocoons to produce a pound of silk.

Arte mea pereo, tumulum mihi fabricor ipse;
Fila mei fati duco, necemque neo.

Me skill doth kill, I make my self my Tomb,
I draw my fatal Thread, spin Death my Doom.

Here is the vocabulary:

bombyx - silkworm
ars - art, skill
meus - my, mine
pereo - perish, die
tumulus - tomb
ego - I
fabricor - build, construct
ipse - (him/her/it)self
filum - thread
fatum - fate
duco - lead, draw
nex - death, murder
que - and
neo - spin, weave

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