Saturday, November 19, 2011

De Autumno

481     -     482     -     483

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3:27. The poem is addressed Ad Amicum Suum D. Ricardum Conok, although nothing else is known about this person. The epigram plays on the two verb forms, fert and aufert. Just what it might mean for us to take off our "leaves" and be fruitful is left to the reader to imagine - but it might not be inappropriate to imagine Adam and Eve without their fig leaves!

De Autumno 
Aufert arboribus frondes Autumnus, et idem
Fert secum fructus: nos faciamus idem.

Autumn shakes off the Leaves, and for man’s use
Produceth fruit: let us the like produce.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are two words which are not on the DCC list:

autumnus, -ī m. - autumn; autumn fruits, harvest
frons, frondis f. - foliage, leaves, frond

arbor arboris f.: tree
aufero -ferre abstulī ablātum: take away
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
et: and
facio facere fēcī factum: do, make
fero ferre tulī lātum: bear, carry
frūctus -ūs m.: fruit, crops; enjoyment, delight
īdem, eadem, idem: the same
nōs, nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
sui, sibi, sē: him- her- itself