Thursday, November 24, 2011

Vita et Venus

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 1:36. This epigram depends on the concession of licet: even though every action hurries along to its conclusion, there are two exceptions to that rule - life and love, here personified by the goddess Venus.

De Vita et Venere
Omnis ad extremum properet licet actio finem,
Oderunt finem vita Venusque suum.

Though ev’ry Action unt’ Its End doth tend,
Yet Life and Love abominate their End.

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

actio, actiōnis f. - doing, acting, act
licet conj. - although, granted that
Venus, Veneris f. - Venus, goddess of love, love

ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
et: and
extrēmus -a -um: farthest, situated at the end or tip, extreme
fīnis -is m.: end, boundary
ōdī ōdisse: hate
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
properō -āre: hasten, speed
que (enclitic) - and
suus -a -um: his own, her own, its own
vīta -ae f.: life