Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2.193. Here Owen is playing with the way that a single sheep can supply many things: mutton, vellum, lambs, manure, knucklebones (used as dice), catgut (yes, it is usually made from sheep or goats or cattle - not cats), wool, and milk.

Seu caro, seu corium, foetus, fimus, alea, chorda,
Lanave, lacve deest, omnia praestat ovis.

Want we flesh, skins, young, dung, dice, Musick-strings,
Wooll, Milk? one Sheep supplies with all these things.

Here is the vocabulary:

ovis - sheep
seu...seu... - either...or...
caro - meat, flesh
corium - skin, leather
foetus - offspring, young
fimus - manure, dung
alea - knucklebone, die
chorda - rope, cord, catgut
lana - wool - either...or...
lac - milk
desum - lack, be missing
omnis - all, every
praesto - exhibit, present, be at hand
ovis - sheep