Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brevis Et Damnosa Voluntas

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 3:97. This emblem is similar to the English saying, "like a moth to the flame." Consider for example the line from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice: "Thus hath the candle singd the moath." Here we have someone who flitters around his love affairs and then into the flames: that man is no different than a moth.

Brevis Et Damnosa Voluntas
Qui circum volitat deceptus amores ad ignes,
Numquid naturam papilionis habet?


brevis - short, brief
et - and
damnosus - ruinous, harmful
voluntas - will, desire, wish
qui - who, which, that
circum - around, among, near
volito - fly, flitter
deceptus - deceived
amor - love
ad - to, towards
ignis - fire, flame
numquid - question word, expecting negative answer
natura - nature
papilio - butterfly, moth
habeo - have