Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quota Hora Est?

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 10.3. For both young and old, time is fleeting, with death and old age creeping up on them, respectively; you might ask what time it is, but in the very act of your asking, time has raced away from you!

Quota Hora Est?
Viventi mors obrepit, iuvenique senectu.
Horaque dum quota sit quaeritur, hora fugit.

Death creeps on Life, and Age on youth: the while
’Tis asked, What is’t a Clock? Hours us beguile.

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:

obrēpō, -ere, obrēpsī, obreptum
quot: how many?
senectūs, senectūtis f. - old age

dum: while (+ indic.); until (+ subj.); provided that (+ subj.)
fugiō fugere fūgī fugitum: flee, escape
hōra -ae f.: hour
iuvenis -is m.: youth
mors mortis f.: death
quaerō -rere -sīvī-situm: seek, inquire
que (enclitic) - and
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vīvō vīvere vīxī victum: live