Sunday, February 12, 2012

Aurum Ex Stercore

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 6.24. This epigram is a bit like the answer to a riddle: what do a sewer director, a physician and a farmer all have in common...? They all make money from manure.

Aurum Ex Stercore
Conductor foricarum ex stercore colligit aurum,
Et duo praeterea: rusticus et medicus.

The Scavenger from Dung doth Gold extract:
The like Physicians and Rusticks act.

Here is the vocabulary:

aurum - gold
ex - from, out of
stercus - manure, dung
conductor - employer, director
forica - public privy
colligo - gather, collect
et - and
duo - two
praeterea - besides
rusticus - farmer
medicus - doctor, physician