Saturday, February 4, 2012

De Deo et Homine

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 6.19. Owen has set up one of his elaborate parallelism contrasts: God himself is a word, and we are also words (parallel), but here's contrast: while we humans make words, God has made all things by means of his word.

De Deo et Homine
Ipse Deus verbum est; fecit Deus omnia verbo.
Verba homines facimus; nos quoque verba sumus.

God is the Word, and with his Word made all,
We Men make Words, and like our Words do fall.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. All the words in this poem are on that list:

dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
et: and
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
homo hominis m.: human being
ipse ipsa ipsum: him- her- itself
nōs nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
quoque: also, too
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
verbum -ī n.: word

(image: Ancient of Days, by William Blake)