Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Finis Ab Origine Pendet

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.45, with an English rendering by George Wither. I love the symbols used in this emblem - the baby together with the skull to represent birth and death, and then the ouroboros, caught up in its paradoxical cycle of eating and being eaten!

Finis Ab Origine Pendet
Nascentes morimur; finisque ab origine pendet;
De vita ad mortem mors rediviva trahit.

As soone, as wee to bee, begunne;
We did beginne, to be Vndone.

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:

orīgo, orīginis f. - beginning, source, origin
pendeo, -āere, pependī - hang, hang down
redivīvus -a -um - that which lives again, renewed, renovated

ā ab abs: from, by (+abl.)
ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
fīnis -is m.: end, boundary
morior morī mortuus sum: die
mors mortis f.: death
nāscor nāscī nātus sum: be born
que (enclitic) - and
trahō trahere trāxī trāctum: drag, draw
vīta -ae f.: life