Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lingua Quo Tendis

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.42, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is a bit more of Wither's poem:
For, if we let it loose, it getteth Wings,
And, flies with wanton Carelesnesse, about;
It prateth in all places, of All things;
Tells Truth and Lyes, and babbleth Secrets out.
Rollenhagen has depicted that tongue in motion by giving it wings! Instead of wings that let the tongue fly, we need lips instead, to keep the tongue under control.

Lingua Quo Tendis
Garrula, quo tendis? Quo te furor, impia lingua,
abripit? Ah, presso, disce tacere, labro.

No Heart can thinke, to what strange ends,
The Tongues unruely Motion tends.

Here is the vocabulary:

lingua - tongue, language
quo - where, to where, to what purpose
tendo - stretch, strive, exert oneself
garrulus - talkative
tu - you
furor - madness, rage
impius - wicked, irreverent
abripio - drag away, snatch, kidnap
premo - press, press hard, oppress
disco - learn
taceo - be silent, be quiet
labrum - lip