Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Speque Metuque Pavet

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.39, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is Wither's own explanation of the visual symbols of the emblem:
A Smoking Heart, they placed just betwixt
A Fastned Anchor, and a Bended Bow;
To which a Barbed-Arrow seemed fixt,
And, ready from the Strayned-String to goe.
The Smoke doth Sighes, the Anchor doth declare
That Hope, which keepes us from Despairing quite;
The Bowe and Arrow, signifie that Feare,
Which doth, perpetually, the Soule affright.
I really like the way that the smoke rising up out of the heart lets you know that it is on fire, burnt by the heat of love. The idea that love is a hope that is filled with fear expresses very nicely that paradoxical emotion!

Speque Metuque Pavet
Speque metuque pavet calido cor amore perustum;
Spes est sollicito plena timore Venus.

Where strong Desires are entertain'd,
The Heart 'twixt Hope, and Feare, is pain'd.

Here is the vocabulary:

spes - hope
que - and
metus - fear
paveo - fear, be afraid
calidus - warm, hot
cor - heart
amor - love
perustus - burned up, consumed
sum - be, exist
sollicitus - worried, upset, troubled
plenus - full
timor - fear
Venus - goddess of love, love