Sunday, March 25, 2012

Deterius Formido

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.84, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is his allegorical rendering of the situation:
The Bird in thrall, the more contented lyes,
Because, the Hawke, so neere her, she espyes;
And, though, the Cage were open, more would feare,
To venture out, then to continue there:
So, if thou couldst perceive, what Birds of prey,
Are hov'ring round about thee, every day,
To seize thy Soule (when she abroad shall goe,
To take the Freedome, she desireth so)
Thou, farre more fearefull, wouldst of them, become,
Then thou art, now, of what thou flyest from.
You can see both of the bird's problems (duplex poena) depicted vividly - the bird is trapped in a cage and is under attack!

Deterius Formido
Carcere clausa meo, formido vulturis ungues;
Duplex poena premit me, satis una foret.

My Fortune, I had rather beare
Then come, where greater perills are.

Here is the vocabulary:

deterius - worse
formido - fear, be afraid
carcer - prison, jail
claudo - close, enclose
meus - my
formido - fear
vultur - vulture
unguis - talon, claw, nail
duplex - double, two-fold
poena - punishment
premo - press, overwhelm
ego - I, me
satis - enough
unus - one
sum - be, exist