Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quod potes, id temptato...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 3.14, with English translations by Duff and Chase.

Quod potes, id temptato, operis ne pondere pressus
Succumbat labor et frustra temptata relinquas.

Begin what thou canst end, without avail
Is that begun which speedily doth fail.

Try what you can, lest by hard task foredone
You fail and drop what you've in vain begun.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are only two words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

succumbo, -ere, succubuī, succubitum - fall down, sink, submit
tempto, -āre - test, try

et: and
frūstrā: in vain
is ea, id: he, she, it; eō, there, to that place
labor -ōris m.: toil, exertion
nē: lest, that not
opus operis n.: work
pondus poderis n.: weight
possum posse potuī: be able
premo -ere pressī pressum: press, pursue, overwhelm
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
relinquo -linquere -līquī -lictum: abandon