Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rem, tibi quam nosces...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 2.26, with English translations by Duff and Chase. For the famous statue of Occasio (Kairos) to which the poem alludes, see Rollenhagen 1.4, which is also the source for the image below.

Rem, tibi quam nosces aptam, dimittere noli:
Fronte capillata, post est Occasio calva.

Fail not when opportunity is fair;
Behind Time's bald, his forehead's thick with hair.

Do not let slip the thing that suits your mind:
Chance wears a forelock, but is blad behind.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are three words which are not on the DCC list:

calvus -a -um - bald, bald-headed, smooth
capillātus -a -um - having hair, hairy
occāsio, occāsiōnis f. - opportunity, chance

aptus -a -um: fit, suitable
dīmitto -mittere -mīsī -missum: send away
frōns, frontis f.: forehead, brow; front
nōlo nōlle, nōluī: be unwilling
nōsco nōscere nōvī nōtum: learn, know
post: after (adv. and prep. +acc.)
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
rēs reī f.: thing (rēs pūblica, commonwealth; rēs familiāris, family property, estate; rēs mīlitāris, art of war; rēs novae, revolution)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)