Saturday, March 17, 2012

Virtuti Fortuna Comes

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.76, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here are the words of Wither's poem inspired by the emblem:

Marke, how the Cornucopias, here, apply
Their Plenties, to the Rod of Mercury;
And (if it seeme not needlesse) learne, to know
This Hieroglyphick's meaning, ere you goe.
The Sages old, by this Mercurian-wand
(Caducæus nam'd) were wont to understand
Art, Wisedome, Vertue, and what else we finde,
Reputed for endowments of the Minde.
The Cornucopias, well-knowne Emblems, are,
By which, great wealth, and plenties, figur'd were;
And (if you joyne together, what they spell)
It will, to ev'ry Vnderstanding, tell,
That, where Internall-Graces may be found,
Eternall-blessings, ever, will abound.
I like the way that the symmetry of the second line of the poem is echoed in the visual symmetry of the emblem's design with the paired cornucopias and the snakes of the caduceus; you can read more about the caduceus at Wikipedia.

Virtuti Fortuna Comes
Virtuti Fortuna comes, sudore paratur;
Fructus honos oneris, fructus honoris onus.

Good-fortune, will by those abide
In whom, True-vertue doth reside.

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

sūdor, sūdōris m. - sweat
comes comitis m./f.: companion, comrade; attendant, follower
fortūna -ae f.: fortune
frūctus -ūs m.: fruit, crops; enjoyment, delight
honor -ōris m.: honor, glory; office, post
onus oneris n.: load, burden
parō -āre: prepare, acquire; parātus -a -um, ready
virtūs -ūtis f.: valor, manliness, virtue