Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ad Samuel Daniel, Poetam

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.46. You can read about the Renaissance poet Samuel Daniel here to whom Owen dedicates the poem.

Cur calamum tractas dextra, gladiumque sinistra?
Est tibi Mars laevus, dexter Apollo tuus.

A Pen thy right Hand, Sword thy left doth follow:
Mars is Sinister, Dexter’s thine Apollo.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are three words which are not on the DCC list, plus two proper nouns:

calamus, -ī m. - cane, reed, reed pen
laevus -a -um - left, awkward, ill-omened
sinister, sinistra, sinistrum - left, awkward, wrong, unlucky
Apollo, Apollinis m. - Apollo, god of music and poetry
Mars, Martis m. - Mars, god of war

cūr: why?
dexter -tra -trum: right (opp. sinister -tra -trum, left)
gladius -ī m.: sword
que: and (enclitic)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tracto -āre: handle, manage
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
tuus -a -um: your