Monday, April 2, 2012

Dilige te ornari...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 4.4, with English translations by Duff and Chase. Note that this is a distich of Cato which has widely varying readings for the first line; you can see the alternatve reading - Dilige olens nardum, sed parce; defuge odorem - reflected in the English versions of the distich given here.

Dilige te ornari, sed parce dilige formam,
Quam nemo sanctus nec honestus captat habere.

Love nard, but use it sparingly; refrain
From perfumes which all decent men disdain.

Love neatness: showiness love not amain,
Which good and honest folk seek not to gain.

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:

capto, -āre - snatch at, seize, strive for
parcus -a -um - sparing, frugal; adv. parce

dīligo -ligere -lēxī -lēctum: choose, cherish, love
fōrma -ae f.: shape; beauty
habeo -ēre -uī habitum: have, hold
honor -ōris m.: honor, glory; office, post
nēmo: no one (gen. nullius, dat. nulli, abl. nullo or nulla > nullus -a -um)
neque, nec: and not, nor; neque . . . neque, neither . . . nor
orno -āre: fit out, equip; embellish, adorn
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
sānctus -a -um: sacred, inviolable
sed: but
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)