Thursday, April 12, 2012

Superat Sollertia Vires

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 2:2, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here are the opening lines of Wither's poem:
The Squirrell, when shee must goe seeke her food,
By making passage through some neighb'ring flood,
(And feares to be devoured by the Streame)
Thus, helpes her weaknesse, by a Stratagem.
On blocks, or chips, which on the waves doe flote,
She nimbly leaps; and, making them her boate
(By helpe of Windes, of Current, and of Tide)
Is wafted over to the further side.
For some reason, squirrels do not figure prominently in Aesop's fables, so I am glad to have this squirrel emblem.

Superat Sollertia Vires
Nautarum vires sollertia cauta sciuri
Vincit, et in ligni cortice nare docet.

A little Wit, may stand in stead
When Strength doth faile, in time of need.

Here is the vocabulary:

supero - conquer, overcome
sollertia - cleverness, skill
vis - strength, force, power
nauta - sailor
cautus - cautious, wary, prudent
vinco - win, conquer
et - and
in - in, into
lignum wood
cortex - bark, cork, husk
no - swim, float
doceo - teach