Friday, May 25, 2012

Cede Potenti

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Cede Potenti
Cede locum laesus, Fortunae cede potenti:
Laedere qui potuit, poterit prodesse aliquando.

When stricken, yield to Fortune, yield to power:
Who once could hurt may help in happier hour.

If thou art beaten, cease then to resist;
Who could o'ercome will able be t' assist.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 4.39. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. The tension in this poem is between hurting and helping, laedere and prosum. Note the use of the participle in agreement with the subject of the imperative in the first line: cede laesus, if you have been hurt, yield! Note also how the adjectival potens in the first line sets up the verbs potuit and poterit in the second line.

When wounded (laesus) give way (cede locum), to powerful Lady Luck (potenti Fortunae) give way (cede): he who was able to wound you (qui potuit laedere) will someday be able to profit you (aliquando poterit prodesse).

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. All the words in this poem are on the list:

aliquandō: at some time, at length
cēdō cēdere cessī cessum: yield
fortūna -ae f.: fortune
laedō laedere laesī laesum: injure by striking, hurt
locus -ī m.: place; loca (n. pl.) region
possum posse potuī: be able
potēns potentis: able, powerful
prōsum -desse -fuī: be of use, do good, help (+ dat.)
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?