Friday, May 25, 2012

Pro Tempore Cede

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Pro Tempore Cede
Cui scieris non esse parem, pro tempore cede:
Victorem a victo superari saepe videmus.

When you're outmatched, to meet the case, retreat:
Oft-times the vanquished will the victor beat.

Yield to defeat awhile: for often we
The victor beaten by the vanquished see.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 2.10. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note the implied referent of the relative pronoun: [Ei] pro tempore cede, cui scieris non esse parem.

Yield temporarily (cede pro tempore) to the person whom (cui) you know (scieris) you do not equal (non esse parem): we often see (saepe videmus) that the victor (victorem) can be conquered by the conquered (superari a victo).

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

ā ab abs: from, by (+abl.)
cēdō cēdere cessī cessum: yield
nōn: not
pār paris: equal
prō: for, on behalf of, in proportion to (+abl.)
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
saepe: often
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
superō -āre: overcome, surpass, defeat
tempus -oris n.: time
victor -ōris m.: conqueror
videō vidēre vīdī vīsum: see
vincō vincere vīcī victum: conquer