Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mortalia Cura

66     -     67     -     68

Mortalia Cura
An di sint caelumque regant, ne quaere doceri:
Cum sis mortalis, quae sunt mortalia, cura.

Ask not if Gods exist or are Heaven's kings:
As thou art mortal, think of mortal things.

Ask not if gods there be above the earth;
For earth care thou who art of mortal birth.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 2.2. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note the use of an to introduce the indirect yes-or-no questions, an di sint and an caelum [di] regant.

Do not seek to be taught (ne quaere doceri) whether the gods exist (an di sint) and rule the sky (caelumque regant); since you are mortal (cum sis mortalis), concern yourself with things (cura) which are mortal (quae sunt mortalia)

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. All the words in this poem are on that list, except for the one proper noun:

an: or
caelum -ī n.: sky, heavens
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
cūrō -āre: care for (+ acc.)
deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
doceō -ēre -uī doctum: teach
mortālis -e: liable to death, mortal
nē: lest, that not
quaerō -rere -sīvī-situm: seek, inquire
que (enclitic) - and
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
regō regere rēxī rectum: guide, rule
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist