Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mortis Metus

113     -     114     -     115

Mortis Metus
Ne timeas illam quae vitae est ultima finis:
Qui mortem metuit, quod vivit, perdit id ipsum.

Dread not the day that endeth all life's ills;
For fear of death all joy in living kills.

Fear not lest life's concluding lap be night:
He makes his life no life who dreads to die.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 1.22. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note that the referent of the relative pronoun quae is illam (i.e. illam finem).

Do not fear (ne timeas) that which (illam quae ) is the final end of life (est ultima finis vitae): he who fears death (qui metuit mortem) loses (perdit) that which is the very life he is living (id ipsum quod vivit).

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

fīnis -is m.: end, boundary
ille, illa, illud: that
ipse, ipsa, ipsum: him- her- itself
is ea, id: he, she, it; eō, there, to that place
metuo -ere metuī: to fear, to dread
metus -ūs m.: fear, dread
mors mortis f.: death
nē: lest, that not
perdo -ere -didī -ditum: destroy
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
timeo -ēre -uī: to fear, to dread
ūltimus -a -um: farthest, final, last, ultimate
vīta -ae f.: life
vīvo -ere vīxī victum: live