Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fides Rara

232     -     233     -     234

Fides Rara
Spem tibi polliciti certam promittere noli;
Rara fides ideo est, quia multi multa loquuntur.

On others' promise do not base thine own;
Talk doth abound: good faith is rarely shown.

Think not hopes built on promises are sure:
Much said by many seldom proves secure.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 1.13. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. The word pollicitum is a participle from the verb "to promise," meaning "something promised," i.e. spem tibi polliciti, "hope of something that has been promised to you."

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

pollicitum (pollicitī, n.): promise

certus -a -um: sure, fixed; certē, certainly, surely
fidēs -eī f.: trust, faith
ideō: for this reason
loquor loquī locūtus sum: speak, talk
multus -a -um: much, many; multō, by far
nōlo nōlle, nōluī: be unwilling
prōmitto -mittere -mīsī -missum: send forth, offer
quia: because
rarus -a -um: wide apart, loose, thin; rare seldom
spēs, speī f.: hope
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)