Monday, June 18, 2012

Ratione Tacere

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Ratione Tacere
Virtutem primam esse puto compescere linguam;
Proximus ille deo est qui scit ratione tacere.

To rule the tongue I reckon virtue's height:
He's nearest God who can be dumb aright.

Who rules his tongue doth highest praises reap:
Godlike is he who silence well doth keep.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 1.3, with English translations by Duff and Chase. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter.

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:

compescō, compescere - fasten together, restrain, hold back, confine

deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
ille illa illud: that
lingua -ae f.: tongue; language
prīmus -a -um: first; adv. prīmum: at first, firstly
prope: near, next; (comp.) propior, (superl.) proximus; (adv.) propē, nearly, almost
putō -āre: think, suppose
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
ratio -ōnis f.: method, plan, reason
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
taceō -ēre -uī -itum: be silent; tacitus -a -um, silent
virtūs -ūtis f.: valor, manliness, virtue