Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deum Testem Habere

This poem is from a book published in 1624 by Jean Pignewart (Iohannes Pignevvart), a Cistercian monk and scholar. He attributes his collection of distich poetry to "Cato Bernardinus," invoking both the legendary "Cato" of Latin distich fame and also Saint Bernard of Clairveax who was famously associated with the Cistercian order.

Deum Testem Habere
Si te contemnant homines, contemne silendo;
Interius testem praestat habere deum.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are two words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

interius: on the inside, within, inwardly
sileō, silēre: be silent, not speak

contemnō -temnere -tempsī -temptum: despise, scorn, disdain
deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
habeō habēre habuī habitum: have, hold
homo hominis m.: human being
praestō -stāre -stitī -stitum: excel, exhibit
sī: if
testis -is m.: witness
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)