Friday, July 13, 2012

Legisse Parum Est

17     -     18     -     19

Legisse Parum Est
Quod legis in scriptis, hoc tu virtutibus imple;
   Qui bona scit nec agit, quam miser ille perit!

Source: Iohannes Pignevvart (1624), Cato Bernardinus. Meter: Elegiac. Note the nice use of the perfect infinitive in the title: legisse, "to have read" - after you have finished reading, just what are you prepared to do?

That which you read (hoc quod legis) in written things (in scriptis), you must fulfill (tu imple) with your own virtuous efforts (virtutibus); he who knows what things are good (qui scit bona) and does not do those things (nec agit), how wretchedly (quam miser) does he waste his life (ille perit)!

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

agō agere ēgī āctum: drive, do, act
bonus -a -um: good
hic haec hoc: this; hōc: on this account
ille illa illud: that
impleō -ēre -plēvī -plētum: fill in, fill up
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
legō legere lēgī lēctum: gather, choose, read
miser misera miserum: wretched, pitiable
neque nec: and not, nor; neque . . . neque, neither . . . nor
parum: too little
pereō -īre -iī -itum: perish, be lost
quam: how?; (after comparative) than
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
scrībō scrībere scrīpsī scrīptum: write
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
virtūs -ūtis f.: valor, manliness, virtue