Monday, July 16, 2012

Mortis Lex

392     -     393     -     394

Mortis Lex
Mors servat legem: tollit cum paupere regem;
   Saepe ferox iuvenem mors rapit ante senem.

Source: Adagiorum Maxime Vulgarium Thesaurus (1730). Meter: Elegiac. Note the rhymes legem-regem and iuvenem-senem.

Death (Mors) observes this law (servat legem): it carries off the king (tollit regem) with the poor man (cum paupere); often (saepe) death savagely seizes (mors ferox rapit) a young man (iuvenem) before it seizes an old man (ante senem).

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:

ferox (ferōcis): wild, cruel, fierce

ante: before, in front of (adv. and prep. + acc.)
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
iuvenis -is m.: youth
lēx lēgis: f. law
mors mortis f.: death
pauper -eris: poor, lowly
rapiō rapere rapuī raptum: seize, tear away
rēx rēgis m.: king
saepe: often
senex -is m.: old man, elder; senior, older
servō -āre: save, watch over
tollō tollere sustulī sublātum: raise up, destroy

(Trionfo della morte; Italian, 1400s)

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