Friday, July 13, 2012

Quis Felix Est?

39     -     40     -     41

Quis Felix Est?
Si felix est qui quae vult habet omnia, quare
   Velle solent homines quae voluisse dolent?

Source: Giuseppe Gatti, Sales Poetici, Proverbiales, et Iocosi (1703). Meter: Elegiac. Note the nice interplay between the present infinitive velle and the perfect infinitive voluisse. Note also the implied referent of the relative pronoun: [haec] velle solent homines quae voluisse dolent. I chose King Midas to illustrate this verse!

If the man who has everything (si qui habet omnia) that he wants (quae vult) is happy (felix est), why do people usually want (quare homines solent velle) the things which (quae) they regret having wanted (dolent voluisse).

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

doleō -ēre doluī: feel pain or grief, grieve
fēlīx -īcis: lucky; adv. fēlīciter
habeō habēre habuī habitum: have, hold
homo hominis m.: human being
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
quārē: how? why?
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
sī: if
soleō -ēre -uī -itum: be accustomed
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
volō velle voluī: wish, be willing