Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Satis Relicturo

This poem is from the proverbial distichs of Georgius Carolides (1569-1612), which you can read online at the University of Mannheim. This is a great little poem on the theme of "you can't take it with you." Or, as they say during an airplane emergency: "If you must evacuate the plane, leave your personal belongings behind." For more about the River Styx and the land of the dead, see this Wikipedia article. Notice the transferred epithet: it is not really the miser's possessions which are wretched (opes miserae), but the miser himself who is miser.

Satis Relicturo
Qui Stygias tecum nihil hinc portabis ad undas,
Quo frustra miseras quaeris avarus opes?

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

avārus, -a, -um: greedy, stingy; miser
Stygius, -a, -um: Stygian, belonging to the river Styx

ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
frūstrā: in vain
hīc: here; hinc: from here
miser misera miserum: wretched, pitiable
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
ops opis f.: assistance, resources
portō -āre: carry a load
quaerō -rere -sīvī-situm: seek, inquire
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
relinquō -linquere -līquī -lictum: abandon
satis/sat: enough, sufficient
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
unda -ae f.: wave, flowing water, water