Monday, August 31, 2009

Latin Poetry Widget 1: Alciato

I'm going to be doing something a bit different for the month of September here at the Bestiaria Latina blog. I'm wrapping up a new widget from the summer containing short Latin poems, and I want to present the poems here at the blog before I launch the widget. The poems are very short - just 2 or 3 or 4 lines at most. I hope that their brevity will be a big plus! In addition, each poem has its own word list page at NoDictionaries.com.

Meanwhile, for those of you interested in the Proverbs of the Day and the Fable of the Day, you can still find them online: Greek Proverbs | Audio Latin Proverbs | Proverbia Brevissima | Proverbia Brevia (3) | Animal Proverbs | Proper Name Proverbs | Vulgate Verses | Aesop's Fable of the Day.

And now, here are the short poems for today! These 17 poems come from the Renaissance emblem book of ANDREA ALCIATO. For a brief introduction to the wonderful work of Andrea Alciato and the European emblem tradition in general, see this brief essay: The Figure of Prometheus in the Emblems of Alciato. For a handy online edition of the emblems in both Latin and English, together with the emblematic images, visit Alciato's Book of Emblems: The Memorial Web Edition. You can find emblematic images from different editions of Alciato at the wonderful Alciato at Glasgow website.

Most, but not all, of the verses are written in elegiac couplets; all of the items below take the form of elegiac couplets. So, this is the first group of poems on our way to 366 poems for the widget: 17 down, 349 to go!


Iane bifrons, qui iam transacta futuraque calles,
Quique retro sannas, || sicut et ante, vides:
Te tot cur oculis, cur fingunt vultibus? An quod
Circumspectum hominem || forma fuisse docet?

Source: Alciato 18 (Dictionary Help)


Assequitur, Nemesisque virum vestigia servat,
Continet et cubitum || duraque frena manu.
Ne male quid facias, neve improba verba loquaris:
Et iubet in cunctis || rebus adesse modum.

Source: Alciato 27 (Dictionary Help)


In praeceps rapitur, frustra quoque tendit habenas
Auriga, effreni || quem vehit oris equus.
Haud facile huic credas, ratio quem nulla gubernat,
Et temere proprio || ducitur arbitrio.

Source: Alciato 55 (Dictionary Help)


Capra, lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod male pastoris || provida cura iubet.
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet:
Improbitas nullo || flectitur obsequio.

Source: Alciato 64 (Dictionary Help)


Squalida vipereas manducans femina carnes,
Cuique dolent oculi, || quaeque suum cor edit,
Quam macies et pallor habent, spinosaque gestat
Tela manu: talis || pingitur Invidia.

Source: Alciato 71 (Dictionary Help)


Heu miser in mediis sitiens stat Tantalus undis,
Et poma esuriens || proxima habere nequit.
Nomine mutato de te id dicetur, avare,
Qui, quasi non habeas, || non frueris quod habes.

Source: Alciato 85 (Dictionary Help)


Per medios hosteis patriae cum ferret ab igne
Aeneas humeris || dulce parentis onus:
Parcite, dicebat: vobis sene adorea rapto
Nulla erit, erepto || sed patre summa mihi.

Source: Alciato 195 (Dictionary Help)


Delphini insidens vada caerula sulcat Arion,
Hocque aures mulcet, || frenat et ora sono.
Quam sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est:
Quique viris rapimur, || piscibus eripimur.

Source: Alciato 90 (Dictionary Help)


Arripit ut lapidem catulus, morsuque fatigat,
Nec percussori || mutua damna facit.
Sic plerique sinunt veros elabier hostes
Et quos nulla gravat || noxia, dente petunt.

Source: Alciato 175 (Dictionary Help)


Dextra tenet lapidem, manus altera sustinet alas:
Ut me pluma levat, || sic grave mergit onus.
Ingenio poteram superas volitare per arces,
Me nisi paupertas || invida deprimeret.

Source: Alciato 121 (Dictionary Help)


Pisciculos aurata rapit medio aequore sardas,
Ni fugiant pavidae, || summa marisque petant.
Ast ibi sunt mergis fulicisque voracibus esca.
Eheu, intuta manens || undique debilitas.

Source: Alciato 170 (Dictionary Help: aurata and sarda are names of fish)


Dum saevis ruerent in mutua vulnera telis,
Ungue leaena ferox, || dente timendus aper,
Accurrit vultur spectatum, et prandia captat.
Gloria victoris, || praeda futura sua est.

Source: Alciato 126 (Dictionary Help)


Delphinem invitum me in littora compulit aestus,
Exemplum, infido || quanta pericla mari.
Nam si nec propriis Neptunus parcit alumnis.
Quis tutos homines || navibus esse putet?

Source: Alciato 167 (Dictionary Help)


Milvus edax, nimiae quem nausea torserat escae,
Hei mihi, mater, ait, viscera ab ore fluunt.
Illa autem, Quid fles? Cur haec tua viscera credas,
Qui rapto vivens || sola aliena vomis?

Source: Alciato 129 (Dictionary Help)


Lunarem noctu, ut speculum, canis inspicit orbem,
Seque videns, alium || credit inesse canem,
Et latrat: sed frustra agitur vox irrita ventis,
Et peragit cursus || surda Diana suos.

Source: Alciato 165 (Dictionary Help)


Quod fine egregios turpi maculaveris orsus,
In noxamque tuum || verteris officium;
Fecisti quod capra, sui mulctralia lactis
Cum ferit, et proprias || calce profundit opes.

Source: Alciato 141 (Dictionary Help)


Bellerophon ut fortis eques superare Chimaeram
Et Lycii potuit || sternere monstra soli;
Sic tu Pegaseis vectus petis aethera pennis.
Consilioque animi || monstra superba domas.

Source: Alciato 14 (Dictionary Help)



Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at Amazon.com.


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