Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Latin Poetry Widget 3: Owen's Epigrams (1)

I'm going to be doing something a bit different for the month of September here at the Bestiaria Latina blog; for more about this poetry project, see this previous post. This is the second group of poems: 13 new ones, plus 28 from previous posts, for a total of 41 on our way to 366 poems for the widget!

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 poems come from the epigrams of John Owen, a remarkable figure of the Latin poetry Renaissance, who was known under various Latin names: Joannes Oweni, Joannes Ovenus and even Joannes Audoenus. There is a lovely edition of the epigrams, in both Latin and English, which Dana Sutton has put online: The Epigrammata of John Owen (Ioannis Audoenus) (1606 - 1613). You can also find a nice edition at GoogleBooks.

I hope you will enjoy these little poems - each of them has an elegant little twist of some kind, as you would expect from a fine epigram!

Saepe rogas, 'Quot habes annos?' respondeo: 'Nullos.'
Quomodo? quos habui, || Pontice, non habeo.
Source: Owen 3.114 (Dictionary Help) - This one is my favorite from the poems for today!

Rerum regina est ratio, naturaque mater.
Naturam ratio || nos iubet ergo sequi.
Source: Owen 3.72 (Dictionary Help)

Non vixisse diu vita est, at vivere vita est.
Quid iuvat ergo diu || vivere, deinde mori?
Source: Owen 3.55 (Dictionary Help)

Immensus Deus est, quia scilicet omnia mensus.
Innumerabilis est, || unus enim Deus est.
Source: Owen 3.20 (Dictionary Help)

Mortuus ut vivas, vivus moriaris oportet:
Assuesce ergo prius || quam moriare mori.
Source: Owen 3.49 (Dictionary Help)

Principium dulce est, at finis amoris amarus;
laeta venire Venus, || tristis abire solet.
Flumina quaesitum sic in mare dulcia currunt;
postquam gustarunt || aequor, amara fluunt.
Source: Owen 1.13 (Dictionary Help)

Illa mihi patria est ubi pascor, non ubi nascor,
Illa ubi sum notus, || non ubi natus eram.
Source: Owen 7.100 (Dictionary Help) - The word play in this one is delightful!

Flumina fluminibus distant, sic nos quoque nobis,
Dum sumus in vita || nos, fluviique via.
Ingressus pelagum sapor amnibus omnibus idem,
Mors omnes homines || aequat, ut aequor aquas.
Source: Owen 5.80 (Dictionary Help)

Est amor in nobis, in lignis ut latet ignis,
ignis uti lignum, || nos levis urit amor.
Ligna sed in cineres vanescunt, ignis in auras;
nos cinis, et noster, || quid nisi fumus, amor?
Source: Owen 4.229 (Dictionary Help)

Sole oriente, tui reditus a morte memento.
Sis memor occasus, || sole cadente, tui.
Source: Owen 5.39 (Dictionary Help)

Sum crudus, vocor inde cruor, per corpora curro.
Volvor, et in venis || sanguis ut anguis eo.
Source: Owen 7.29 (Dictionary Help) - More word play! Who can resist "sanguis ut anguis eo"...?

Pauper in orbe parum, mendicus nil habet usquam,
dives habet nimium. || Quis nisi nemo satis?
Source: Owen 7.35 (Dictionary Help)

Pendentes agimus vitas in littore mortis,
Tam prope mors vitae est, || quam prope margo mari.
Una fere res est homini mors vitaque, sicut
Efficiunt unum || terraque et unda globum.
Source: Owen 4.247 (Dictionary Help)

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at

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