Thursday, January 21, 2010

Homo et Deus Ligneus (Trinity)

SOURCE: This poem was composed by the anonymous "Trinity Master" who published a lovely little book in 1852 setting Latin fables in prose side-by-side with his verse compositions; read the book at Google Books. This is poem 21 in the collection. For more versions, see Perry 285. You can find the word list for this fable online at NoDictionaries.com, and use it interactively

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)


VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Ligneus ecce! Deus cuīdam stat in aedibus. Illum
Ut sibi rēs crescant ōre tremente rogat.
Quō magis ōrābat supplex, minus omnia cēdunt
Prospera; ferre bonī nīl valuēre precēs.
Crura Deī tandem cultor rapit excitus īrā;
Mox sumpsit poenās; obrutus ille iacet.
At magnum argentī, mīrābile! pondus et aurī
Ē capite exsiliit. Tālia fātur homō:
"Improbus et perversus erās. Dum dantur honōrēs,
Nīl mihi tū prōdēs, nīlque refertur opis.
At simul ac fractus, simul es mala millia passūs,
Ecce! tuā tandem sum cito dīves ope."


PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Ecce: Deus ligneus cuīdam in aedibus stat. Deum rogat, ōre tremente, ut sibi rēs crescant. Quō magis supplex ōrābat, minus prospera omnia cēdunt; precēs nīl bonī ferre valuēre. Tandem Cultor, īrā excitus, crura Deī rapit; mox poenās sumpsit; ille Deus, obrutus, iacet. At - mīrābile! - magnum argentī et aurī pondus ē capite exsiliit. Homō tālia fātur: "Improbus et perversus erās. Dum honōrēs dantur, tū nīl mihi prōdēs, et nīl opis refertur. At simul ac fractus es, et simul mala millia passūs es: ecce! Tandem tuā ope cito dīves sum."


STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Ecce: Deus lígneus cuidam in aédibus stat. Deum rogat, ore treménte, ut sibi res crescant. Quo magis supplex orábat, minus próspera ómnia cedunt; preces nil boni ferre valuére. Tandem Cultor, ira éxcitus, crura Dei rapit; mox poenas sumpsit; ille Deus, óbrutus, iacet. At - mirábile! - magnum argénti et auri pondus e cápite exsíliit. Homo tália fatur: "Ímprobus et pervérsus eras. Dum honóres dantur, tu nil mihi prodes, et nil opis refértur. At simul ac fractus es, et simul mala míllia passus es: ecce! Tandem tua ope cito dives sum."


ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot · to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Ligneus· ecce! De·us cuī·dam stat i·n aedibus.· Illum
Ut sibi· rēs cres·cant || ōre tre·mente ro·gat.
Quō magis· ōrā·bat sup·plex, minus· omnia· cēdunt
Prospera;· ferre bo·nī || nīl valu·ēre pre·cēs.
Crura De·ī tan·dem cul·tor rapit· excitus· īrā;
Mox sump·sit poe·nās; || obrutus· ille ia·cet.
At māg·n~ argen·tī, mī·rābile!· pondus et· aurī
Ē capit~· exsili·it. || Tālia· fātur ho·mō:
Improbu·s et per·versus e·rās. Dum· dantur ho·nōrēs,
Nīl mihi· tū prō·dēs, || nīlque re·fertur o·pis.
At simu·l ac frac·tus, simu·l es mala· millia· passūs,
Ecce! tu·ā tan·dem || sum cito· dīves o·pe.


IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 16th-century edition of the fables:


Here is another illustration from the Medici Aesop, which is online at the New York Public Library website.



What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Ecce: Deus ligneus cuidam in aedibus stat. Deum rogat, ore tremente, ut sibi res crescant. Quo magis supplex orabat, minus prospera omnia cedunt; preces nil boni ferre valuere. Tandem Cultor, ira excitus, crura Dei rapit; mox poenas sumpsit; ille Deus, obrutus, iacet. At - mirabile! - magnum argenti et auri pondus e capite exsiliit. Homo talia fatur: "Improbus et perversus eras. Dum honores dantur, tu nil mihi prodes, et nil opis refertur. At simul ac fractus es, et simul mala millia passus es: ecce! Tandem tua ope cito dives sum."

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