Friday, January 22, 2010

Rusticus Amnem Transiturus (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 16 in the collection. This is a fable that comes from Abstemius and it is also listed by Perry in his index as Perry 723. You can find the word list for this fable online at, 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:

Rusticus - acta loquor - rapidum parat īre per amnem;
Turbidus hībernīs ille fluēbat aquīs.
Approperat rīpam; prōnō ruit aequore vortex:
Mox vada, quā currat lēnius unda, petit:
Ēn vada mox reperit; quae vīsa quiētior, ista
Altior unda fuit; nec tamen īre potest.
"Frontī nulla fides," sīc sēcum volvit agrestis;
"Tūtior est torrēns; saevior unda silet."

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

Acta loquor: Rusticus per amnem rapidum īre parat; ille amnis, aquīs hībernīs turbidus, fluēbat. Rusticus rīpam approperat; vortex aequore prōnō ruit. Mox Rusticus vada petit, quā unda lēnius currat. Ēn: mox vada reperit. Unda ista, quae quiētior vīsa est, altior fuit, nec tamen īre potest. Agrestis sīc sēcum volvit: "Frontī nulla fides et. Torrēns tūtior est; saevior unda silet."

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):

Acta loquor: Rústicus per amnem rápidum ire parat; ille amnis, aquis hibérnis túrbidus, fluébat. Rústicus ripam appróperat; vortex aéquore prono ruit. Mox Rústicus vada petit, qua unda lénius currat. En: mox vada réperit. Unda ista, quae quiétior visa est, áltior fuit, nec tamen ire potest. Agréstis sic secum volvit: "Fronti nulla fides et. Torrens tútior est; saévior unda silet."

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.

Rusticus,· acta lo·quor, rapi·dum para·t īre per· amnem;
Turbidus· hīber·nīs || ille flu·ēbat a·quīs.
Apprope·rat rī·pam; prō·nō ruit· aequore· vortex:
Mox vada,· quā cur·rat || lēnius· unda, pe·tit:
Ēn vada· mox repe·rit; quae· vīsa qui·ētior,· ista
Altior· unda fu·it; || nec tamen· īre po·test.
Frontī· nulla fi·des, sīc· sēcum· volvit a·grestis;
Tūtior· est tor·rēns; || saevior· unda si·let.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source):

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Acta loquor: Rusticus per amnem rapidum ire parat; ille amnis, aquis hibernis turbidus, fluebat. Rusticus ripam approperat; vortex aequore prono ruit. Mox Rusticus vada petit, qua unda lenius currat. En: mox vada reperit. Unda ista, quae quietior visa est, altior fuit, nec tamen ire potest. Agrestis sic secum volvit: "Fronti nulla fides et. Torrens tutior est; saevior unda silet."

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