A Conversation for Handy Latin Phrases


Post 1


Jonathan Swift, the great English satirist, wrote a handful of what he called "Anglo-Latin" verses, which are poems written in Latin, but only make sense if you read them aloud as if they were English. The great thing about Swift is that he wrote these verse long enough ago that they are in the public domain. I include the "translations".

As Sonata in Praes o Molli

Mollis abuti, Molly's a beauty
Has an acuti Has an acute eye
No lasso finis; No lass so fine is
Molli dii vinis Molly divine is
O mi de armistris, Oh my dear mistress
Imi na Dis tres; I'm in a distress
Cantu disco ver Can't you discover
Meas alo ver. Me as a lover.

An Epigram

A sui ne is abuti cum par ito Dic
A site offis fis it mite me cacat sic
Re diri no at es ter a quarto fine ale
Fora ringat his nos e an da stringat his tale.

A swine is a beauty, compare it to Dick;
A sight of his phiz, it might make a cat sick;
Readier, I know, a tester [sixpence], a quart o' fine ale,
For a ring at his nose, and a string at his tail.

(Dick refers to Richard Tighe, a Whig politician Swift didn't particularly like and attacked many times in poetry)

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