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Hic oculis illum cernentem sacra profanis
Jam trepidum jam verba minus violenta loquentem
On the Death of Corinna's Parrot.-Page 1.
2. Occidit] This is the present-perfect tense, 'is dead.'
2. exsequias ite frequenter aves] 'Exsequias' (ec-sequi) is properly the following a corpse to burial. It is commonly used for the funeral, as here. He bids all the birds go to the parrot's funeral, and there beat their breasts and scratch their cheeks, and tear their plumage as women cut their hair, and sing sad songs instead of the horns which at funerals were blown with dismal noise. After verbs of motion it is not necessary to use a preposition, because the accusative case itself answers to the question, whither? But the preposition is generally used, except in the case of towns. In other cases the poets more commonly omit it than the prose writers.
5. lanietur] The third person singular and plural and first plural of the present subjunctive are given in the grammars as parts of the imperative mood; but they belong only to the subjunctive. The use of this mood as an imperative "is due to an ellipsis of a verb which is occasionally supplied" (Key's Lat. Gr. § 1167 n.).* 'Lanietur' is equivalent to 'jubeo lanietur,' 'I bid that it be torn.' The verb is supplied, for instance, in p. 23, v. 4, 5, Fac pateat,' 'take care that it appear,' where' 'pateat ' might be used by itself, but it still would be the subjunctive mood (see p. 40, 285 n.) It was customary for women to cut off locks of their hair to throw upon the funeral pile (p. 7, 50; 47, v. 506).
7. Quid scelus Ismarii] Ismarus was a mountain, and also a town, and Ismaris a lake in Thrace, and Ismarius therefore is used for a Thracian. The Ismarian tyrant is Tereus, who, as the story goes, married Procne, daughter of Pandion king of Athens, and by her had a son, Itys. He afterwards fell in love with Philomela, the sister of Procne, who, to punish her husband, put to death Itys, and afterwards she and Philomela flying from Tereus were turned into birds, Procne into a swallow, and Philomela into
* The references are to the first edition of Key's Grammar.
a nightingale. The crime of Tereus was that he took Philomela to wife while her sister was alive, and told her that she was dead. He also cut out Philomela's tongue, that she might not tell what he had done.
8. Expleta est annis] 'That complaint of thine hath filled up the measure of its years.' He means that Philomela has complained long enough of the crime of Tereus: she should now go and mourn at the funeral of the parrot. The Latin construction, is filled up in its years,' must be changed in translation to suit the English idiom. See below, v. 40.
9. divertite] turn aside.' It should be 'divertite,' not 'devertite.' The last is used with a noun in the ablative. He addresses the bird-sisters Procne and Philomela, the swallow and the nightingale, saying that their grief for Itys, though natural, is now obsolete, which is the meaning of antiqua,' 'antiquated,' as we say. Antiquus' or 'anticus is an adjective form of ante,' and signifies that which is before others. When applied to time it means properly that which was formerly but is no more, as here. 'Vetus is properly used for that which is old but still exists.
11. liquido] Liquidus' is used poetically for that which is clear, transparent, and is commonly applied to the air. Ovid's epithets should be observed.
12. turtur amice] He addresses a turtle-dove which had been reared with the parrot.
15. juvenis Phocus Orestae] Pylades was the son of Strophius king of Phocis. Orestes, son of Agamemnon king of Argos, was placed under the care of Strophius after his father's death, and the two young men became great friends. 'Juvenis' is explained on p. 7, 62.
17. Quid] Of what advantage?' A verb is understood, 'juvat.' See v. 19. Rari coloris' is the genitive of quality. Thy form with its rare hue.'
18. mutandis sonis] 'In the varying of sounds.'
20. nempe jaces] Surely thou liest low?" Nempe' is a form of 'nam,' as 'quippe' is a form of 'quia,' and both mean 'surely.'
22. Punica rostra] He had a red beak. Punicus,' which is another form of Phoenix,' means purple or dark red, because that dye came principally of old from Phoenicia. The crocus has many species varying in colour. The yellow and purple are those most frequently referred to by the poets.
24. blueso sono] In broken accents." lisping or any other inarticulate way of speaking.
27. coturnices] These are quails, which, like partridges and cocks, were counted among fighting birds. Ovid says the parrot was a peaceable bird, and yet he had died young; whereas quails, though given to battle, survived and perhaps often lived to be old notwithstanding. Inde' is 'afterward;' it is connected with the pronoun 'is.' See p. 26. v. 54 n.
Blaesus' is used for