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Gratiam referendam.

Show gratitude.

Ario insignis pietate Ciconia nido
Investes pullos pignora grata fovet.
Taliaque expectat sibi munera mutua reddi,
Auxilio hoc quoties mater egebit anus:
Nec pia spem soboles fallit, sed fessa parentum
Corpora fert humeris, praestat & ore cibos.[1]

The stork, famed for its dutiful care, in its airy nest cherishes its featherless chicks, its dear pledges of love. The mother bird expects that the same kind of service will be shown her in return, whenever she needs such help in her old age. Nor does the dutiful brood disappoint this hope, but bears its parents’ weary bodies on its wings and offers food with its beak.

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Recognoistre bienfaict.

La Cigoigne en lespoir estant,
Que ses petitz mis hors denfance,
Luy rendront du plaisir autant,
Met peine a leur donner substance,
Dont ilz font grand recognoissance.
Car au temps que plus force na,
On luy fournist vol & pitance.
Ainsi prant, ce quelle donna.

Notes:

1. See Pliny, Natural History 10.32.63: cranes care for their parents’ old age in their turn. See also Aelian, De natura animalium 3.23.


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Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret.

Limine quod caeco obscura & caligine monstrum[1]
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris,
Depictum Romana phalanx in praelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] bove,
Nosque monent, debere ducum secreta[3] latere
Consilia, authori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

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Tenir encloz secret.

Jadiz Romains firent portraire
Minotaurus en leur enseigne:
Dire en ce voulans, quon doibt taire
Secret de quelque part quil viegne:
Et affin que surce on compreigne
De te le [=tel] paincture la raison,
Nul nest vivant qui entrepreigne,
Tirer tel monstre hors sa maison.

Notes:

1. ‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2. According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3. Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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