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Inanis impetus.

Antagonism that achieves nothing

Lunarum [=Lunarem] noctu (ut speculum)[1] canis inspicit orbem:
Seque videns, alium credit inesse canem,[2]
Et latrat: sed frustra agitur vox irrita ventis,
Et peragit cursus surda Diana suos.[3]

A dog at night is looking into the moon’s disk as into a mirror and seeing himself, thinks there is another dog there; and he barks - but the sound is carried away, ineffectual, on the winds. Diana, unhearing, pursues her course.


Vergebne mühe.

Als den Mon sach der Hund zu nacht
Und sich drinn als im Spiegel gdacht
Er es wer eins anderß Hunds Bild
Sprang ubersich und stalt sich wild
Aber sein bellen gieng in lufft
War vergebens und gar ein dufft
Der Mon dannoch sein lauff verricht
Last in bellen als ghör ers nicht.


1.  For the theory of the moon’s disk as a mirror reflecting things on earth, see Plutarch, De facie in orbe lunae, Moralia, 920ff.

2.  Variant reading: altum credit inesse canem, ‘thinks there is a dog up there’.

3.  Diana is of course goddess of the moon.

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