bellum paxque wrote:I'm just posting four lines that, in my opinion, are the most confusing I've met so far while reading the first book of Virgil's Georgics. Finally I got the gist of them, with a little help from the notes, but I thought I'd share my difficulty here in the forum. After all, asperum alieno, tibi auxilium.
the diction isn't especially hard, most of it easily guessable derivative adjectives (lucidus < lux, uentosa < uentu). The only tricky points are fauces = "strait," a transferred meaning from the literal "neck," and ostrifer, which I didn't guess meant "oyster-bearing" probably because I'd forgotten ostrea (and because "oyster-bearing" is a little absurd).
I could add the baffling syntax of the first clause, which by itself is pretty tricky, given the uncommon meaning of "servo," the separation of "servandi" from "sunt" and from "nobis." I could also add the difficulty of the proper names here, especially astrological names, for modern readers. But the poem speaks for itself (ad aspera per astra?!? yes, bad joke)
Some nits with your (otherwise fine) translation:
"servandi sunt" and "temptantur" indicate that the subjects are the stars and seas, not us. The stars and seas are to be regarded *by us*, perhaps a small distinction but one that is clear in the original and lost in translation. Also, you left out "in patriam".
My own execrable attempt to keep as close to the Latin structure as possible in clumsy English (in order to understand the Latin) runs:
Hmm, perhaps itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to go out and parse the night sky for Arcturus, Auriga and Draco!