I need help translating a Tennyson line

Be loyal to the royal in thyself and be loyal to the land


A literal translation is straightforward enough:

Es fidelis regio in te ipse et es fidelis terrae.

N.B. that es is a 2nd person singular imperative here, and that regio is the dative of regium (I interpreted royal as a general royal quality, not as if the person addressed is literally a member of the royal family; fidelis takes either the dative or in + accusative). If you want to make it thy land instead of the land, add tuae after terrae.

Other choices could be made; this doesn't preserve Tennyson's internal rhyme or rhythm, but a high-quality poetic translation is probably beyond the scope of the Latin Language Stack Exchange.

  • One grammatical issue: it should be ipso (ablative), not ipse (nominative). – brianpck Nov 28 '20 at 17:33
  • @brianpck I think both are correct (that is, ipse outside of its use specifically as a demonstrative pronoun can be declined or treated as indeclinable)? I had Seneca's famous line "recede in te ipse quantum potes" in mind (te in the accusative, ipse not declined), but in te ipso is obviously not wrong. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 18:30
  • Though looking it up now I see the Loeb edition has ipsum there. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 18:32
  • 1
    I looked it up here (298f) and found something new: apparently ipse often agrees with the (understood) subject. So, in your case, ipse would agree with the understood nominative tu of the imperative--which isn't quite the same as being indeclinable. – brianpck Nov 28 '20 at 19:59
  • Oh, cool, I never knew that. Happy accident, then. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 20:34

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