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I'm translating a Tennyson verse (Sir Galahad) and had it went over by a couple of folks with some corrections. I would like you guys to give it a final pass if you would be so kind. I searched and couldn't find it being asked previously.

Meus fidelis gladius galeas virorum secat,
Mea dura lancea certe percutit,
Mea vis tamquam vis decem virorum,
Quia meus cor purus est.

Original verse:

My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten
Because my heart is pure.

A more medieval Latin flavor was intended.

Thanks for any help!

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  • Welcome to the site, and very nice question!
    – Rafael
    Mar 25, 2022 at 11:39

1 Answer 1

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It's a pretty straightforward translation and is mostly correct. Just a few notes:

  1. You probably also want cassides instead of galeas, since the cassis is made of metal and the galea is leather.

  2. The last line should be meum...purum, because cor is neuter.

  3. purum est cor meum sounds better to me; although it breaks the symmetry, but it flows much more smoothly.

  4. Likewise, vis tamquam... sounds off to me. I'd probably properly make it a correlative: tam fortis sum quam decem viri sunt ("I am as strong as ten men.")

  5. In the second line, Latin would likely make certe an adjective instead of an adverb, with something like: Mea lancea dura certaque percutit. It's really the lance more than the cutting that is certus here. This is Classical, but I don't know for sure how Medieval Latin would differ.

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  • Thank you so much cmw, this is super helpful! Would idem quod, the same as, also work instead of tamquam? I agree it does seem off. Mar 25, 2022 at 2:20
  • No, id est wouldn't make sense at all. You could reword it still but the construction I gave is standard.
    – cmw
    Mar 25, 2022 at 3:31
  • Oh, and if you find an answer helpful, remember to upvote and (if it solves the question) check mark it.
    – cmw
    Mar 25, 2022 at 3:47
  • Thanks again for the help! Sadly I cannot as I lack the reputation to upvote or comment. I also was for some reason locked out of the original account. I asked a question as a guest (user10936) and when I went to finish account creation in the email it created a different account (Prime Paladin). I have no way to access the original account as it redirects me to this one, I deeply apologize and have attempted to upvote your very useful answer! Mar 25, 2022 at 4:12
  • Interesting. Let me see if I can figure out how to help. Hang tight.
    – cmw
    Mar 25, 2022 at 4:56

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