While struck by a bout of insomnia the other night, I decided to try my hand at writing a poem in Latin. I am not at all confident in my correct usage of certain vocabulary words, as I had a harder than expected time figuring out the subtler meanings of some terms (such as summergat vs. submergat).

Also I essentially gave up after a few hours trying to make sure that I was using the correct noun declensions and all the verb tenses agreed with the adjective tenses, etc., and would really appreciate some feedback.

Here is the poem in English (titled "Sleep"):

Sleep, where are you? Why do you hide yourself from me?
We have been enemies for many years, it's true,
But now is the time for peace.

Sleep, gentle mother,
Wrap me in your loving embrace,
And deliver me unto the world of dreams.

And my Latin translation (titled "Somne"):

Somne, ubi es? Quare te me abscondis?
Hostes multos annos fuimus, verum est
Sed nunc tempus est pacis

Somne, pater clemens
Involve me amplexu amanti tuo
Et delibera me mundo somniorum

I chose to title the poem Somne over Somnus, as I wanted to frame it as an exhortation to or a conversation with the personification of Sleep, and if I understand correctly, when calling someone's name or addressing them you use the vocative case, which in this case is "somne".

  • I'd change these: Quare a me te celas? Somne, pater clemens Involve me amplexu amanti tuo Et trade me in mundum somniorum
    – user11898
    May 25, 2023 at 0:17
  • @ManuelCauãRebouças can you explain why?
    – Meta
    May 25, 2023 at 20:12
  • 2
    Basically, I only know "hide from" as "celare ab" Somnus is a male noun, so to say "matercula" sounds wrong and wierd. "Wrap" I believe that's an imperative. Normally we don't need to say the preposition "in+ablative"(in amplexu amanti). And "trade" another imperative, since it indicates motion, we use the in+accusative. English, isn't my first language, so I'm afraid that can't be much help.
    – user11898
    May 25, 2023 at 23:24
  • 1
    delibera for "deliver" is tricky... but doesn't seem to work. deliberare is much akin to the English deliberate (though one could expect delibrare and not deliberare).
    – d_e
    May 30, 2023 at 20:08
  • @d_e What word would you suggest instead?
    – Meta
    Jun 2, 2023 at 4:40


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