I'm writing a poem, and I want to close each part with a Latin phrase. The one I'm talking about now is

non serm ab rex regum ergo nos sponte nostrum resurget

Using various online resources, I have crafted this phrase, which I believe to be fairly legible, but I know google translate can't be trusted 100%.

It's supposed to mean, "No word from the King of Kings, therefore we will resurrect on our own accord."

I'm mainly concerned that I might be putting the words in the wrong order in order to maintain the iambic and the ending -get, which is a rhymed syllable.

But if you can find anything wrong with it, I'd like to hear about it.

Also, there is no uppercase or punctuation, because I didn't want to add something that shouldn't be there, and I saw no punctuation or capitalization in the Latin Bible, so I figured it was normal to write Latin in this way. If that's not necessarily true, I'd like to know that, too.

EDIT: I'll give the poem some context so it will be easier to help me. Rhyme pattern is A A B at the end of each line.

    '    '     '    '   '
in girum imus nocte et consum-
'    '         '       '     '
imur igni non serm ab rex regum
   '       '     '       '    '
ergo nos sponte nostrum resurget

That is how I was emphasizing the lines, though clearly some of it was wrong. And you can even see I let the iambic slide a little bit around 'consumimur igni', but that goes with the territory of forcing a non-iambic quote into iambic. I'd like to make the final, original latin line as iambic as possible, but that is looking harder and harder to do.

It was said that 2+ syllable latin generally never ends on a stressed syllable. I will go ahead and just make that not a problem right now, by saying we don't have to uphold the ending -get rhyme. The thing it rhymes with is original content that can far more easily be changed to suit the needs I will require by nailing the latin portion.

That said, I do need to nail the 'regum' at the end of that middle line, even though its accented incorrectly, because that's gonna be my only chance to fit the palindrome quote into the stanza. Unless you can think of another word that ends with an 'oom' or 'um' sound, which is also relevant and can be better crafted to fit the context.

Going from the answer's I've already received, what about something like

'    '     '   '       '  
imur igni hei rege ab regum
     '     '      '     '     '
non sermo nobis sponte bingo bang

where the bingo bang part is a placeholder for your own latin-inclined creative ideas. I'd like it to end on a stressed syllable, and I'd like it to use the verb resurget but that's not as important as the stressed final syllable.

I used 'hei' as a single syllable interjection to sort of salvage some iambic, and make it seem more conversational than we just got off-by-1 somewhere and couldn't stop.

Feel free to be creative and even destructive if you think you've got a good idea for my situation.

  • 4
    Google Translate is really bad when it comes to English to Latin translations, so I would strongly advise that you not use it. Better to ask questions here!
    – ktm5124
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 21:15
  • 1
    What do you mean by "No word from the King of Kings"? What is the context?
    – user1330
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 21:24
  • 1
    In context, God has not spoken to us. We have not received word from the King of kings.
    – Bango
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


The phrase ab rex needs to be ab rege in the ablative. The word resurget is not conjugated correctly: its subject is nos, which is first person plural, so we would need resurgemus.

I'm assuming that you want iambs in the stress accent. (Classical Latin bases the primary meter on vowel length.) This isn't actually going to be possible without fudging something, because the accent on a two syllable word in Latin is never on the last syllable, so you can't end a line with an accent-iamb ending with -get.

Here's my suggestion:

non regum ab rege dicta ergo nobis sponte resurgetur.

This gives you the last stressed syllable being the one that rhymes, which seems like the best option to me (though I don't know much about rhyming). I switched it to a passive construction, so it would be literally ``there is a resurrection among us,'' which is a fairly common construction.

When a word ends in a vowel and the next begins with a vowel, they become one sound, and the first one gets dropped. Note also that um counts as vowel at the end of the word, and h-vowel counts as a vowel at the start of the word. Thus regum ab is pronounced reg ab and rege habemus as reg habemus. (If you're paying attention, you'll notice that we need dicta ergo to be four syllables for the meter. That's just because I don't have a better way to do it. A hiatus between clauses shouldn't be too jarring I think.)

Then this gets pronounced:

non reg ab rege dicta ergo nobis sponte resurgetur.


For starters, serm should be sermo (serm is not a word, which you can confirm on L&S). But verbum is probably better than sermo. I think that Nullum verbum or Non ullum verbum convey the sense of "no word", cf. Ecclesiastes 42:20.

Also, rex should not be nominative. There is precedent for it being put in the ablative with a(b), cf. Jeremiah 26:1 and Jeremiah 34:1. But it could also be put in the genitive, cf. Judges 3:20. I chose the ablative since it seems more attested.

The subject of the second clause is "we", so the verb should be resurgemus.

Making these changes, we get:

Nullum verbum a rege regum ergo nos sponte resurgemus.

No word from the king of kings, therefore we will resurrect on our own accord.

  • 2
    I'm not sure sermo is the ideal word here.
    – cmw
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 22:12
  • 2
    "Non sermo ab" unfortunately doesn't translate the English idiom "no word from"
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 22:12
  • 3
    sponde -> sponte
    – TKR
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 22:50
  • 2
    Perhaps emphatic nosmet could be incorporated to give the end rhyme that the original poster wants.
    – cnread
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 23:23
  • 1
    @C. M. Weimer I actually would like to use a conj of sermo here, as earlier in the poem I am quoting 1 Kings, "addiditque sermo mihi est ad te cui ait loquere et ille" which means something along the lines of "He added 'Let me tell you something' to which she replied him 'Do tell'"
    – Bango
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 1:02

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