Quod tibi, serve, videlicet est tua palma adoperta
sub tunicā ludens, est mihi Porsena Rex!
What to you, servant, clearly is your hand covered
under a shirt playing, is to me King Porsena!
ˉ = Full beat
˘ = Half beat
° = Either a full or half beat may be used
ˉ ˘ ˘ = D = Dactyl (a metrical foot)
ˉ ˉ = S = Spondee (a metrical foot)
ˉ ˘ = T = Trochee (a metrical foot)
/ = Separator between metrical feet
|| = A hiatus – a pronounced pause
X = Either a dactyl or spondee may be used
Y = Either a spondee or a trochee may be used
Form = Elegiac Couplet
X / X / X / X / D / Y
X / X / ° || D / D / ˉ
Quōd tĭbĭ,/ sērvĕ, vĭ/dēlĭcĕt / ēst tŭă / pālma*-ădŏ/pērtă
( ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘/ ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ )
sūb tŭnĭ/cā lū/dēns, || ēst mĭhĭ / Pōrsĕnă / Rēx!
( ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˉ / ˉ || ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ )
* A note on scansion: if a word ends in a vowel, am, em, or um, AND the next word begins with a vowel (or an h), then the ending vowel (or am, em, um) of the first word is dropped completely (beat value and all) and the two words are joined. This is known as elision.
The Vocabulary and Grammar
Quod = quī (quī, quae, quod), adjective, irregular, (1st & 2nd and 3rd declension-ish), neuter, nominative, meaning = (relative)what (thing).
tibi = tu (tu …), pronoun, irregular, 2nd person, singular, dative, meaning = to you.
serve = servus (servus, -i), noun, 2nd declension, singular, masculine, vocative (direct address), meaning = servant.
videlicet = adverb, indeclinable, modifies est, meaning = clearly (literally “it is allowed to see”).
est = sum (sum, esse, fui, futurum), verb, irregular, 3rd person, singular, present, active only, indicative, meaning = it (quod and palma) is.
tua = tuus (tuus -a -um), adjective, 1st & 2nd declension, singular, feminine, nominative, modifies palma, meaning = your.
palma = palma (palma, -ae), noun, 1st declension, singular, feminine, nominative, meaning = palm, hand.
adoperta = adopertus (adopertus, -a, -um), adjective (the past participle of the verb adoperio, -erire, -erui, -ertum), singular, feminine, nominative, modifies palma, meaning = covered.
sub = preposition, indeclinable, takes tunicā as object, meaning – under, underneath.
tunicā = tunica (tunica, -ae), noun, 1st declension, singular, feminine, ablative, meaning = (object of preposition) tunica, shirt.
ludens = ludens (ludens), adjective (the present participle of the verb ludo, ludere, lusi, lusum), 3rd declension, singular, feminine, nominative, modifies palma, meaning = playing, taunting.
mihi = ego (ego …), pronoun, irregular, 1st person, singular, dative, meaning = to me.
Porsena = Porsena (Porsena, -ae), noun (proper name), 1st declension, singular, masculine, nominative, meaning = (with Rex) King Porsena (King Porsena of Etruria who waged war on Rome and whom the real (legendary) Gaius Mucius Scaevola attempted, but failed, to assassinate, sacrificing his right arm to intimidate the king into a peace.)
Rex = rex (rex, regis), noun, 3rd declension, singular, masculine, nominative, meaning = king.
* “Week” is a used here as to specify an undefined length of time, possibly at times equal to an actual week.