RIDDLE POSTS BY CONTRIBUTOR: ALEXANDRAREIDER

Aldhelm Preface

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 07 Jan 2022
Original text:

Arbiter, aethereo iugiter qui regmine sceptrA
Lucifluumque simul caeli regale tribunaL
Disponis moderans aeternis legibus illuD,
(Horrida nam multans torsisti membra VehemotH,
Ex alta quondam rueret dum luridus arcE),
Limpida dictanti metrorum carmina praesuL
Munera nunc largire, rudis quo pandere reruM
Versibus enigmata queam clandistina fatV:
Sic, Deus, indignis tua gratis dona rependiS.
Castalidas nimphas non clamo cantibus istuC
Examen neque spargebat mihi nectar in orE;
Cynthi sic numquam perlustro cacumina, sed neC
In Parnasso procubui nec somnia vidI.
Nam mihi versificum poterit Deus addere carmeN
Inspirans stolidae pia gratis munera mentI;
Tangit si mentem, mox laudem corda rependunT.
Metrica nam Moysen declarant carmina vateM
Iamdudum cecinisse prisci vexilla tropeI
Late per populos illustria, qua nitidus SoL
Lustrat ab oceani iam tollens gurgite cephaL
Et psalmista canens metrorum cantica vocE
Natum divino promit generamine numeN
In caelis prius exortum, quam Lucifer orbI
Splendida formatis fudisset lumina saecliS.
Verum si fuerint bene haec enigmata versV
Explosis penitus naevis et rusticitatE
Ritu dactilico recte decursa nec erroR
Seduxit vana specie molimina mentiS,
Incipiam potiora, sui Deus arida servI,
Belligero quondam qui vires tradidit IoB,
Viscera perpetui si roris repleat haustV.
Siccis nam laticum duxisti cautibus amneS
Olim, cum cuneus transgresso marmore rubrO
Desertum penetrat, cecinit quod carmine DaviD.
Arce poli, genitor, servas qui saecula cunctA,
Solvere iam scelerum noxas dignare nefandaS.

Incipiunt enigmata ex diversis rerum creaturis composita.

Translation:

Judge, who with celestial control perpetually arranges the sceptres
And the resplendent royal court of heaven,
Directing it with eternal laws,
(For you tormented the horrible limbs of Behemoth
When the foul beast had fallen from the lofty heights),
Now, to me, who composes vivid songs in verse, protector,
Bestow gifts, so that I, unrefined, may be able to explain
Through your word the hidden mysteries of things in my verses:
Thus, God, do you freely offer your gifts to the unworthy.
I do not summon the Castalian nymphs here,
Nor did a swarm of bees spread nectar in my mouth;
Thus never do I traverse Apollo’s summits, and I did not
Prostrate myself on Parnassus, and I did not see visions:
For God will be able to enhance my poetic song,
Freely breathing his blessed gifts into my unlearned mind;
If he should touch my mind, immediately my heart returns praise.
For metrical verses declare that the prophet Moses
Sang, a long time ago, of the standards of ancient
Victories, distinguished among peoples far and wide,
Where the bright sun shines, raising its head from the ocean’s waters;
And the psalmist, singing the verses of his songs aloud,
Declares born through divine generation a deity
Who appeared in the heavens before the morning star
Poured its splendid light on the earth at the world’s conception.
But if these mysteries in verse should indeed be well and truly
Freed from defects and inelegance as well as correctly
Sequenced in the dactylic style, and error did not
Lead astray my mind’s efforts with specious show,
I will begin upon better things, if God, who once
Imparted strength to his soldier Job, should replenish
The arid insides of his servant with a drink of eternal dew.
For you once brought streams of water out from dry rocks
When the throng, after crossing the Red Sea,
Entered the desert, which David sang of in song.
Father, who protects all ages in the castle of heaven,
Deign now to free me from the unspeakable faults of my sins.

Here begin the riddles composed about various created things.

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The preface to Aldhelm's riddle collection


Notes:

This edition is based on Rudolf Ehwald (ed.). Aldhelmi Opera Omnia. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, 15. Berlin, Weidmann, 1919. Pages 59-150. Available online here.



Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Eusebius Riddle 1: De Deo

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Original text:

Incipiunt enigmata Eusebii:
 
Cum sim infra cunctos, sublimior omnibus adsto,
Nullus adestque locus in quo circumdatus essem.
Alta domus mea, cum sit sedes semper in imis.
Agmina devastans, avertor laesus ab uno.

Translation:

Here begin the riddles of Eusebius:

Although I am beneath everything, I stand higher than all,
And there exists no place in which I may be enclosed.
My house is high, though my seat is always in the depths.
I devastate multitudes and am turned away, hurt by one.

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On God


Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  solutions  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 1: De philosophia

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Incipiunt enigmata Tautunii

Stamine metrorum exstructor conserta retexit
Sub deno quater haec diverse enigmata torquens.
Septena alarum me circumstantia cingit,
Vecta per alma poli quis nunc volitare solesco,
Abdita, nunc terrae penetrans atque ima profundi. 
Sum Salomone sagacior et velocior Euro,
Clarior et Phoebi radiis, pretiosior auro,
Suavior omnigena certe modulaminis arte,
Dulcior et favo gustantum in faucibus aeso.
Nulla manus poterit nec me contingere visus
Cum, presens dubio sine, me quaerentibus adsto.
Mordentem amplector, parcentem me viduabo.
Est felix mea qui poterit cognoscere iura:
Quemque meo natum esse meum sub nomine rebor.

Translation:

Here begin the riddles of Tatwine

The author recounts these riddles, connected by a thread of 
Verses, weaving forty in different directions. 
A sevenfold circle of wings surrounds me,
On which it is my custom to fly, concealed, carried now through the sweet heavens,
Now penetrating the profound depths of the earth.
I am wiser than Solomon and faster than Eurus, 
And brighter than the rays of Phoebus, more precious than gold, 
Certainly more pleasing than every art of music-making,
And sweeter than honeycomb in the mouth of the tasters.
No hand nor sight is able to touch me
When I, definitely present, stand near those who seek me.
I embrace that which bites me, deprive that which avoids me. 
Happy is he who can know my laws:
I will judge him born under my name.

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On philosophy


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 2: De angelo

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 20 Dec 2021
Original text:

Nuntius emissus, discurro more ministri.
Non labor, ac tedium, nulla molestia cursum
Tardat, et intrantis vestigia nulla videntur.
Cautior effectus casu quo corruit anguis.

Translation:

Sent out as a messenger, I run around like a servant.
Neither work, nor weariness, nor annoyance slows
My course, and no traces of my entering are seen.
I was made more cautious by the fall that the serpent fell.

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On the angel


Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  solutions  latin 

Tatwine Riddle 2: De spe, fide, et caritate

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Una tres natae sumus olim ex matre sagaci.
Est felix eius liceat cui cernere formam
Reginae, fausto semper quae numine regnat,
Solifero cuius thalamus splendore nitescit.
Cernere quae nullus nec pandere septa valebit,
Maternis quis nec poterit fore visibus aptus,
Nostris ni fuerit complexibus ante subactus.

Translation:

We three were once born from one wise mother.
Happy is he who may perceive the beauty
Of the queen, who reigns always in fortunate power,
Whose household shines in sun-bringing splendour.
There is none who has the strength either to discern or open her gates,
Nor can someone be ready for visions of the mother,
Unless he was first acted upon by our embraces.

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On hope, faith, and charity


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 3: De demone

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Incola sum patriae, cum sim miserabilis exul.
Vinco viros fortes, (1) sed rursum vincor ab imis,
Abiectoque. Potentes sunt mihi regna potestas.
Est locus in terris sed ludo in sedibus altis.

Translation:

I am a resident of a country, although I am a miserable exile.
I conquer strong men, but in return I am conquered by the lowest,
And though I am cast out, rulers, kingdoms, power are mine.
My place is on the earth but I play among the lofty seats.

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On the demon


Notes:

(1) Glossed in the manuscripts with the explanation: “that is, the kings and emperors of the world."



Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 3: De historia et sensu et moralis et allegoria

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Bis binas statuit sua nos vigiles dominatrix
Thesauri cellaria conservare sorores,
Diversisque, intus fulgent, ornata metallis,
Omnigena et florum dulcedine serta virescunt.
Gaudentes, nostris haec mox reseramus amicis,
Ingratisque aditum sed iure negamus apertum.

Translation:

The mistress established us, twice-two guards
And sisters, to keep the stores in the vault,
And decorated with several metals, they shine within,
And they grow, garlanded with all manner of sweet flower.
Rejoicing, we unbar these soon to our friends,
But we rightly deny open entrance to the ungrateful.

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On the literal and moral and allegorical sense


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 4: De homine

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Haec, mea materiae substantia, bina creata est:
Sed gravis una videtur, quae tamen ipsa peribit,
Cuius et ipse fugax defectum gessit helidrum.
Tenuior est alia, et quae semper sine fine carebit.

Translation:

This, my material essence, was created twofold:
Though one part seems heavy, it will yet perish,
And its failing the swift serpent brought about himself.
The other part is more delicate, and it will always be without end.

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On humankind


Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 4: De litteris

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Dulcifero pia nos genitrix ditavit honore
Dulcia quod bibulis praestamus pocula buccis,
Tosta ministrantes nitidis et fercula mensis,
Sed tamen apta damus cunctis responsaque certa.
Littera tollatur, non fulget nominis ortus.

Translation:

Our pious mother enriched us with the sweet honour
That we provide sweet drinks to thirsty mouths,
Serving roasted food on polished tables,
And yet we give fitting and certain responses to all.
A letter is removed, and the beginning of our name does not shine.

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On letters


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 5: De caelo

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Quaerite vos ipsi causam quo vendor avaris. (1)
Si me quique tenet nunc, postea semper habebit;
Meque tenere tenax terrae sublime nequibit,
Cum me nullus habet nisi qui fuit imus in illa. (2)

Translation:

Ask yourselves the reason why I am sold by the greedy.
If anyone holds me now, he will have me forever after;
And whoever clings to the earth will not be able to keep me on high,
Though no one has me unless he was lowest in that place.

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On heaven


Notes:

(1) The manuscript, CUL Gg.5.35, reads in arvis (on earth).
(2) The manuscript, CUL Gg.5.35, titles this riddle De camelo (On the camel)!



Tags: anglo saxon  riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 5: De membrano

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Efferus exuviis populator me spoliavit.
Vitalis pariter flatus spiramina dempsit,
In planum me iterum campum sed verterat auctor.
Frugiferos cultor sulcos mox irrigat undis.
Omnigenam nardi messem mea prata rependunt,
Qua sanis victum et lesis praestabo medelem.

Translation:

A savage destroyer despoiled me of my garments.
At the same time, he removed the holes for life-giving breath,
But an author turned me into a level field again.
Soon the cultivator irrigates my fruitful furrows with waves.
My meadows return an abundant harvest of nard, 
With which I shall supply food to the healthy and cure to the hurt.

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On parchment


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 6: De terra

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Quos alo—nascentes, crescentes—scindor ab illis,
Pascunturque bonis, etsi me calce subigunt;
Unde seducam nunc multos et supprimo natos,
Nam perdent quod amant, et nulli morte carebunt.

Translation:

I am torn apart by those whom—as they are born and grow—I feed,
And they are nourished on good things, even though they subjugate me under foot;
And so I now restrain many of my children and press them down,
For they will lose what they love, and none will escape death.

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On the earth


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 6: De penna

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Nativa penitus ratione, heu, fraudor ab hoste,
Nam superas quondam, pernix, auras penetrabam.
Vincta tribus, nunc, in terris persolvo tributum.
Planos compellor sulcare per aequora campos.
Causa laboris amoris tum fontes lacrimarum
Semper compellit me aridis infundere sulcis.

Translation:

I am, alas, completely defrauded of my native essence by an enemy,
For formerly, swift, I used to pierce the upper winds.
Now, I pay tribute, bound by three things on earth.
I am compelled to plow level fields through the plains.
Then the cause of my labour of love always compels me
To pour onto the arid ditches fountains of tears.

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On the pen


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 7: De littera

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Innumerae sumus, et simul omnes quaeque sonamus.
Una loqui nequit; nos tetrae ludimus albis,
Et licet alta loquemur, non sonus auribus instat.
Praeteritum loquimus, praesens, et multa futura.

Translation:

We are innumerable, and we all resound at the same time.
One cannot speak; black, we play on white,
And although we speak loudly, the sound does not reach the ears.
We speak of the past, the present, and many future things.

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On the letter


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 7: De tintinno

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Olim dictabar proprio sub nomine "Caesar,"
Optabantque meum proceres iam cernere vultum.
Nunc aliter versor superis, suspensus in auris,
Et, caesus, cogor late persolvere planctum
Cursibus haut tardis cum ad luctum turba recurrit.
Mordeo mordentem labris mox dentibus absque.

Translation:

Once I was called "Caesar" under my own name,
And princes then desired to behold my face.
Now I am occupied otherwise, suspended in the upper winds, 
And, beaten, I am forced to perform a lamentation far and wide
When the crowd resorts to mourning with not-at-all slow steps.
I soon bite the biter with lips without teeth.

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On the bell


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 8: De vento et igne

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Dissimiles sumus, et mos non similis tenet ambos.
Unus contingi patitur, nec forte videri,
Sed prope aspicitur pulcher nec tangitur alter.
Subvolat unus per caelos; stat alter in imis.

Translation:

We are dissimilar, and unlike characters rule us both.
One allows itself to be touched, but not, as it happens, to be seen,
But the other, beautiful, is seen up close, but is not touched.
The one flies up through the heavens; the other stands in the depths.

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On the wind and fire


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 8: De ara

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Quadripedis pulchri quamvis constat mihi forma,
Sponte, tamen, nullus me usquam lustrare videbit.
Bis binis, certe, per quadrum cornibus armor,
Quosque meis dapibus dignos satiare solesco.
Indignis potumque cibumque referre negabo.
Ex alta clarum merui re nomen habere.

Translation:

Although my form is that of a beautiful quadruped, 
None will, however, see me walk anywhere on my own.
Certainly, I am armed with twice-two horns in a square,
And I am accustomed to satisfy those worthy with my feasts.
I deny to bring to the unworthy both food and drink.
I fittingly took my brilliant name from high things.

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On the altar


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 9: De Alpha

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Dux ego linguarum, resonans et prima per orbem,
Dicor et unum, quingentos, vel mille figuro,
Atque vocari primus per me coepit Adamus.
Do, domina linguae, pueris me vim resonare.

Translation:

I am said to be the prince of speech, echoing and first throughout the world,
And I represent the numbers one, five hundred, even one thousand,
And Adam was the first who began to be called with me. 
Mistress of language, I give children the power to voice me.

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On Alpha, the first letter in the Greek alphabet


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 9: De cruce Christi

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Versiculor cernor nunc, nunc mihi forma nitescit.
Lege, fui quondam cunctis iam larbula servis,
Sed modo me, gaudens, orbis veneratur et ornat.
Quique meum gustat fructum iam sanus habetur,
Nam mihi concessum est insanis ferre salutem.
Propterea sapiens optat me in fronte tenere.

Translation:

Now I appear multicoloured, now my form shines.
Once, by law, I was then a terror to all slaves,
But now, rejoicing, the world venerates and decorates me.
He who tastes my fruit is now kept healthy,
For it is granted to me to bring health to the unwell.
Therefore the wise man wishes to hold me on his front.

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On Christ’s cross


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 10: De sole

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Omnis, quaque via pergit, venit ut requiescat.
Non mea sic via; non mihi sedes subditur ulla.
Sed iuge restat iter et semper non finitur in annis.
Non populi et reges cursum prohibere valebunt.

Translation:

Everyone, no matter the road they take, comes so that they may rest. 
My road is not thus; no seat is supplied for me.
Rather, the journey perpetually remains and is forever unfinished over the years. 
Neither nations nor kings will have the strength to prevent my course.

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On the sun


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 10: De recitabulo

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Angelicas populis epulas dispono frequenter,
Grandisonisque aures verbis cava guttura complent.
Succedit vox, sed mihi nulla aut lingua loquendi,
Et bina alarum fulci gestamine cernor,
Quis sed abest penitus virtus iam tota volandi,
Dum solus subter constat mihi pes sine passu.

Translation:

I frequently bequeath angelic food to the people,
And hollow throats fill ears with lofty words.
Voice follows, but I have no tongue for speaking,
And I am seen to be supported by conveyance of two wings,
Which, however, are now completely without the full strength to fly,
While below I have only one foot without a footprint.

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On the lectern


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 11: De luna

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Non labor est penitus pergenti in lumine Phoebi,
Sed mihi difficilis longas discurrere noctes.
Umbriferis varias in noctibus intro figuras.
Post ego deficiens, tunc offert lumina frater.

Translation:

It is no labor to continue completely in the light of Phoebus,
But it is difficult for me to traverse the long nights.
I assume various shapes in shadowy darkness.
After I leave, then my brother provides light.

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On the moon


Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 11: De acu

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Torrens me genuit fornax de viscere flammae,
Conditor invalido et finxit me corpore, luscam,
Sed constat nullum iam me sine vivere posse.
Est mirum dictu cludam ni lumina vultus,
Condere non artis penitus molimina possum.

Translation:

A burning furnace engendered me from a flame’s viscera,
And my maker shaped me, one-eyed, with a weak body,
But it is certain that none can now live without me.
It is strange to say that if I do not shut my eyes, (1)
I am not at all able to create my art’s effort.

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On the needle


Notes:

(1) The Latin phrase lumina vultus literally translates as "the lights of the face," which means "eyes."



Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine 

Eusebius Riddle 12: De bove

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Nunc aro, nunc operor: consumor in omnibus annis.
Multae sunt cereres, semper desunt mihi panes,
Et segetes colui nec potus ebrius hausi.
Tota urbs (1) pallebat signum quo verba sonabam.

Translation:

Now I plough, now I work: I am worn out every year. 
There are many harvests, and I always want for bread,
And I cultivated the fields and did not, intoxicated, drink the draughts.
The whole city grew fearful at the sign by which I spoke my words.

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On the ox


Notes:

(1) This city is glossed in both manuscripts as “Rome.”
 



Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius 

Tatwine Riddle 12: De patena

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Wed 05 Jan 2022
Original text:

Exterius cernor pulcher formaque decorus.
Interius minus haud mulcent mea viscera caros.
Quot horae diei sunt, tot mihi lumina lucent,
Et sena comptus potior sub imagine crurum,
Unius sed amoena quidem pedis est mihi forma.

Translation:

On the outside I am perceived to be pleasing and beautiful in form.
On the inside my entrails are not less charming to my friends.
There are as many hours in the day as there are lights that shine from me,
And I have an adornment of six legs,
But in fact my pleasant form has one foot.

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On the paten


Tags: riddles  latin  Tatwine