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 

Symphosius Preface

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Haec quoque Symphosius de carmine lusit inepto.
Sic tu, Sexte, doces; sic te deliro magistro.

Annua Saturni dum tempora festa redirent
Perpetuo semper nobis sollemnia ludo,
Post epulas laetas, post dulcia pocula mensae,
Deliras inter vetulas puerosque loquaces,
Cum streperet late madidae facundia linguae,
Tum verbosa cohors studio sermonis inepti
Nescio quas passim magno de nomine nugas
Est meditata diu; sed frivola multa locuta est.
Nec mediocre fuit, magni certaminis instar,
Ponere diverse vel solvere quaeque vicissim.
Ast ego, ne solus foede tacuisse viderer,
Qui nihil adtuleram mecum quod dicere possem,
Hos versus feci subito de carmine vocis.
Insanos inter sanum non esse necesse est.
Da veniam, lector, quod non sapit ebria Musa.

Translation:

These silly lines also Symphosius amused himself by composing.
Thus, Sextus, you teach; thus, with you as teacher, I rave.

When Saturn’s annual festive period came back around,
Always established as endless fun for us,
After the happy feasts, after the sweet cups of the table,
When, between the senseless old women and the chatty boys,
The eloquence of tipsy tongues rumbled widely,
Then the wordy cohort, with their enthusiasm for silly speech,
Long reflected everywhere upon nonsenses
Of great, unknown name; but much frivolity was voiced.
It was the image of not a middling but a great contest,
To set variously or to solve them in turn.
But I, who had brought nothing with me that I was able to say,
So that I not be seen as the only one to be shamefully silent,
Made up these verses on the spot out of voice’s poetry.
It is necessary not to be sane among the insane.
Be kind, reader, because the tipsy Muse was not discerning.

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The preface to Symphosius's riddle collection


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  latin 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 1: Terra

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Altrix cunctorum, quos mundus gestat, in orbe
Nuncupor (et merito, quia numquam pignora tantum
Improba sic lacerant maternas dente papillas)
Prole virens aestate, tabescens tempore brumae.

Translation:

The nurse of all the things which the world bears in my orbit
I am called (and for good reason, because never have rude
Offspring torn at their mother’s breasts with teeth like this.)
In summer I am flourishing with children, in winter-time I waste away.

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Earth


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Symphosius Riddle 1: Graphium

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

De summo planus, sed non ego planus in imo
Versor utrimque manu: diverso munere fungor.
Altera pars revocat quidquid pars altera fecit.

Translation:

I am flat on top, but not on the bottom.
I am turned on both sides by hand: I perform a variety of jobs.
One part undoes what the other part does.

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Stylus


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  solutions  latin  symphosius 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 2: Ventus

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Cernere me nulli possunt nec prendere palmis,
Argutum vocis crepitum cito pando per orbem.
Viribus horrisonis valeo confringere quercus;
Nam superos ego pulso polos et rura peragro.

Translation:

None can see me nor take me in their hands. 
I quickly spread the whistling noise of my voice throughout the world.
With my dreadful-sounding strength I am strong enough to destroy oak trees;
Indeed, I touch the upper heavens and traverse the fields. 

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Wind


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Symphosius Riddle 2: Harundo

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Dulcis amica dei, ripae vicina profundae,
Suave canens Musis; nigro perfusa colore,
Nuntia sum linguae digitis signata magistris.

Translation:

Sweet friend of a god, neighbour of the deep bank,
Singing pleasantly for the Muses; bathed in the colour black,
I am the tongue’s messenger, distinguished by the master’s fingers.

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Reed


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  solutions  latin  symphosius 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 3: Nubes

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Versicolor fugiens caelum terramque relinquo,
Non tellure locus mihi, non in parte polorum est:
Exilium nullus modo tam crudele veretur;
Sed madidis mundum faciam frondescere guttis.

Translation:

Multicoloured as I flee, I leave heaven and earth behind.
There is no place on earth for me, none in the territory of the skies:
No one else fears an exile of such cruelty; 
But I make the world grow green with wet drops.

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Cloud


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Symphosius Riddle 3: Anulus cum gemma

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Corporis extremi non magnus pondus adhaesi.
Ingenitum dicas, ita pondere nemo gravatur;
Una tamen facies plures habitura figuras.

Translation:

At the end of the body I clung, not a heavy weight.
You would say I was innate, so little is anyone bothered by the burden;
My face, though single, can have many forms.

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Ring with Gem


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  solutions  latin  symphosius 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 4: Natura

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Crede mihi, res nulla manet sine me moderante
Et frontem faciemque meam lux nulla videbit.
Quis nesciat dicione mea convexa rotari
Alta poli solisque iubar lunaeque meatus?

Translation:

Believe me, nothing exists without my controlling it
And no eye will see my face and brow. 
Who does not know that it is on my authority that the convex heights of heaven
And the glory of the sun and the passage of the moon are turned?

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Nature


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Symphosius Riddle 4: Clavis

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Virtutes magnas de viribus affero parvis.
Pando domos clausas, iterum sed claudo patentes.
Servo domum domino, sed rursus servor ab ipso.

Translation:

I bring great powers with little strength.
I open closed doors, and then I close the open ones.
I keep the house for the master, but in turn I am kept by him.

Click to show riddle solution?
Key


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  solutions  latin  symphosius 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 5: Iris

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Taumantis proles priscorum famine fingor,
Ast ego prima mei generis rudimenta retexam:
Sole ruber genitus sum partu nubis aquosae;
Lustro polos passim solos, non scando per austros.

Translation:

I am thought of as the offspring of Thaumas in the writings of the ancients,
But I shall recount the first beginnings of my origin:
Red, I was born from the sun through a watery cloud’s production;
I illuminate empty skies everywhere; I do not climb through the winds.

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Rainbow


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm 

Symphosius Riddle 5: Catena

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Nexa ligor ferro, multos habitura ligatos;
Vincior ipsa prius, sed vincio vincta vicissim;
Et solvi multos, nec sum tamen ipsa soluta.

Translation:

I am bound, tied by iron, and can bind many;
I myself am bound first, but I bind the bound in turn;
And I release many, yet am not myself released.

Click to show riddle solution?
Chain


Notes:

This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.



Tags: riddles  solutions  latin  symphosius 

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 

Aldhelm Riddle 6: Luna

ALEXANDRAREIDER

Date: Thu 10 Mar 2022
Original text:

Nunc ego cum pelagi fatis communibus insto
Tempora reciprocis convolvens menstrua cyclis:
Ut mihi lucifluae decrescit gloria formae,
Sic augmenta latex redundans gurgite perdit.

Translation:

Now I am present at the commonplace fate of the sea, 
Causing monthly stages with alternating cycles:
For as the glory of my shining shape decreases, 
Thus does the overflowing sea lose its swells in the water.

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Moon


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: riddles  latin  Aldhelm