Aldhelm Riddle 98: Elleborus


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Ostriger en arvo vernabam frondibus hirtis
Conquilio similis: sic cocci murice rubro
Purpureus stillat sanguis de palmite guttis.
Exuvias vitae mandenti tollere nolo
Mitia nec penitus spoliabunt mente venena;
Sed tamen insanum vexat dementia cordis,
Dum rotat in giro vecors vertigine membra.


Behold: purple, I bloom in the field with shaggy leaves.
I am similar to an oyster: thus with red dye of scarlet 
A purple blood drips in drops from my branch.
I do not wish to take prizes of life from the one chewing me,
Nor do my sweet poisons totally strip him of mind;
And yet madness of the heart afflicts the insane,
When he spins his limbs around, foolish with dizziness.

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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

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