Boniface Riddle 19: Neglegentia ait


Date: Wed 28 Jul 2021
Original text:
Non est in terris me virgo stultior ulla,
Existens cunctis neglectu audacior una.
Grates dedignor domino persolvere dignas,
Limpida quoque modo perlustrent lumina terras,
5  Et caeli speciem depingent sidera pulchram,
Gentis humanae aut dominus quis conditor esset,
Ex qua re varias voluisset fingere formas.
Non ignara mali, recti sum nescia vivens.
Tot hominum leges et iussa altissima Christi
10  Infringens semper spernendo querere nolo,
Aut quid praeciperet mortalibus arbiter orbis.
Ardua non cupio, vereor non ima profundi.
In terra mortem timeo, non vivere curo,
Talibus exuberans dicor “stultissima virgo.”
There is no maiden on earth stupider than me,
being singularly more daring in neglect than everyone.
I do not condescend to pay the appropriate thanks to the Lord
for the way in which the bright lights wander the earth
5  and the stars decorate the beautiful sight of the sky,
or for who the creator and lord of the human race might be,
and for what reason he wished to create the various forms.
Living, I am not ignorant of wrong, but I do not know right.
I do not want to seek, and I always reject and break,
10  so many human laws and the highest commands of Christ,
or anything the ruler of the world might have commanded mortals.
I long for the heights, I do not fear the depths.
On earth, I fear death, but I don’t care about living,
and, flourishing in such ways, I am called “the stupidest maiden.”
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This edition is based on Ernst Dümmler, (ed.). Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, Volume 1. Berlin, MGH/Weidmann, 1881. Pages 1-15. Available online here.

Note that this riddle appears as No. 1 (De vitiis) in Glorie’s edition and 11 in Orchard’s edition.