Boniface Riddle 20: Iracundia loquitur


Date: Wed 28 Jul 2021
Original text:
Ignea sum fervens, turbo precordia bellis,
Rixarum iactans iugiter per corda venenum,
Antiquos sceve lacerando dissipo amicos.
Caraam iustitiamque dei mox disseco demens.
5  Viribus atque meis valeo depellere sensus,
Nesciat ut ratum mens vano errore decepta.
Dextera namque mea tradet fera corpora loeto,
Inscia baccatur quando vertigine caeca.
Ardentes agito sermones ordine stulto,
10  Lurida rixarum populis fera semina spargo.
Omnipotens mandat sanctis me absistere templis;
Quae me circumstent non deinde pericula cerno.
Vox mea terrificis vaga personat alta loquelis,
Irrita dicta ferens et raro sentio vera.
15  Talibus in rebus spatior retrograda vivens.
Vana superstitione mea volo semper adesse,
Ritibus angelicis expellor ab aethere summo.
I burn and I burn, I stir up the stomach to war,
constantly throwing the poison of conflict around hearts,
and, insane, I quickly chop up the beloved justice of God.
5  I can drive away the senses with my powers
so that the mind, deceived by empty error, does not know reason,
For my cruel right hand gives bodies to violent death
when it rages, mindless, in a blind whirlwind.
I toss about fiery speeches in a stupid form,
10  and I scatter cruel, horrific seeds upon the nations.
The all-powerful one orders me to leave the sacred temples,
and then I do not see the dangers that surround me.
My deep voice resounds, rambling with terrifying words,
carrying inane speech, and I rarely think about truths.
15  Living in such ways, I walk backwards.
I always want to be around with my pointless superstition,
and I am expelled from highest heaven by the rites of angels.
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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. 2 (De vitiis) in Glorie’s edition and No. 12 in Orchard’s edition.