Aldhelm Riddle 24: Dracontia


Date: Sat 12 Mar 2022
Original text:

Me caput horrentis fertur genuisse draconis;
Augeo purpureis gemmarum lumina fucis,
Sed mihi non dabitur rigida virtute potestas,
Si prius occumbat squamoso corpore natrix,
Quam summo spolier capitis de vertice rubra.


The head of a horrible dragon is reported to have produced me.
I increase the shine of gems with my crimson colour, 
But the power of great strength will not be given to me
If the snake with a scaly body should die
Before I am plundered, red, from the very top of its head.

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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.

Tags: riddles  latin  Aldhelm