Aldhelm Riddle 37: Cancer


Date: Tue 15 Mar 2022
Original text:

Nepa mihi nomen veteres dixere Latini:
Humida spumiferi spatior per litora ponti;
Passibus oceanum retrograda transeo versis:
Et tamen aethereus per me decoratur Olimpus,
Dum ruber in caelo bisseno sidere scando;
Ostrea quem metuit duris perterrita saxis.


The ancient Latins used to call me “nepa”:
I move along the damp shores of the foamy sea;
I cross the ocean backwards, with turned steps; 
And yet ethereal heaven is decorated with me
When I, red, climb into the sky with twice-six stars;
The oyster, frightened by hard stones, fears me.

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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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