Aldhelm Riddle 52: Candela


Date: Tue 15 Mar 2022
Original text:

Materia duplici palmis plasmabar apertis.
Interiora mihi candescunt: viscera lino
Seu certe gracili iunco spoliata nitescunt;
Sed nunc exterius flavescunt corpora flore,
Quae flammasque focosque laremque vomentia fundunt,
Et crebro lacrimae stillant de frontibus udae.
Sic tamen horrendas noctis repello latebras;
Reliquias cinerum mox viscera tosta relinquunt.


I was molded from two-fold material by open hands.
My interior gleams: my innards, stripped
From flax or indeed the slender rush, shine;
But now my body shines golden, like a flower, on the outside,
Which—giving off fire and flames and light—melts down,
And wet teardrops drip frequently from my brow.
Nevertheless, thus do I repel night’s horrible refuges;
My toasted innards soon leave the remains of ash. 

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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