Aldhelm Riddle 55: Crismal


Date: Tue 15 Mar 2022
Original text:

Alma domus veneror divino munere plena,
Valvas sed nullus reserat nec limina pandit,
Culmina ni fuerint aulis sublata quaternis,
Et licet exterius rutilent de corpore gemmae,
Aurea dum fulvis flavescit bulla metallis,
Sed tamen uberius ditantur viscera crassa
Intus, qua species flagrat pulcherrima Christi:
Candida sanctarum sic floret gloria rerum,
Nec trabis in templo, surgunt nec tecta columnis.


I am honoured as a holy house, filled with a divine gift,
But none unlock my doors or cross my doorway   
If the roofs are not removed from my four rooms,
And although jewels shine on the outside of my body,
While a golden boss shines with its yellow metal, 
My substantial innards are even more abundantly enriched
Within, where the most beautiful vision of Christ blazes:
Thus blooms the shining glory of holy things:
In the church, the roofs do not rise from rafters or columns.

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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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