Aldhelm Riddle 60: Monocerus


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Collibus in celsis saevi discrimina Martis,
Quamvis venator frustra latrante moloso
Garriat arcister contorquens spicula ferri,
Nil vereor, magnis sed fretus viribus altos
Belliger impugnans elefantes vulnere sterno.
Heu! fortuna ferox, quae me sic arte fefellit,
Dum trucido grandes et virgine vincor inermi!
Nam gremium pandens mox pulchra puerpera prendit
Et voti compos celsam deducit ad urbem.
Indidit ex cornu nomen mihi lingua Pelasga;
Sic itidem propria dixerunt voce Latini.


Not at all do I fear the hazards of furious Mars,
Although the hunter with the dog barking in vain
Should chatter, the archer brandishing iron-tipped arrows, 
On the lofty hills; rather, equipped with great strength, 
I, an aggressive warrior, fell elephants with a blow.
Alas! Savage Fortune, who tricked me thus with guile,
For I slaughter great things and am overcome by a harmless virgin!
For, revealing her bosom, the beautiful woman catches me immediately 
And, with her wish fulfilled, leads me to the city.
The Greek language gave my name from my horn;
Thus do the Latins speak likewise in their tongue.

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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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