Aldhelm Riddle 67: Cribellus


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Sicca pruinosam crebris effundo fenestris
Candentemque nivem iactans de viscere furvo;
Et tamen omnis amat, quamvis sit frigida, nimbo
Densior et nebulis late spargatur in aula.
Qua sine mortales grassantur funere leti
(Sic animae pariter pereunt, dum vita fatescit)
Et qua ditati contemnunt limina Ditis.
Liquitur in prunis numquam torrentibus haec nix,
Sed, mirum dictu, magis indurescit ad ignem.


Dry, I pour out through many windows a frosty
And shining snow, casting it out from my dark insides;
And yet everyone loves it, although it is cold, thicker
Than cloud and mists, and sprinkled broadly through the hall.
Without it, mortals are vexed by ruin’s death
(Thus do spirits perish equally, when life grows tired)
And enriched by it, they disdain the threshold of Dis.
This snow never melts on burning coals, 
But, miraculous to say, it hardens more in the flame. 

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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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