Aldhelm Riddle 68: Salpix


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Sum cava, bellantum crepitu quae corda ciebo,
Vocibus horrendis stimulans in bella cohortes.
Idcirco reboans tanto clamore resulto,
Quod nulla interius obtundant viscera vocem;
Spiritus in toto sed regnant corpore flabra.
Garrula me poterit numquam superare cicada
Aut arguta simul cantans luscinia ruscis,
Quam lingua propria dicunt acalantida Graeci.


I am hollow, with my noise I shall rouse the hearts of warriors,
Spurring cohorts into battle with my dreadful notes.
Therefore, resounding with such a clamour I emit
Because no innards inside me deafen my voice; 
But the gusts of wind exercise power in my whole body.
A chirping cricket will never be able to surpass me,
Nor the lively nightingale, singing at the same time in the broom,
The bird that the Greeks in their own language call 'acalanthis'.

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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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