Aldhelm Riddle 69: Taxus


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Semper habens virides frondenti in corpore crines
Tempore non ullo viduabor tegmine spisso,
Circius et Boreas quamvis et flamina Chauri
Viribus horrendis studeant deglobere frontem;
Sed me pestiferam fecerunt fata reorum,
Cumque venenatus glescit de corpore stipes,
Lurcones rabidi quem carpunt rictibus oris,
Occido mandentum mox plura cadavera leto.


Always having green foliage on my leafy body,
At no time am I deprived of a thick covering,
Although Circus and Boreas and Chaurus’ gusts 
Devote themselves to peeling off my covering with horrible force;
But the fates of things made me pestilential:
Whenever a poisonous branch grows from my body
Which frenzied gluttons consume with gaping mouths,
I immediately kill dead the chewers’ many corpses. 

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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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