Aldhelm Riddle 75: Crabro


Date: Thu 14 Apr 2022
Original text:

Aera per sudum nunc binis remigo pennis
Horridus et grossae depromo murmura vocis
Inque cavo densis conversor stipite turmis
Dulcia conficiens propriis alimenta catervis,
Et tamen humanis horrent haec pabula buccis.
Sed quicumque cupit disrumpens foedera pacis
Dirus commaculare domum sub culmine querno,
Extemplo socias in bellum clamo cohortes,
Dumque catervatim stridunt et spicula trudunt,
Agmina defugiunt iaculis exterrita diris:
Insontes hosti sic torquent tela nocenti
Plurima, quae constant tetris infecta venenis.


Now I row through clear air on two wings,
Horrible, and I produce a buzzing with a full voice
And I frequent a hollow trunk in thick swarms,
Producing sweet food for our own kind,
And yet these foods are disgusting to human mouths.
But if someone dreadful, disrupting pacts of peace, 
Wishes to defile our home under its oaken roof,
I immediately rally groups of our fellows to battle,
And while they buzz in groups and thrust their stings,
The enemy troops flee, terrified of our cruel darts:
Thus, innocent, they send their many darts, which stand
Corrupted by foul poison, to the guilty enemy. 

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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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