Boniface Riddle 1: Caritas ait


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:
Cernere quis poterit, numero aut quis calculus aequat,
Splendida quae stolidis praestavi munera saeclis,
A qua praesentis moderantur dogmata vitae,
Atque futura novi praestantur praemia regni?
5  Ritibus atque meis conplentur iussa superna,
Talibus humanum semper miserebor in aevum.
Iuvavi mortale genus virtutibus almis,
Imperiis domino superis famularier alto,
Tetrica mundani calcent ut ludicra luxus.
10  Regna clamor, caelorum filia regis,
Ad requiem ut tendant animae, pulsabo tonantem,
Actus vel dicti seu sensus seu ut vincla resolvat.
Sedibus e superis soboles nempe architenentis,
Cuncta meis precibus restaurat saecla redemptor,
Arbiter aethereus condit me calce carentem,
15  In qua nec metas aevi nec tempora clausit,
Tempora sed mire sine tempore longe creavit.
Who will be able to enumerate, and what calculation is equal in number
to the splendid gifts that I—who govern
the lore of the present life, and supply
the future rewards of the new kingdom—have given to the stupid world?
5  Divine commands are carried out by my customs;
with such things, I will always show compassion in the human world.
With nourishing virtues, I have helped the mortal race
to attend to the high lord and his heavenly commands,
so that they may stamp down the miserable trifles of worldly luxury.
10  I am called a queen, a daughter of the king of the heavens;
I shall call upon the thunderer, so that souls can march to their rest,
so that he will unlock the shackles of thought, word, or deed.
From the heavenly dwelling-places, the child of the highest master,
the redeemer, restores all the world with my prayers.
The judge creates me, limitless.
15  For me, he restricted neither the seasons nor the measures of lifetime,
but he wondrously created lengthy times beyond time itself.
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This edition is based on Ernst Dümmler, (ed.). Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, Volume 1. Berlin, MGH/Weidmann, 1881. Pages 1-15. Available online here.

Note that this riddle appears as No. 5 (De virtutibus) in Glorie’s edition and No. 5 in Orchard’s edition.