Boniface Riddle 10: Virginitas ait humilium


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:

Vitae perpetuae vernans cum floribus almis,
Inclita cum sanctis virtutum gesto coronam,
Regis saeclorum matrem comitata Mariam,
Gaudens quae genuit proprium paritura parentem,
5  Impia qui proprio salvavit sanguine saecla.
Nuncupor angelicis et sum germana ministris,
Ignea conculcans spernendo ludicra luxus.
Tollitur in caelum rumor meus ante tribunal,
Almae martyrii dum gestant serta sorores;
10  Sanctorum frontem praecingens floribus orno,
Aurea flammigeris tranent ut ad astra coronis.
Igneus ut Phoebus splendentes sidera supra,
Tangor non pullis maculis speciosa virago.
Hac auri vinco specie gemmata metalla,
15  Virgine me facie quia non est pulchrior ulla.
Me cives caeli clamant: “clarissima virgo,
In terris longe fueras, soror inclita, salve!”
Lucida perpetuae expectant me premia vitae,
Internusque dies atque inmutabile tempus,
20  Vivida quique mei proiecit foedera iuris.
Mentis eius non ingredior habitacula demum.


Flourishing with the bountiful flowers of perpetual life,
and famous, I wear the crown of virtues with the saints,
an escort to Mary, mother of the king of the world,
who, pregnant and rejoicing, gives birth to her own parent,
5  who saved the impious world with his own blood.
I am and I am called the sister to angelic servants,
I despise and I spurn trifling, burning luxury.
My reputation is carried up to the court in heaven
whilst my kind sisters carry the garlands of martyrdom;
10  I crown and adorn the head of the saints with flowers,
so that they can fly to the golden stars with fiery crowns,
Like Phoebus, shining above the stars.
I am a beautiful virgin, untouched by dark stains.
I best the sparkling metals with this kind of gold,
15  because none appear more beautiful than me, a virgin.
The people of heaven call out, “Brightest maiden,
you have long been in the world—welcome, famous sister!”
They await the shining rewards of everlasting life with me,
the day yet to be revealed and time immutable.
20  If anyone has cast away the life-bearing covenant of my law,
I do not enter the dwelling-place of their mind after that.

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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. 10 (De virtutibus) in Glorie’s edition and No. 10 in Orchard’s edition.