Boniface Riddle 14: Ebrietas dicebat


Date: Wed 28 Jul 2021
Original text:
Ex bibulis semper dinoscor condita buccis;
Blandius inliciens stultis sum cara virago.
Rixas irarum iugiter conturbo feroces,
Ignavos oculos et linguam famine trico,
5  Et pedibus tardos somnos et somnia dira
Toto infirmato mollescens corpore trado.
Aurea faustorum fugiet sapientia longe,
Stultorum passim persultant gaudia mecum:
Dulcem semper amat me sic luxoria matrem.
10  In gremio illius iugiter nutrimina porto,
Crudeles animas urens cum torribus atris,
Edita stelligeri ut non scandant culmina caeli,
Baratri repetant lustrantes ima profundi.
Auferat humanis deus istam mentibus ydram,
15  Tale homines ut non vastet per saecula monstrum!
Tasty, I am always distinguished by thirsty mouths;
I am a woman loved by the foolish, whom I seduce with flattery.
I constantly provoke furious conflicts of rage,
I trick the lazy eyes and talkative tongue,
5  I give a tardy sleep to the feet and terrible dreams
to the whole weakened, softening body.
The golden wisdom of the fortunate will run far off,
and the joys of the stupid dance about with me:
wantonness always loves me as her sweet mother.
10  I bring nourishment to her lap incessantly,
burning cruel souls with evil flames,
so that they cannot ascend to the lofty heights of starry heaven,
and, wandering, they return to the pits of deep hell.
Let God take away that serpent from human minds
15  so that such a monster does not destroy humans across the world!
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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. 6 (De vitiis) in Glorie’s edition and 16 in Orchard’s edition.

Line 5, semina > somnia, following Andy Orchard (ed. & trans.). The Old English and Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2021. Page 212.