Boniface Riddle 2: Fides catholica


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:
Fecunda et fortis vernans virtutibus altis,
Ipsius altithroni ductrix et nuntia dicor,
Dum Christi populo per mundum labara porto,
Et virtute mea viventes legibus aequis
5  Sacrantur Christo et demuntur crimina prisca.
Clamor cuncta dei cernentis praevia legis
Accola sum terris, sed caeli gaudia plures
Transmitto inlustres superis et sedibus aptos.
Hic sine me nullus Petri consortia sancti
10  Omnibus aut Pauli captat, qui finibus orbis
Luciflua promunt fuscis mea lumina saeclis.
Inclita me nullusque relicta ad premia regni
Conscendit Christi, misero nec gratia fulget.
Ast tamen, heu miserae, non scando ad regna polorum.
Strong and fertile, flourishing in noble virtues,
I am known as the commander and herald of the high-throned one himself,
when I carry Christ’s standard to people across the world.
Living by my virtue in just laws,
5  they are devoted to Christ, and ancient crimes are annulled.
I am called the herald of the law of God, who sees everything;
I am an earth-dweller, but I pass the joys of heaven to the many
glorious ones who are prepared for the high kingdom.
Without me, absolutely no one here obtains
10  the friendship of Saint Peter or Saint Paul, who carry
my splendid light to the ends of the earth in this gloomy world.
And, if I have been abandoned, no one ascends to the illustrious rewards
of Christ’s kingdom, nor does grace shine on the wretched.
Nevertheless—alas, poor me—I do not climb to the kingdom of heaven.
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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. 2 (De virtutibus) in Glorie’s edition and No. 2 in Orchard’s edition.