Boniface Riddle 4: Iustitia dixit


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:
Igneus en genitor fertur mihi Iuppiter esse,
Vocibus et virgo stolidorum famine dicor,
Sed scelus ob varium terras liquisse nefandas.
Terrigenis raro facies mea cernitur usquam,
5  Inclita caelorum fuerim cum filia regis,
Talibus ut genitor moderans cum legibus orbem,
In gremio gaudens et fingens oscula patris.
Aurea gens hominum semper gauderet in aevo,
Datam si normam servarent virginis almae.
10  Incubuit populis, spreta me, turba malorum,
Xristi dum iugiter calcarent iussa tonantis,
Idcirco penetrant Herebi subtristia nigra,
Tartara Plutonis plangentes ignea regis.
Hark! Jupiter is said to be my father,
and I am called a virgin in the speech and empty phrases of the stupid,
but [it is said] that I left the wicked world due to terrible deeds.
My face is hardly ever seen by the earth-dwellers,
5  although I am the illustrious daughter of the king of the heavens,
governing the world with such laws as my father does,
kissing my father and rejoicing in his embrace.
The golden race of men would rejoice forever
if they kept the law given to them by the nourishing virgin.
10  When I was rejected, a tumult of evils settled in the nations,
when they continually trampled the commands of Christ the Thunderer,
and so they enter the gloomy blackness of Erebus,
bewailing the Tartarian fires of King Pluto.
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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 virtutibus) in Glorie’s edition and No. 6 in Orchard’s edition.