Boniface Riddle 8: Pax vere Christiana


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:
Pacificum passim fieret mortalibus aevum,
Aeternum imperium regerem si sola per orbem.
Xristicolis quondam a caeli sum carmine missa,
Vera dei soboles ortu dum saecla beavit.
5  En regnatoris saeclorum nomine ditor,
Regno inter Christi semper vernacula vernas,
Et terras iustorum habitans regina vocabor,
Caelicolaeque tenent iugiter me in culmine caeli,
Regmina quaecunque inlustro mea gaudia gestant
10  In quibus et non sum, precibus iam rogor adesse.
Spiritus et corpus, si digner servier ipsis,
Tetrica pugnarum non torquent bella proterva.
Infames fugio discordias semper ubique.
Arbiter aethralis iussit me hoc semper habere.
15  Nisibus infringor scevorum et mente maligna,
Aurea mira mihi sed parta est aula polorum.
Heu miseris longe quis sum mortalibus aegris!
Qui in proprio tecto me dedignantur habere;
Clauditur his superum caeli sub cardine regnum.
20  Quapropter populi talem non spernite sponsam,
Qua sine non caeli penetratur virgine templum!
There would be a peaceful age for mortals everywhere
if I alone governed the abiding, worldly realm everywhere.
Once I was sent in a verse from heaven to the Christians,
when the true child of God blessed the world with his appearance.
Hark! I am called by the name of the ruler of the ages
and I govern always among the servants in the kingdom of Christ,
and, living in the lands of the just, I am called “Queen,”
and the heaven-dwellers guard me always in the heights of heaven,
and my joys are carried in all the dominions that I adorn,
10 and prayers call for me to be in those that I am not.
Spirit and body, if I deign to be served by them,
do not hurl themselves into fierce, violent war.
I flee from notorious discord, always and everywhere.
The heavenly judge has commanded me to remain here forever.
15 I am weakened by the efforts and the wicked thoughts of evil ones,
but the wonderous, golden palace of the skies has been given to me.
Alas, I am far from those wretched, troubled mortals!
They scornfully reject having me under their roof;
The upper kingdom under the pole of the sky is locked away from them.
20 And so, oh nations, do not reject such a bride;
the temple of heaven cannot be entered without this maiden.
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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. 8 (De virtutibus) in Glorie’s edition and 8 in Orchard’s edition.