Eusebius Riddle 54: De oceano pisce


Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

Forma manet tenuis cum semipedalis imago est
Et tamen immensas solus retinebo liburnas
Sic tantum (1) haerendo. Licet irruat aequora ventus,
Saeviat aut pelagus validis motabile flabris,
Ceu radicata ratis perstans at cernitur undis,
Inde meumque “moram” nomen dixere Latini.


My appearance remains small for my image is half-a-foot long,
And yet alone I hold back immense ships
By clinging so much thus. Even if wind should rush onto the seas
Or the moving waves should rage under strong gales, 
The ship is seen nevertheless to stand, as if rooted to the waves.
And from that the Latins called my name “delay.”

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On the ocean fish


(1) The manuscripts read tamen, but tamen also appears in the previous line—other editors have also emended it.

Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius