The Anglo Saxon riddles are perhaps more familiar to us than the source from which this riddle is taken (Symphosius). I have always sought opportunities to set Latin and given the international character of the summer school for which it was written, Latin was a useful lingua franca.
From on high I come in prolonged downpours
From heaven I have dropped, passed through the air
But earth’s bosom has taken me in.
Water was I once which I’ll be again I think
I am bound by heaven’s unbending chains
When trod upon I cannot last, nor when bare be held.
First performed in July 1998 by Trio Mediaeval on the Hilliard Summer School at St. Johns College, Cambridge.