Exeter Riddle 48


Date: Tue 08 Dec 2015
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 48
Original text:

Ic gefrægn for hæleþum      hring gyddian, (1)
torhtne butan tungan,      tila þeah he hlude
stefne ne cirmde,      strongum wordum.
Sinc for secgum      swigende cwæð:
5     “Gehæle mec,      helpend gæsta.”
Ryne ongietan      readan goldes
guman galdorcwide,      gleawe beþencan
hyra hælo to gode,      swa se hring gecwæð.


I heard a ring sing before men,
bright, without a tongue, rightly with strong words,
although it did not yell in a loud voice.
The treasure, silent before men, spoke:
5     “Heal me, helper of souls.”
May men interpret the mystery of the red gold,
the incantation, may they wisely entrust
their salvation to God, as the ring said.

Click to show riddle solution?
Paten, Chalice, Sacramental vessel


This riddle appears on folio 113r of The Exeter Book.

The above Old English text is based on this edition: Elliott van Kirk Dobbie and George Philip Krapp, eds, The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), pages 205-6.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 46: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), pages 97-8.

Textual Note:

(1) I have followed Williamson’s emendation here. The manuscript reads hringende an, which Krapp and Dobbie interpret as hring endean. Williamson makes a good case for more drastically revising this difficult part of the text on pages 288-9.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 48 

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