Exeter Riddle 2


Date: Thu 28 Feb 2013
Original text:

Hwilum ic gewite,      swa ne wenaþ men,
under yþa geþræc      eorþan secan,
garsecges grund.      Gifen biþ gewreged,
fam gewealcen;
5     hwælmere hlimmeð,      hlude grimmeð,
streamas staþu beatað,      stundum weorpaþ
on stealc hleoþa      stane ond sonde,
ware ond wæge,      þonne ic winnende,
holmmægne biþeaht,      hrusan styrge,
10     side sægrundas.      Sundhelme ne mæg
losian ær mec læte      se þe min latteow bið
on siþa gehwam.      Saga, þoncol mon,
hwa mec bregde      of brimes fæþmum,
þonne streamas eft      stille weorþað,
15     yþa geþwære,      þe mec ær wrugon.


Sometimes I depart, as people do not expect,
to seek the earth under the tumult of the waves,
the ocean’s base. The sea is roused,
the foam tossed;
5     the whale-mere resounds, loudly pounds,
the streams beat the banks, sometimes they fling
stone and sand on the steep slopes,
weed and wave, when I, struggling,
surround the sea’s might, stir up the earth
10     the broad ocean-base. I may not escape
the watery cover before he allows me, he who is my leader
on every journey. Say, thoughtful one,
who draws me from the depths of the ocean,
when the streams become still again,
15     obedient the waves, which earlier concealed me.

Click to show riddle solution?
Storm, Wind, etc


This riddle appears on folio 101r 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 180-1.

Note that this edition takes this riddle together with the preceding and following ones, dubbing them all Riddle 1: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), pages 67-70.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 2 

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Commentary for Exeter Riddles 1-3
Exeter Riddle 3
Exeter Riddle 73