Exeter Riddle 25


Date: Thu 26 Jun 2014
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 25
Original text:

Ic eom wunderlicu wiht,     wifum on hyhte,
neahbuendum nyt;     nængum sceþþe
burgsittendra,     nymþe bonan anum.
Staþol min is steapheah,     stonde ic on bedde,
5     neoþan ruh nathwær.     Neþeð hwilum
ful cyrtenu     ceorles dohtor,
modwlonc meowle,     þæt heo on mec gripeð,
ræseð mec on reodne,     reafað min heafod,
fegeð mec on fæsten.     Feleþ sona
10     mines gemotes, seo þe mec nearwað,
wif wundenlocc.     Wæt bið þæt eage.


I am a wondrous creature, a joy to women,
a help to neighbours; I harm none
of the city-dwellers, except for my killer.
My base is steep and high, I stand in a bed,
5     shaggy somewhere beneath. Sometimes ventures
the very beautiful daughter of a churl,
a maid proud in mind, so that she grabs hold of me,
rubs me to redness, ravages my head,
forces me into a fastness. Immediately she feels
10     my meeting, the one who confines me,
the curly-locked woman. Wet will be that eye.

Click to show riddle solution?
Onion, leek, mustard, phallus, etc.


This riddle appears on folios 106v-107r 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), page 193.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 23: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 82.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 25 

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