Exeter Riddle 36


Date: Mon 09 Mar 2015
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 36
Original text:

Ic wiht geseah     on wege feran,
seo was wrætlice     wundrum gegierwed.
Hæfde feowere     fet under wombe
ond ehtuwe
5     monn h w M wiif m x l kf wf hors qxxs
ufon on hrycge;
hæfde tu fiþru     ond twelf eagan
ond siex heafdu.     Saga hwæt hio wære.
For flodwegas;     ne wæs þæt na fugul ana,
10     ac þær wæs æghwylces     anra gelicnes
horses ond monnes,     hundes ond fugles,
ond eac wifes wlite.     Þu wast, gif þu const,
to gesecganne,     þæt we soð witan,
hu þære wihte     wise gonge.


I saw a creature travel on the way,
she was miraculously adorned with wonders.
She had four feet under her belly
and eight
5     monn h w M wiif m x l kf wf hors qxxs
up on her back;
she had two wings and twelve eyes
and six heads. Say what she was.
It travelled the water-ways; nor was it only a bird,
10     but there was the likeness of every one of these:
of horse and of man, of hound and of bird,
and also the appearance of a woman. You know, if you understand
speaking, what we know [to be] the truth,
how the nature of that creature goes.

Click to show riddle solution?
Ship; Man woman horse; Two men, woman, horses, dog, bird on ship; Waterfowl hunt; Pregnant horse, two pregnant women; Hunting; Sow and five piglets


This riddle appears on folio 109v 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 198.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 34: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 89.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 36 

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