Exeter Riddle 38


Date: Wed 27 May 2015
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 38
Original text:

Ic þa wiht geseah     wæpnedcynnes,
geoguðmyrþe grædig;     him on gafol forlet
ferðfriþende      feower wellan
scire sceotan,     on gesceap þeotan.
5     Mon maþelade,     se þe me gesægde:
“Seo wiht, gif hio gedygeð,     duna briceð;
gif he tobirsteð,      bindeð cwice.”


I saw a creature of the weaponed kind/male sex,
greedy with youthful joy; as tribute for him
the life-saving one let four springs
shoot forth brightly, murmur to his delight.
5     Someone spoke, the one who said to me:
“That creature, if she survives, breaks the hills;
if he dies, binds the living.”

Click to show riddle solution?
(Young) Ox, Bullock


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 199.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 36: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 90.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 38 

Related Posts:
Response to Exeter Riddle 39
Exeter Riddle 23
Exeter Riddle 25