Exeter Riddle 5


Date: Tue 09 Apr 2013
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 5
Original text:

Ic eom anhaga         iserne wund,
bille gebennad,         beadoweorca sæd,
ecgum werig.         Oft ic wig seo,
frecne feohtan.         Frofre ne wene,
5     þæt me geoc cyme         guðgewinnes,
ær ic mid ældum         eal forwurðe,
ac mec hnossiað         homera lafe,
heardecg heoroscearp,         hondweorc smiþa,
bitað in burgum;         ic abidan sceal
10     laþran gemotes.         Næfre læcecynn
on folcstede         findan meahte,
þara þe mid wyrtum         wunde gehælde,
ac me ecga dolg         eacen weorðað
þurh deaðslege         dagum ond nihtum.


I am a lone-dweller, wounded by iron,
savaged by a sword, worn out by war-deeds,
battered by blades. Often I see battle,
fraught fighting. I do not expect succour,
5     that relief from war might come to me,
before I perish utterly among men,
but the leavings of hammers lash me,
hard-edged and sword-sharp, handiwork of smiths,
they bite me in strongholds; I must wait for
10     the more hateful encounter. Never am I able
to find medic-kin in the dwelling-place,
those who might heal my wound with herbs,
but the scars of swords become wider on me
through a death-blow by day and by night.

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This riddle appears on folio 102v 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 183-4.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 3: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 71.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 5 

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