Exeter Riddle 6


Date: Thu 25 Apr 2013
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 6
Original text:

Mec gesette soð         sigora waldend
Crist to compe.        Oft ic cwice bærne,
unrimu cyn         eorþan getenge,
næte mid niþe,         swa ic him no hrine,
5     þonne mec min frea         feohtan hateþ.
Hwilum ic monigra         mod arete,
hwilum ic frefre         þa ic ær winne on
feorran swiþe;         hi þæs felað þeah,
swylce þæs oþres,         þonne ic eft hyra
10     ofer deop gedreag         drohtað bete.


Christ, the true ruler of victories, placed me
in battle. Often I burn the living,
uncounted peoples I oppress upon the earth,
crush them cruelly, when my lord
5     commands me to fight, but I do not touch them.
Sometimes I comfort the mind of many,
sometimes I console those whom I earlier struggled against
from very far away; although they feel it,
just like that other time, when I again
10     improve their way of life above deep tumult.

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This riddle appears on folios 102v-103r 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 184.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 4: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 71.

Tags: riddles  riddle 6