RIDDLE 14RIDDLE 14
Anon.trans. Louis Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
Ic wæs wæpenwiga. Nu mec wlonc þeceð
geong hagostealdmon golde ond sylfore,
woum wirbogum. Hwilum weras cyssað
hwilum ic to hilde hleoþre bonne
wilgehleþan; hwilum wycg byreþ
mec ofer mearce; hwilum merehengest
fereð ofer flodas, frætwum beorhtne;
hwilum mægða sum minne gefylleð
bosm beaghroden; hwilum ic on bordum sceal,
heard, heafodleas, behlyþed licgan;
hwilum hongige hyrstum frætwed,
wlitig, on wage, þær weras drincað,
freolic fyrdsceorp; hwilum folcwigan
on wicge wegað þonne ic winde sceal
sincfag swelgan of sumes bosme;
hwilum ic gereordum rincas laðige
wlonce to wine; hwilum wraþþum sceal
stefne minre forstolen hreddan,
flyman feondsceaþan. Frige hwæt ic hatte.



I was a weaponed-warrior. Now the proud
young retainer wraps me with silver and gold,
carved twisted wires. Sometimes men kiss me;
sometimes with song I summon to battle
close comrades sometimes a steed bears
me over the mark; sometimes the sea-horse
ferries me over floods, bright with treasures;
sometimes a maiden, ring-adorned,
fills my bosom; sometimes on boards,
hard and headless, I must lie stripped;
sometimes hang, adorned with jewels,
fair, on the wall, where warriors drink,
a noble war-weapon; sometimes warriors
on horseback bear me; then I must swallow
breath from a bosom, gleaming with gold;
sometimes with my tongue I summon proud
warriors to wine; sometimes from foes
I must with my voice rescue spoil,
rout plundering robbers. Ask what I am called.


"Horn" and "Bullhorn" have been suggested as solutions.

Transl. copyright © Louis J. Rodrigues, 1998 - publ. Llanerch Publishers


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