RIDDLE 26RIDDLE 26
Anon.trans. Louis Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
Mec feond sum feore besnyþede,
woruldstrenga binom, wætte siþþan,
dyfde on wætre, dyde eft þonan,
sette on sunnan, þær ic swiþe beleas
herum þam þe ic hæfde. Heard mec siþþan
snað seaxses ecg, sindrum begrunden;
fingras feoldan, ond mec fugles wyn
geondsprengde speddropum spyrede geneahhe
ofer brunne brerd, beamtelge swealg;
streames dæle stop eft on mec,
siþade sweartlast, Mec siþþan wrah
hæleð hleobordum, hyde beþenede,
gierede mec mid golde; forþon me gliwedon
wrætlic weorc smiþa, wire bifongen.
Nu þa gereno ond se reada telg
ond þa wuldorgesteald wide mære
dryhtfolca Helm, nales dol wite.
Gif min bearn wera brucan willað,
hy beoð þy gesundran ond þy sigefæstran,
heortum þy hwætran ond þy hygebliþran,
ferþe þy frodran; habbaþ freonda þy ma,
swæsra ond gesibbra, soþra ond godra,
tilra ond getreowra, þa hyra tyr ond ead
estum ycað, ond hy arstaftum,
lissum, bilecgað, ond hi lufan fæþmum
fæste clyppað. Frige hwæt ic hatte,
niþum to nytte. Nama min is mære,
hæleþum gifre, ond halig sylf.




Me a certain foe deprived of life,
bereft of worldly strength, then wet,
dipped in water, afterwards took thence,
set in the sun, where I soon lost
the hairs that I had. Me then the hard
knife's edge cut, ground with cinders;
fingers folded, and the fowl's delight
with drops throughout made frequent tracks
over the dark brim, swallowed the tree's dye;
part of the stream stepped on to me again,
trod with black footprints. Me then a man
bound widi protecting boards, stretched skin,
geared me with gold; thus the wire-wound
wondrous work of smiths adorned me.
Now the ornaments and the red dye
and the glorious possessions make famous afar
the Guardian of Nations, not foolish pain.
If the sons of men are willing to use me,
the safer they will be and surer of success,
holder in heart and blither in thought,
wiser in life; the more friends they will have,
dearer and closer, truer and better,
nobler and stauncher, who will gladly increase
their glory and wealth, and with goodness,
with favours, load them, and in love's embrace
firmly clasp them. Ask what I am called,
of advantage to men. My name is famous,
salutary to warriors, and sacred myself.



"Bible codex" has been suggested as the solution.

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


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