Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/47

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47 (k-d 53)


I saw a tree     with bright branches
stand high in a grove.     The tree was happy,
the growing wood.     Water and earth
fed it well,     till wise with time
it met with a change:     it was deeply hurt,
dumb with bonds,     covered with wounds,
but adorned in front     with dark ornaments.
Now it clears the way     for a treacherous foe
through the might of its head.     By storm they plunder
the hoard together.     Eager was the rear
and active in aid     if the van met danger.
None could venture     in difficult places.










10



Ic seah on bearwe     beam hlifian
tanum torhtne     þæt treow wæs on wynne
wudu weaxende     wæter hine eorþe
feddan fægre     oþþæt he frod dagum
on oþrum wearð     aglachade
deope gedolgod     dumb In bendum
wriþen ofer wunda     wonnum hyrstum
foran gefrætwed     Nu he fæcnum wæg
þurh his heafdes mæg     hildegieste
oþrū rymeð     oft hy an yst strudon
hord ætgædre;     hræd wæs unlæt
se æftera     gif se ærra fǣr ·
genamnan in nearowe     neþan moste.

The solution is supposed to be a Tree, cut down, and made into a Battering-ram. The last lines are corrupt, the meter defective. Various emendations have been offered.