Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/49

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49 (k-d 5)

I am a lonely thing,     wounded with iron,
switten by sword,     sated with battle-work,
weary of blades.     Often I see battle,
fierce combat.     I foresee no comfort,
no help will come for me     from the heat of battle,
until among men     I perish utterly;
but the hammered swords     will beat me and bite me,
hard-edged and sharp,     the handiwork of smiths,
in towns among men.     Abide I must always
the meeting of foes.     Never could I find
among the leeches,     where people foregather,
any who with herbs     would heal my wounds;
but the sores from the swords     are always greater
with mortal blows     day and night.


Ic eom anhaga     iserne wund
bille gebennad     beadoweorca sæd
ecgum werig     oft ic wig seo
frecne feohtan     frofre ne wene
mec geoc cyme     guðgewinnes
ær ic mid ældum     eal for wurde
ac mec hnossiað     homera lafe
heardecg heoroscearp     ⁊weorc smiþa
bitað in burgū     ic abidan sceal
laþran gemotes     næfre læce cynn ·
onfolc stede     findan meahte
þara þe mid wyrtum     wunde gehælde,
ac me ecga dolg     eacen weorðað
þurh deaðslege     dagum nihtum

Beneath this the manuscript has the rune for S (scyld or scutum) which gives the answer: Shield.