Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/50
|Me the wet ground, exceeding cold,
first brought forth from within itself.
Neither am I wrought of woolen fleece
nor of hairs, with skill; I know it in my mind.
I have no winding wefts nor any warp in me;
nor with strong rods does the thread resound for me,
nor the whirring shuttle move across me,
nor the weaver’s rods anywhere smite me.
Worms do not weave me with fatal wiles
which fairly adorn the fine yellow web.
Yet nevertheless the wide world over
one will call me a joyful garment for heroes.
Say now truly, you cunning sage,
learned in language, what this garment may be.
|Mec se wæta wong wundrum freorig
of his innaþe ærist cende
ne wat ic mec beworhtne wulle flysum
hærum þurh heahcræft hygeþoncum min ·
wundene me ne beoð wefle ne ic wearp hafu
ne þurh þreata geþræcu þræd me ne hlimmeð
ne æt me hrutende hrisil scriþeð
ne mec ohwonan sceal cnyssan
wyrmas mec ne · wyrda cræftum
þa þe geolo godwebb geatwum frætwað
wile mec mon hwæþre seþeah wide ofer eorþan
hatan for hæleþū hyhtlic gewæde ·
saga soðcwidum searoþoncum gleaw
wordum wisfæst hwæt þis sy
In short, a Coat of Mail—woven, but not of wool or of silk. Weaving is suggested, yet with a series of exclusions to show that the thing is not what you would at first suppose.