Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/71

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71 (k-d 64)


I saw W and I     going over the plain
bearing B E.     For them both as they went
was the owner’s joy;     H and A
very strong.     TH and E;
the F and A rejoiced;     flew over EA
S and F     of the people themselves.
Ic seah · · · ·     ofer wong faran
beran ·
· ·     bæm wæs on siþþe
hæbbendes hyht     ·
· · ·
swylce þryþa dæl     ·
· · ·
gefeah ·
· · ·     fleah ofer ·
· · ·     sylfes þæs folces

W and I is for wicg, ‘horse’: B E for beorn, ‘man’; H and A for haofoc, ‘hawk’; TH for þeow, ‘slave,’ or þegn, ‘thane’; F and AE possibly for fælca, ‘falcon’; EA for ear, ‘ground’ or ea, ‘water’; S and P for spere, ‘spear.’ In brief: “I saw a man riding along on horseback with a hawk which was his joy (and pride). They were all happy, the man, the horse, the servant, and the hawk also; it flew over the water (or the ground).” F in the last line must be a mistake for P.