Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/78

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78 (k-d 61)

Often a goodly damsel,     a lady, locked me
close in a chest.     Sometimes with her hands
she took me out     and gave me to her lord,
a fine chieftain,     as he commanded her.
Then he thrust his head     well inside me,
up from below,     into the narrow part.
If the strength prevailed     of him who received me,
adorned as I was,     something or other rough
was due to fill me.     Guess what I mean.
Oft mec fæste bileac     freolicu meowle
ides on earce     hwilum up ateah
folmum sinum     frean sealde
holdum þeodne     swa hio haten wæs
siðþan me on hreþre     heafod sticade
nioþan upweardne     on nearo fegde
gif þæs ondfengan     ellen dohte
þe mec frætwedne     fyllan sceolde
ruwes nathwæt     ræd hwæt ic mæne

The answer is an ornamented Shirt, which the man pulls over his head. Up to a point this is innocent enough; but a twist at the end, emphasized by the unusual formula, “Guess what I mean,” conveys the double entendre.