Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/18
18 (k-d 11)
|My garment is darkish. Bright decorations,
red and radiant, I have on my raiment.
I mislead the stupid and stimulate the foolish
toward unwise ways. Others I restrain
from profitable paths. But I know not at all
that they, maddened, robbed of their senses,
astray in their actions —that they praise to all men
my wicked ways. Woe to them then
when the Most High holds out his dearest of gifts
if they do not desist first from their folly.
|Hrægl is min hasofag hyrste beorhte|
reade scire on
ic dysge dwelle dole hwette
unrædsiþas oþrum styre
nyttre fore ic þæs nowiht wat
heo swa gemædde mode bestolene
dæde gedwolene deoraþ mine
wōn wisan gehwam wā him þæs þeawes
siþþan heah bringað horda deorast
gif hi unrædes ær ne geswicaþ
The solution is apparently Wine and a reproof of its excesses. 59 (k-d 27), Mead, and 60 (k-d 28), John Barleycorn. Ll. 5 ff. “I know not that…” seem to mean “it is no affair of mine that….” L. 9 has given trouble; probably “Woe to them when brought to the Last Judgment.” Or “dearest of gifts” may mean the gift of salvation.