Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/39

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Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book  (1963) 
translated by
Paull Franklin Baum

39 (k-d 65)

I was alive but said nothing;     even so I die.
Back I came before I was.     Everyone plunders me,
keeps me confined,     and shears my head,
bites my bare body,     breaks my sprouts.
No man I bite     unless he bites me;
many there are     who do bite me.
Cwico wæs ic ne cwæð ic wiht     cwele ic efne seþeah
ær ic wæs eft ic cwom     æghwa mec reafað
hafað mec on headre     min heafod scireþ
biteð mec on bær lic     briceð mine wisan
monnan ic ne bite     nympþe he me bite
sindan þara monige     þe mec bitað

Onion. Cf. 74 (k-d 25), which is also Onion with salacious overtones.