Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/53
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53 (k-d 14)
|I was an armed fighter. Now a young home-dweller
covers me proudly with twisted wires,
with gold and silver. Sometimes men kiss me.
Sometimes with my song I summon to battle
happy comrades. Sometimes a steed carries me
over the marches. Sometimes a sea-horse
bears me over waves with my bright trappings.
Sometimes a maiden fills my ring-adorned bosom.
Sometimes I must lie hard and headless
stripped on the tables. Sometimes I hang,
with ornaments proud, on the wall where men drink.
Sometimes a good weapon, the warriors bear me,
riding on horseback, with treasure laden,
I must breathe in the breath of a man’s breast.
Sometimes with my music I summon proud warriors
to drink their wine. Sometimes with my voice
I rescue the booty, put foe to flight.
Ask me my name.
|Ic wæs wæpen wiga nu mec wlonc þeceð|
geong hagostealdmon golde ⁊ sylfore
woum wirbogum hwilum weras cyssað
hwilum ic to hilde hleoþre bonne
wilgehleþan hwilum wycg byreþ
mec ofer mearce hwilū merehengest
fereð ofer flodas frætwum beorhtne
hwilū mægða sum minne gefylleð
bosm beaghroden hwilum ic bordum sceal
heard heafodleas behlyþed licgan
hwilū hongige hyrstum frætwed
wlitig on wage þær weras drincað
freolic fyrd sceorp · hwilū folcwigan
wicge wegað þōn ic winde sceal
sincfag swelgan of sumes bosme ·
hwilū ic gereordum rincas laðige
wlonce to wine · hwilū wraþþum sceal
stefne minre forstolen hreddan
flyman feondsceaþan frige hwæt ic hatte
Horn, described under various aspects marked by the “Sometimes” repeated ten times in nineteen lines: on the head of a steer, as war-horn (also on ships), as drinking horn, as hunting horn, as warning against thieves. “Ring-adorned,” l. 8, ‘adorned with a necklace.’