Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/6

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Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book (1963)
translated by Paull Franklin Baum
1188457Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book1963Paull Franklin Baum

6 (k-d 33)

A thing came marvelously     moving over the waves,
comely from the keel up.     It called out to the land,
loudly resounding.     Its laughter was horrible,
awful in its place.     Its edges were sharp;
hateful it was,     and sluggish to battle,
bitter in its hostile deeds.     It dug into shield-walls,
hard, ravaging.     It spread mischievous spells.
It spoke with cunning craft     about its creation:
“Dearest of women     is indeed my mother;
she is my daughter     grown big and strong.
It is known to men of old,     among all people,
that she shall stand up beautifully     everywhere in the world.”


Wiht cwom æfter wege     wrætlico liþan
cymlic frō ceole     cleopode to londe
hlinsade hlude—     leahtor wæs gryrelic
egesful on earde     ecge wæron scearpe
wæs hio hetegrim     hilde to sæne
biter beadoweorca     bordweallas grof
heardhiþende     heterune bond
sægde searocræftig     ymb hyre sylfre gesceaft
is min modor     mæg da cynnes
þæs deorestan     is dohtor min
eacen uploden     swa þæt is ældum cuþ
firum on folce     seo on foldan sceal
on ealra londa gehwam     lissum stondan

Iceberg, slow but deadly as it damages ships. The mother–daughter relationship is simple: water into ice, ice into water.