Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/Annotated/69
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69 (k-d 42)
|I saw there two beautiful creatures
openly playing the game of love.
If the affair prospered, the fair-haired one
proudly arrayed, received her due fulness.
Now I can tell the assembled bookmen
the names of both in runic letters.
There shall be NEED, two of these,
and the bright ASH tree, one on the line,
and then two OAKS and two HAILS likewise.
Whoever has unlocked with the power of the key
the clasps of the chest which held the riddle
cunningly hidden from the learned in runes—
now is revealed to them here as they drink
how those two of low minds are called by name.
A A H H
|Ic seah wyhte wrætlice twa|
undearnunga ute plegan
hæmedlaces hwitloc anfeng
wlanc under wædum gif þæs weorces speop
fæmne fyllo Ic on flette mæg
þurh runstafas rincum secgan
þā þe bec witan bega ætsomne
naman þara wihta þær sceal nyd wesan
twega oþer ⁊ se torhta æsc
an an linan acas twegen
hægelas swa some hwylc wæs hordgates
cægan cræfte þa clamme onleac
þe þa rædellan wið rȳne menn
hygefæste heold heortan bewrigene
orþoncbendum nu is undyrne
werum æt wine hu þa wihte mid us
heanmode twa hatne sindon ·
This is, as the author says, self-explanatory, if you recognize the runes: HANA (cock) and HÆN (hen).