Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/47
|I saw a tree with bright branches
stand high in a grove. The tree was happy,
the growing wood. Water and earth
fed it well, till wise with time
it met with a change: it was deeply hurt,
dumb with bonds, covered with wounds,
but adorned in front with dark ornaments.
Now it clears the way for a treacherous foe
through the might of its head. By storm they plunder
the hoard together. Eager was the rear
and active in aid if the van met danger.
None could venture in difficult places.
|Ic seah on bearwe beam hlifian|
tanum torhtne þæt treow wæs on wynne
wudu weaxende wæter hine eorþe
feddan fægre oþþæt he frod dagum
on oþrum wearð aglachade
deope gedolgod dumb In bendum
wriþen ofer wunda wonnum hyrstum
foran gefrætwed Nu he fæcnum
þurh his heafdes hildegieste
oþrū rymeð oft hy an strudon
hord ætgædre; hræd wæs unlæt
se æftera gif se ærra fǣr ·
genamnan in nearowe neþan moste.
The solution is supposed to be a Tree, cut down, and made into a Battering-ram. The last lines are corrupt, the meter defective. Various emendations have been offered.