Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/5
|A thing there is strangely begotten,
furious and fierce; runs a violent course
rages grimly, moves over the ground,
is mother of many marvelous creatures.
Moving beautifully, it is ever striving;
low-lying is its close grip. None to another
can fairly with wise words describe its features
or say how manifold is the multitude of its kin.
Its ancient origin the Father watched over,
beginning and end, and his only Son also,
glorious child of God . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
Mighty in strength the mother is;
supported marvelously, laden with food,
adorned with treasures, precious to heroes;
her might is multiplied, strength made manifest,
her face is honored with happy usefulness;
a fair bright jewel for the proud to wear;
cleanly and bountiful; mighty in craft.
It is dear to the prosperous, to the poor soothing,
goodly, excellent; boldest and strongest,
greediest and eagerest— treads over the ground—
of all that is grown up underneath the sky
and that the sons of men ever saw with their eyes.
So that glory weaves the might of mortals,
although wise of mind . . . . .
a man more knowing of heart, a crowd of wonders.
Than earth it is harder, than heroes older,
than gifts readier, than gems dearer;
beautifies the world; increases in fruits;
blots out crime …
often casts from without a single covering
wondrously beautiful, over all mankind,
so that throughout the world men are astonished.
hreoh reþe hafað ryne · strongne
grimme grymetað be grunde fareð
modor is monigra mærra wihta
Fæger ferende fundað æfre ·
neol is nearograp nænig oþrum mæg
wlite wisan wordum gecyþan
hu mislic biþ mægen þara cynna
fyrn forðgesceaft fæder ealle bewat
ōr ende swylce an sunu
mære meotudes bearn þurh […]ed
hyhste […] […]æ[…]
[…] dyre cræft[…]
[…]onne hy ā weorp[…]
[…]þe ænig þara […]
[…]fter ne mæg […]
[…] oþer cynn eorþan […]
[…] ær wæs
wlitig wynsum […]
biþ sio moddor mægene eacen
wundrū bewreþed wistum gehladen
hordum gehroden hæleþum dyre
mægen bið gemiclad meaht gesweotlad ·
wlite biþ geweorþad wuldornyttingum
wynsū wuldorgimm getenge ·
clængeorn bið cystig cræfte eacen
hio biþ eadgum leof earmū getæse
freolic sellic fromast swiþost
gifrost grædgost grundbedd trideþ
þæs þe under lyfte ā loden wurde
ælda bearn eagum sawe ·
Swa wuldor wifeð worldbearna ,
þeah þe ferþum gleaw
mon mode · snottor mengo wundra
hrusan bið heardra hæleþum frodra
geofum bið gearora gimmū deorra
worulde wlitigað wæstmum tydreð
firene dwæsceð . . . . .
oft utan beweorpeð anre þecene
wundrum gewlitegad geond werþeode
wafiað weras ofer eorþan
þæt magon micle […]sceafte ·
biþ stanum bestreþed stormum […]
[…]len […]timbred weall
hrusan hrineð h[…]
oft searwum biþ […]
[…] deaðe ne feleð
þeah þe […]
[…]du hreren hrif wundigen
hord word onhlīd hæleþum […]
[…]wreoh wordum geopena
hu mislic sy mægen þara cy[…]
There were 56 lines in all, of which these are recoverable—some metrically dubious and obscure in meaning. The probable solution is Water in its various forms and uses—if one has the patience to identify them.