Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/54
|I am atheling’s shoulder-companion,
a warrior’s comrade, dear to my master,
a fellow of kings. His fair-haired lady
sometimes will lay her hand upon me,
a prince’s daughter, noble though she be.
I have on my breast what grew in the grove.
Sometimes I ride on a proud steed
at the army’s head. Hard is my tongue.
Often I bring a reward for his words
to the singer after his song. Good is my note,
and myself am dark-colored. Say what my name is.
|Ic eom æþelinges eaxlgestealla|
fyrdrinces gefara frean minum leof
cyninges geselda cwen mec hwilum
hwitloccedu hond on legeð
eorles dohtor þeah hio æþelu sy
hæbbe me on bosme þæt on bearwe geweox
hwilum ic on wloncū wicge ride
herges on ende heard is min tunge
oft ic woþboran wordleana sū
agyfe æfter giedde Gōod is min wise
ic sylfa salo saga hwæt ic hatte
Various answers have been proposed, but doubtless Horn is right. The antler is made into a horn: it is filled with mead; its harsh note is heard in battle; it is given to a scop as reward for his singing. The first line of this riddle stands alone, k-d 79,
|I am an atheling’s possession and delight||Ic eom æþelinges æhtwilla|
This may be a variant reading or the first line of a different riddle, of which the remainder is lost. For “note” (melody’ or ‘manner, way.’10) the original has wise, either ‘