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54 (k-d 80)

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     æht willa

This may be a variant reading or the first line of a different riddle, of which the remainder is lost. For “note” (l. 10) the original has wise, either ‘melody’ or ‘manner, way.’