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70 (k-d 19)


I saw …     S R O
H high-spirited, with gleaming head
rinning swiftly     over the fair land;
it had on its back     warlike strength.
N O M     rode not-mailed
A G E W     far traveling it bore
strong on its way     a bold C O
F O A H     the course was the brighter,
the journey of these.     Say what I am called.
Ic seah     · ᛋ ᚱ ᚩ
· hygewloncne     heafodbeorhtne
swist ne ofer sælwong     swiþe þrægan
hæfde him on hrycge     hildeþryþe
·
ᚾ ᚩ ᛗ ·     nægledne rad
·
ᚪ ᚷ ᛖ ᚹ ·     widlast ferede
rynestrong on rade     rofne ·
ᚳ ᚩ
ᚠ ᚩ ᚪ ᚻ ·     for wæs þy beorhtre
swylcra siþfæt     saga hwæt ic hatte

The first four lines are easy: S R O  H, or ‘horse’ written backwards, with an unarmed warrior on its back. The rest, five lines containing thirteen runes, is not easy. The text is certainly faulty and a great many emendations have been proposed. N O M is of course ‘man.’ A G E W for wega, ‘of ways,’ is genitive plural, but there is no syntax for a genitive. C O  F O A H is for haofoc, ‘hawk.’ Thus the general idea is: “I saw an unarmed warrior riding a spirited horse happily, with a hawk on his wrist.” (See the following riddle.)