Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book/83
The riddle which precedes this in the manuscript, 11 Creation (k-d 40), is left at the bottom of 111b with an incomplete line, and the one which follows begins at the top of the next folio also with an incomplete line. It is obvious that a leaf was missing, or was overlooked by the copyist. Thus we have only the last eight lines of the original.
That is mother of many kindreds,
of the best, of the darkest,
of the dearest that the children of men
throughout the bosom of earth own with joy.
We here on earth cannot live at all
unless we enjoy what those children do.
This is something for all mortals to reflect on,
all learned men, what this thing is.
|. . . . . edniwu ·|
þæt is moddor monigra cynna
þæs selestan þæs sweartestan ·
þæs deorestan · þæs þe dryhta bearn
ofer foldan sceat to gefean agen ·
Ne magon we her in eorþan owiht lifgan
nymðe we brucen þæs þa bearn doð
is to geþencanne · þeoda gehwylcum
wisfæstū werum hwæt seo wiht sy