Exeter Riddle 10


Date: Thu 25 Apr 2013
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 10
Original text:

Neb wæs min on nearwe,         ond ic neoþan wætre,
flode underflowen,         firgenstreamum
swiþe besuncen,         ond on sunde awox
ufan yþum þeaht,         anum getenge
5     liþendum wuda         lice mine.
Hæfde feorh cwico,         þa ic of fæðmum cwom
brimes ond beames         on blacum hrægle;
sume wæron hwite         hyrste mine,
þa mec lifgende         lyft upp ahof,
10     wind of wæge,         siþþan wide bær
ofer seolhbaþo.         Saga hwæt ic hatte.


My nose was in a tight spot, and I beneath the water,
underflowed by the flood, sunk deep
into the ocean-waves, and in the sea grew
covered with waves from above, my body
5     touching a floating piece of wood.
I had living spirit, when I came out of the embrace
of water and wood in a black garment,
some of my trappings were white,
then the air lifted me, living, up,
10     wind from the water, then carried me far
over the seal’s bath. Say what I am called.

Click to show riddle solution?
Barnacle goose


This riddle appears on folio 103v of The Exeter Book.

The above Old English text is based on this edition: Elliott van Kirk Dobbie and George Philip Krapp, eds, The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), pages 185-6.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 8: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 73.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 10 

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