Exeter Riddle 49


Date: Tue 02 Feb 2016
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 49
Original text:

Ic wat eardfæstne      anne standan,
deafne, dumban,      se oft dæges swilgeð
þurh gopes hond      gifrum lacum.
Hwilum on þam wicum      se wonna þegn,
5     sweart ond saloneb,      sendeð oþre
under goman him      golde dyrran,
þa æþelingas      oft wilniað,
cyningas ond cwene.      Ic þæt cyn nu gen
nemnan ne wille,      þe him to nytte swa
10     ond to dugþum doþ      þæt se dumba her,
eorp unwita,      ær forswilgeð.


I know a lone thing standing earth-fast,
deaf, dumb, which often by day swallows
from a slave’s hand useful gifts.
Sometimes in those dwellings the swarthy servant,
5     dark and sallow-nosed, sends others
from his mouth, dearer than gold,
which nobles often desire,
kings and queens. I will not yet
name that race/kind, who thus renders for their use
10     and advantage what the dumb one here,
the dusky fool, swallows before.

Click to show riddle solution?
Oven, Beehive, Falcon Cage, (Book)case, Pen and ink, Barrow, Sacrificial altar, Millpond and sluice


This riddle appears on folio 113r 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), page 206.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 47: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 98.

Tags: anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions  riddle 49 

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