Exeter Riddle 8


Date: Wed 29 May 2013
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Exeter Riddle 8
Original text:
Ic þurh muþ sprece             mongum reordum,
wrencum singe,             wrixle geneahhe
heafodwoþe,             hlude cirme,
healde mine wisan,             hleoþre ne miþe,
5       eald æfensceop,            eorlum bringe
blisse in burgum,             þonne ic bugendre
stefne styrme;             stille on wicum
sittað nigende.             Saga hwæt ic hatte,
þe swa scirenige             sceawendwisan
10       hlude onhyrge,             hæleþum bodige
wilcumena fela             woþe minre.
I speak through my mouth with many sounds,
I sing with modulation, frequently vary
my voice, call loudly,
stick to my ways, I do not stifle my speech,
5       an old evening-singer, I bring delight
to dwellers in the cities, when I bellow
with bending voice; still in their homes,
they sit silently. Say what I am called,
who, like an actress, loudly imitates
10       the entertainer’s song, proclaims to people
many greetings with my speaking.
Click to show riddle solution?
Nightingale (likely), Pipe or Flute, all manner of other birds, etc


This riddle appears on folio 103r 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 185.

Note that this edition numbers the text Riddle 6: Craig Williamson, ed., The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), page 72.

Tags: riddle 8  anglo saxon  exeter book  riddles  old english  solutions 

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