Riddles

ANGLO-SAXON / OLD ENGLISC RIDDLES

 

RIDDLES OF NATURAL PHENOMENA

 

RIDDLE 1

Who is the man so shrewd and sage can say who sends me forth abroad, when I rise strong, severely stern with might resound, malicious move, fare over land, the folk-hall fire, houses spoil? Then smoke upsoars, grey over roofs; riots rules on earth; death-throes wrack men; I disturb  the wood, quick-growing grove, its trees lay low, with water roofed, by potent powers despatched to drive wide in my wandering. I bear upon  my back what erst enfolded forms of earth-sojourners – flesh and spirits both together- on the sea. Say who shelters me or what my name is who that burdens bears.

 

RIDDLE 2

Sometimes I set off, as men suppose not, neath turbulent surges, to seek  out the earth, the depths of the ocean. Disturbed is the main, the foam upflung; the whale-mere roars, loud rages then; streams lash the shore, savagely cast shingle and sand upon the steep slopes, seaweed and wave, when struggling, I, screened by sea-currents, the bottom stir up, the vast ocean-deeps. Nor may  the sea-surface I scape ere the One who’s my guide suffers me on every excursion.

 

Guess, erudite man, who gathers me up from the grasp of the sea, when the  surges grow still again, placid the waves, which covered me once.

 

RIDDLE 29

A wight in wonderous wise saw I hale booty ‘tween her horns, a radiant air-vat, artfully adorned, forage homewards from the fray; she would a bower in that stronghold build herself, with cunning it contrive, if so she could.

 

Then came a wonderous wight above the rampart’s roof to all earth-dwellers is he known who snatched the soil and homewards drove the wanderer against her will. Thence went she west faring from the fued, hastened forth.

 

Dust to the skies uprose; upon the ground fell dew; night departed thence.

 

Thereafter no man wist where those wights journeyed to.

 

RIDDLE 33

Wonderous came floating a wight on the wave aft; from the keel comely it called to the land, resounded; its laughter was grim, on the earth fearful; its edges were sharp. Hatefully cruel was it, in conflict quite sluggish, in battle- deeds bitter. With baleful charms bound, it cunningly discoursed of its own creations: “My mother is of the kindred of maidens the dearest, my daughter is she, with travel grown gross, that is well-known of old to me of the folk, that sheshall upon earth gloriously stand in lands everywhere.”

 

RIDDLE 39

Writings say this wight has many years among mankind clear and plain.

 

A power it has much more than men might comprehend. It strives to seek each one apart of those that live, then goes its way. ‘Tis never there a second night, but ever must the exile’s track rove homeless; none the humbler ‘tis.

 

Neither foot nor hand has it, nor even touches turf, nor either of its eyes, nor has it mouth, nor speaks with men, nor has it wit; but writings say that it is quite the basest of all beings that after nature were begat.

 

Nor has it soul, nor life, but makes its way, this wonderous world through,  far and wide. Neither blood nor bone has it; yet it becomes to many men throughout this world an aid. It never heaven touched, nor may it hell,but it forever must by God’s injunctions live. Too long it is to tell how its life-pattern later ‘twill pursue, fate’s crooked ways; that is a wondrousthing to chronicle. True then is each word told about this wight; nor has it any limb, yet nonetheless it lives. If thou canst rede this riddle rapidly with true words, say what it is called.

 

RIDDLE 50

Wondrous into the world’s a warrior brought by two mute beings for the use of men; brightly extracted which, for his hurt, bears foe against foe.

 

Oft strong though he be a women him binds; to them he bends well,passively serves them, if him they attend, maidens and men, in adequate  measure fairly him feed; he exalts them with favours in life for their glee.

 

He grimly requites the one that allows him lofty to grow.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTION.

1 – Storm on Land.

2 – Submarine Earthquake.

29 – Sun and Moon.

33 – Ship.

39 – Hypostasized Death.

50 – Fire.

 

RIDDLES CHIEFLY CHRISTIAN

 

RIDDLE 6

Me, the welder of victories, Christ, for conflict created. Oft burn I the quick, races unnumbered, ranged over the earth, torment with trouble, though them I touch not, whenever my master to battle bids me.

 

Sometimes the mood of the many I gladden; sometimes I solace those I once assaulted from very far off; they feel it, however, the hurt and the healing,  when afterwards I favour their fortunes, despite deep affliction.

 

RIDDLE 11

Grey is my garment; ornaments bright, red and resplendent, my raiment adorn.

 

The dull I misguide and the ignorant goad to ventures imprudent; yet others prevent from useful approaches; I wot not a whit why they, maddened thus,  bereft of their wits, led astray in their deeds, should then applaud my contrary ways. Woe to them for their conduct when the Most High dispenses the dearest of gifts, if they from their folly do not desist first.

RIDDLE 43

A noble one I know that was nurtured as a guest in that dwelling, who cannot by grim hunger be harmed, nor yet by hot thirst, nor old age, nor sickness. If him, as is seemly, the servants attends, ever he who shall go along on that journey, he safety at home shall find him decreed, both food and delight, and unnumbered kindred; but care, if the serf obeys his lord badly, his prince on the trip. Nor will they be timid of each other, the brothers; that injures them both, when they both together abandon the bosom of their kindred quickly, their mother and sister. Let whoever will, in fitting words, set forth how that guest is called, or the servant, about whom I speak at this time.

RIDDLE 48

I heard a ring for heroes plead, beautiful tongueless, well, though with loud voice it wove.

 

This treasure of men silently spoke:  “Healer of souls, do Thou heal me!” May the rune of the red gold men understand, its magic import; may the prudent entrust their redemption to God just as the ring said.

RIDDLE 55

I saw in the hall, where heroes were drinking, borne onto the floor, a thing of four kinds, a wonderful wood-tree, with gold that was twisted, a subtly- bound treasure, silver in part, and a rood-symbol which for us to the heavens  a ladder erected, ere the people of hell’s castle he stormed. I can of that  wood’s excellence easily speak before men; maple and oak were there and the tough yew and the dark holly; they are to the lord all together of help; one name have they: Wolf-head Tree.

 

Oft that afforded a weapon its lord, in the hall a precious heirloom, a gold-hilted sword. To me now this riddle’s answer reveal; himself herequites who. With words, can  declare what that wood is called.

RIDDLE 66

Greater am I than this word world is, lesser than the handworm, lighter  than the moon, swifter than the sun. All the seas and floods are in my grasp, and then bosom of earth, and the green plains. I probe the depths,descend below hell, rise over the heavens, the region of glory; amply I reach above the angels’ abode, pervade the earth, the whole world and ocean-streams widely with myself. Say what I’m called.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

6 – Sun

11 –Wine

43 – Soul and Body

48 – Chalice

55 – Scabbard and Cross

66 – Creation

 

RIDDLES OF BIRDS

 

RIDDLE 7

Hushed is my garb, when I tread on the ground, or sorjourn in creeks, or the  shallows stir up. Over men’s homes there heave me sometimes my trappings, and this tulmultous wind, and widely the might of the welkin me then bears  over mankind. These adornments of mine loudly resound and melody make; lustily sing, when I am not lying on flood and on field – a wayfaring sprite.

RIDDLE 8

Through my moth I speak with many tongues; with modulating chant, I oftenchange my voice; I cry loud, my manner hold, not hide the melody. Old evening bard, to men I bring bliss in towns, when I transform my tone to sing out; still at home they silent sit.

 

Say what I’m called, who, brightly thus, buffoons do imitate aloud, to men announce with my voice many welcome things.

 

RIDDLE 9

In those days they abandoned me for dead, father and mother both; not yet in me was life or stir within. Then someone tried to cover me with clothes, a  woman kind; watched and cherished, wrapped me in a robe as gently as she would her proper progeny, until beneath her breast, as was my destiny, I grew  a stranger, strong amid those not my kin. That tender fostress fed me afterwards till I waxed sound. More widely could set forth on trips; the fewer of her own  had she, dear sons and daughters, due to what she did.

RIDDLE 13

Ten in all the turf saw I tread, brothers six and their sisters too; beings that  were alive. Their skins hung from their house-wall, clear and manifest, every one. Nor were any of them the worse, nor their going the sorer, though they should thus, bereft of their raiment, by the firmaments’ Lord’s might aroused, rend with their mouths the grey-green shoots. Their garment’s renewed who before birth their accoutrements leave behind them to lie when they tread  upon land.

 

RIDDLE 57

Small sprites this wind sustains over the hillsides. Quite bright are they, blackdark-coated. Doughty of song, they fare in flocks; loudly they cry; the head-  lands they tread, sometimes the houses of the children of men. They name  themselves.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

7 – Swan.

8 – Jay.

9 – Cuckoo.

13 – Ten chickens.

57 – Swallows.

 

RIDDLES ON ANIMALS

 

RIDDLE 12

I fare on feet the turf tear up, the green plains, while I spirit bear. If I lose life, I bind secure the swart Welsh, sometimes better men. Drink I sometimes give a bold man from my bosom; me, at times, a bride treads proudly underfoot; fetched from afar, at times, the dark-haired slave conveys and squeeze me;  the foolish drunken servant maid on darksome nights, in water wets me, sometimes warms me fair beside the fire; in my bosom thrusts her wanton hands, revolves them frequently, sweeps me in the dark. Say what I’m called, who, living ravage land and, after death, administer to men.

 

RIDDLE 15

White is my neck and tawny my head, so too are my sides. Swift in motion am I who bears battle-gear. Under my back stand hairs such as those on my cheeks.

 

Tower two ears over my eyes. I tread on my toes in the green grass. For me is  there grief if anyone within my covert catch me, a warrior grim, where I hide in  my haunt, my lair with my litter; and there do I lurk with my recipient brood when the intruder comes up to my doors; for them death is doomed. So must my off- spring I from our abode faint-hearted bear, protect them by flight, if he should  come following close after me; a-crawl on his breast. I dare not abide his fierce  deeds in my den that were ill counsel but then must I fast with my forefeet a  passage provide through the high hill. I can easily save the lives of my loved ones if I be allowed my household to lead by a hidden route through a hole in the hill,  my kinsfolk and dear ones; later I need not a whit the encounter dread with the death-whelp. If the savage adversary along a straight path pursues me behind, he shall surely not lack the conflict of battle on his hostile course when I reach through the roof of the hill and with war-darts strike wildly the malignant foe whom I long fled.

RIDDLE 38

A wight  of the weaponed kind saw I greedy of youthful joys; a gift he gave of four life-saving springs to shoot forth brightly, gush in fitting form. A man spoke, who declared t me:  “This wight, if he survive, will break the downs; if burst asunder, will the living bind.”

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTION

12 – Oxhide

15 – Badger

38 – Young Bull

 

RIDDLES OF DOMESTIC SUBJECTS

 

RIDDLE 4

My Thane must I busy from time to time, ring-bound, readily obey, destroy my rest  and noisily declare my master gave me a band for my neck. Me oft the sleep-weary maiden or man hastes to greet; hostile towards him I wintry-cold answer: “A warm  limb the bound ring bursts sometimes!”  However, ‘tis sportive unto my servant, a half-witted man, to me likewise, when one  knows aught and so with words my riddle can rightly give answer to.

 

RIDDLE 21

My nose inclines downwards; deeply I fare and dig up the grounds; I move as he guides  me, the grey foe of the forest and my overseer, who double-bent goes, the guide at my tail. He drives, urges, presses me into the plain, sows in my swath. I go sniffing the ground, brought from the grove, bound strong, borne on the wain. Many wounds  have I; on one side of me, as I go, there is green; and, on the other, my swath is clear  swart. Through my back driven, there hangs underneath an ingenious point, on myhead yet another; fixed and prone. At the side falls what I tear with my teeth, if rightly he serves me from behind, who my master is.

 

RIDDLE 34

I saw a wight, in the dwellings of men, that feeds the cattle. It has many teeth; the  beak is gainful, downwards it goes, ravages faithfully and then returns home; wanders along walls, reaches for roots; always it finds those that are not firm; the fair ones it leaves fixed by their roots in their station still standing, brightly gleaming, blooming and growing.

 

RIDDLE 49

One I know stands settled, deaf and dumb, who, oft by day, devours gifts greedily, the slave’s hand from. Sometimes in the dwellings the dark-hued thane, dusky and  dun-faced, despatches others down its gullet, dearer than gold, which the noble- born desire oft, kings and queens. Its nature yet now I will name not, who to them is thus of use, and does good, what the dumb one here, the swarthy nitwit, swallows  first.

 

RIDDLE 56

I was in there when I something saw: wood wound a struggling wight, the moving beam; battle-hurts it took, deep scars. Spears were that wight’s woe, and cunningly the wood was fast bound. One of its feet was fixed; the other laboured busily, played aloft, nigh the land sometimes. Nearby was a tree that brightly stood with leaves adorned. I saw the rest for my lord, where warriors drank, of arrow-work, borne to the hall.

 

RIDDLE 58

A “one-footed” wight I know to work with fortitude in the fields. It fares not far, nor rides much; nor can it fly during the bright day, nor does it bark, a boat with nailed  boards, bear it; yet it is often of use to its lord. It has a heavy tail, a tiny head, a long tongue, no teeth.

 

Of iron, in part, it treads the pit. Nor swallows liquid, nor eats aught, it craves not  food; yet oft it conveys water aloft. It brags not of life, of the lord’s gifts; nonetheless, it obeys its master. In its name there re three real runes of which RAD is the first.

 

RIDDLE 65

Alive I was, but I said naught; even so I die. Ere I had been, back I returned. Everybody reaves me, keeps me confined, and shears off my head, my bare body bites, breaks my sprouts. I bite no man, save he bites me; many there are who do bite me.

 

RIDDLE 91

My head is with a hammer forged, with sharp tools wounded, smoothed with files.

 

I often stare at what is struck before me, when girt with rings, I must needs thrust  hard against hard; pierced from behind, I forward shove that which my lord’s mind holds the midnight pleasure of. My beak I sometimes backwards draw when the  hoard’s herd, my lord desires, their leavings to keep when he ordered from life to bedriven, at his will, by battle-craft.

 

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTION

4 – Bell

21 – Plough

34  Rake

49 – Oven

56 – Weaver’s Loom

58 – Draw-well

65 – Onion

91 – Key

 

 

RIDDLES ON WRITING

 

RIDDLE 26

A certain foe reft me of life, deprived me of my worldly strength then moistened me, dipped me in water, later took me thence, set me in the sun where I soon lost the hairs I had. Then me the hard knife’s edge cut, ground away the dross; fingers folded me, and  the fowl’s delight throughout with drops made tracks abundantly, across the brown brim,absorbed the tree-dye, a part of the stream, on me stopped again, dark brown traces left. Then, me enwrapped, with boards, a man, spread shin across, with gold geared me; so beautiful me the wondrous work of smiths, with wire engirt. Now the embellishments and the red dye and the precious possessions make famous afar the Guardian of Nations,  not the pains of conceit. If the children of men are willing to use me the sounder will they be and surer of triumph, the bolder in heart, and the blither in thought. The wiser in life,  the more friends will they have, dearer and closer, truer and better, nobler and stauncher, who their glory and wealth will gladly increase; and, with goodness and kindness surround them; and, with loving embraces close clasp them. Ask what I am called, useful to men.

 

My name is renowned, salvation to heroes, and scared myself.

 

RIDDLE 47

A moth devoured words. That seemed to me a fate remarkable, when of that marvel I was told, that the worm, a warrior’s song had swallowed up, a felon in the dark, the famous utterance and its strong place. The pilfering stranger was no whit the wiser, though he ate  the words.

 

RIDDLE 51

I saw four creatures splendidly travel together; black were their tracks, their marks quiteswart. Swift was its course as of fast fowl; it flew through the air, dived under the wave.

 

Unceasing, laboured the struggling warrior who shows them the way, all of the four over  the plated gold.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTION

26 – Bible-Codex

47 – Book Moth

51 – Pen and Three Fingers

 

RIDDLES ON MUSIC

 

RIDDLE 31

This word is in varied wise beautified, jewel bedecked. I saw a strange thing sing in the  hall; in nature, among men, was naught to compare, for a most curious form it had.

 

Its beak inclined downwards, bird-like its feet and hands; yet, it cannot fly, nor wander  at will. Still eager for movement, it  starts to advance, with chosen craft; it frequently  turns, again and again, among men who sit at the banquet-board, bides its time till it  can reveal its craft before men who are high. It partakes of naught that the men that are there possess for their glee. Dauntless, eager for glory, dumb it remains; yet, in its foot, it has a fair melody, glorious song-gift. Wonderous methinks how this wight can with words play through its foot underneath, with trappings adorned. It holds on its neck, as it guards its hoard, bare resplendent with rings, its brothers two, kinsmen strong. Great ‘tis to think, for a wiser singer, what this wight be.

 

RIDDLE 70

Wonderous what wight is when its ways are not known. It sings through its sides. Curved is its neck, cunningly wrought; two shoulders it has, sharp on its spine. It follows its fate when it stands by the way, wondrously so, high and bright-hued, of profit to men.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTION

31 – Bagpipe

70 – Shepherd’s Pipe

 

RIDDLES ON WEAPONS AND FIGHTING

 

RIDDLE 5

A lone-stepper I, wounded with steel, stricken with sword, sated with battle-work, weary  of blades. Oft I behold war, a wicked foe fight. I look not for comfort, that out of the struggle come safety to me, ere among heroes I perish utterly; but the hammered blades smite me; the hard-edged sharp swords, the skilled craft of smiths, bite in the citadels; I  must abide a more hostile encounter. Not one of the leech-kind could I find in the city of  those who with herbs healed hurts, but my sword-scars grew greater with death blows by  day and night.

 

RIDDLE 17

The guardian of the flock am I, with wires fast engirt and filled within with lordly wealth.

 

By day most oft spear-dread I spit abroad; success is the greater for my surfeit. The master this beholds, how the war-darts from my womb emerge. Sometimes I swallow swart brown  battle-gear, bitter points, deadly poisoned darts. My innards are of use, my womb-hoardpretty, precious to proud warriors; men remember what fares through my mouth.

 

RIDDLE 23

Dgof is my name reversed; a wondrous wight am I, in struggle shaped. When I bend and  from my bosom fares the poisoned dart, I am disposed to fling that deadly evil far from me.

 

When the master who designs that misery for me, my limbs release, I am no longer than  before, until with ruin blent, I retch the baleful bane I swallowed earlier. It leaves no man, not any, lightly, that of which I speak; if that which flees my womb touch him, that deadly drink he pays for with his strength, a full atonement firmly with his life. When unstrung, I list to none, unless bound cunningly. Say what I’m called.

 

RIDDLE 35

The wet earth, wondrous frore, first brought forth from the womb. I am not wrought of the fleece of wool or of hairs with high skill; that I know in my mind. Woofs are not wound round me, nor have I warp, nor through the threat of force does thread of mine resound,  nor whirring shuttle move across me on any side. Worms move me not with fatal wiles which fairly adorn the fine yellow web. Yet widely over the world will they call me the glad garment of heroes. Tell me in true speech, o thou skilled insagacity, wise in words, what  this dress may be.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

5 – Shield

17 – Ballista

23 – Bow

35 – Mail-Shirt

 

RIDDLE ON H?

 

RIDDLE 14

A weaponed warrior was I. Now enwraps me the proud young home-dweller with silver and  gold, carved twisted wires. Sometimes men kiss me; sometimes with song I summon to battle kind comrades; sometimes the steed bears me over the breakers, bright with ornaments;  sometimes a maid fills my ring-adorned bosom; sometimes I must on the boards, hard and  headless, lie stripped; sometimes hang, decked with treasures, fair on the walls, where warriors  drink; a noble war-weapons. Heroes sometimes bear me on horseback; then I must breath draw from a bosom, gleaming with gold; sometimes with my voice I summon warriors proud  to wine; sometimes I must from foes rescue spoil, with my tongue, rout plundering robbers.

 

Ask what I am called.

 

RIDDLE 80

I am an aethling’s shoulder-supporter, a warrior’s comrade, loved of my lord, a king’s companion.

 

Me, sometimes, his queen, white-locked, her hand lays upon, a nobleman’s daughter, though well-born she be. I have on my breast what grew in the grove. Sometimes I ride upon a proud steed at the head of the army; harsh is my tongue. Often the poet reward for his words I give after his lay. My manner is good and I myself sallow. Say what I am called.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

14 – Horn

8 – Horn

 

MISCELLANEOUS RIDDLES

 

RIDDLE 10

My beak was fettered close, and I the current neath, the flood that under flowed, the  primordial streams deep sun, grew in the sea, wrapped by the waves above, alone, my body nestling up to barks. All alive was I, when from the clasp I came of sea and ship, in bright gear clad; my trappings white in part, living, when the air raised me aloft, from  the wave, bore widely afterwards across the seal’s-bath. Say what I am called.

 

RIDDLE 16

Oft must I wage war against wave and fight against wind, do battle with both, when I set off to seek the earth, buried by billows; strange is the land to me. Strong in the struggle am I, if they stay still; if in that I succeed not, they are stronger than I and straightway  with rending, they put me to rout; away would they carry what I would keep safe.

 

Them I withstand, if my tail still endures and strongly against me the stones are well able to hold fast. Ask what I am called.

 

RIDDLE 22

Sixty men together came to the seashore riding steeds; eleven of the horsemen had stately steeds, four white. The champions could not cross the mere, as they discovered, for the flood was deep, the waves’ press dire, the edges steep, the current strong. Commenced to climb the wagon then, the warriors, and their horses too, loaded underneath the pole;  a cob then led away the steeds and proud men with their ashen spears, the wagon over the waters’ home to land; yet, neither ox drew it, nor asses’ might, nor sturdy steed; nor did it swim the flood, nor crawl upon the ground beneath its guests, nor did it stir the sea, nor fly aloft, nor turn back; yet, it brought the warriors on the wave and their white steeds  with them the sheer shore from, so that they stepped upon the other bank, brave ones, men from the main and their steeds sound.

 

RIDDLE 27

A favourite of men am I, found far and wide, from groves fetched and from city-slopes, from dales and from downs. By day was I borne aloft upon wings, wafted with skill under  the shelter of roofs. Later by men was I bathed in a butt. Now a binder am I and scourge;  straightway I cast to earth a youth, an old man, at times. Soon he discovers who disputes with me and struggles against my strength, that he on his back must fall flat to the ground, if he flees not his folly before. Robbed of his strength, though bold of speech, deprived of  his might, nor masterly of mind has he, nor feet, nor hands. Ask what I call myself who thus  binds servants to the soil, foolish after fighting, by the light of day.

 

RIDDLE 28

A part of the soil is prettily swathed in the earnest and sharpest and grimmest of men’s gains, cut, cleaned, turned, dried, bound, wound, bleached, weakened, adorned, arrayed, carried away to the doors of men. Delight is within for sentient beings; it stays, delays,  among those who living a long while before savour their pleasures and speak not against it; and then after death fall to declaiming with manifold mouthings. ‘Tis much to determine for wise men what that wight be.

 

RIDDLE 32

This world is in varied wise beautified, jewel bedecked. I saw this creature turn, marvellous  in motion, grind against the gravel, fare groaning. Nor sight nor hands had this wondrous wight, nor shoulders nor arms; on one foot it had to move, the strange one, stir strongly, fare over fields. Ribs it had many; midway its mouth was set. Useful to men, provision in plenty, to people it brings, bears food within, and renders to folk tribute each year which  all enjoy, rich and poor alike. Relate if thou canst, skilled in wise words, what this wight be.

 

RIDDLE 46

A warrior sat at wine with his two wives and his two sons and daughters two, sisters fond, and their two sons, goodly first-born; there the father was of both these nobles ones and each an uncle and a nephew there of men and maids.

 

RIDDLE 52

Carried into the house saw I captives under the hall-roof, the hardy pair that were fellows, with shackles straight together were fettered fasts. Close to one of them was a dark-skinned slave who curbed both in their course with bonds continued.

 

RIDDLE 74

I was a young virgin, a fair-haired woman and peerless warrior at the same time; I flew with fowl and swam in the flood, dived neath the wave, and was dead among fish, and stepped upon land, a living soul had.

 

RIDDLE 85

My home is not hushed, nor I myself loud; … for us two the lord ordained our passage together; I’m swifter than he, stronger at times, he the more steadfast. Sometimes I rest whereas he must run on. Ever I dwell in him while I endure; if we two divide, for me death is destined.

 

RIDDLE 86

A creature came where warriors sat in council, many wise in mind; two ears and one eye had it, two feet and twelve hundred heads, back and belly and two hands, arms and shoulders and one neck and two slides. Say what I am called.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

10 – Goose Barnacle

16 – Anchor

22 – Circling Stars

27 – Mead

28 – Harp

32 – Ship

46 – Lot and his Family

52 – Flail

74 – Siren

85 – Fish and River

86 – One-eyed Garlic Seller

 

RUNES

 

RIDDLE 24

I am a wondrous wight: I vary my voice: at times I bark like a dog, at times I bleat like a goat, at times I yell like a hawk, at times the grey eagle I imitate, the sound of the war-  bird: at times the kite’s speech to my mouth is familiar, at times the mew’s song, where I sit glad. G names me, likewise A and R; O helps H and I. Now am I named as these six  symbols clearly show.

 

RIDDLE 42

Two curious creatures saw I openly indulge outside in sexual love; the white-locked took,  beneath her weeds, if that work prospered, proud, a virgin’s fill. I can, upon the floor, with runic letters, warriors tell, men who understand books, both those creature’s names. There shall NYD be in each of two, and the excellent AESC one on the line, of AC two, of HAEGL likewise. Which key’s skill was it unlocked the chains of that hoard’s gates which the riddle from rune-men wisely held, hid in their heart with cunningly-contrived bonds? Now isrevealed to warriors at their wine how those wights with us the mean-minded pair, are called.

 

RIDDLE 64

I saw and I over the field fare, bearing B E; for both on that trip was H and A the holder’s delight, a share of such strength. TH and E rejoiced; F and A flew over EA S and P of that folk itself.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

24 – Magpie

42 – Cock and Hen

64 – Man on Horseback with Hawk

 

OBSCENE?

 

RIDDLE 25

Wondrous a wight am I, to women a joy; to neighbours of use; I injure none in cities that  dwell, save slayers alone. Lofty my state, I stand over the bed, shaggy somewhere below.

 

Sometimes attempts, handsome and young, a peasant’s vile daughter, proud virgin, to take possession of me; rushes on me, red, plunders my head, fast fixes on me. Straightway she feels what meeting me means, when she molests me the curly-haired woman. Wet is that eye.

 

RIDDLE 37

Upon the husband’s thigh it splendid hangs, the consort’s cloak beneath. An orifice in front.

 

Stiff and hard it is and has a goodly stand; when his own dress the youth lifts up above his knee, he likes that well-known hole his hanger’s head to greet, so that he fill it whole as once he often did.

 

RIDDLE 45

I’ve heard of something wax in a corner, swell and erect itself, raise up its covers; fondled  that boneless thing the bride proudly with hands, hid with her garment, the sovereign’s  daughter, that swelling thing.

 

RIDDLE 54

Talking a youth came, to where he knew she stood in a corner; towards her he strode, a  lusty bachelor; lifted her own garment with his hands, thrust under her girdle something  inflexible as she stood there; wrought his desire; together they trembled. Hastened the thane, useful at times. A capable servant, he tired nonetheless, with every respite, though robust before, weary of that work. To was then began beneath her girdle hat good men oft heartily cherish and purchase with coin.

 

RIDDLE 61

The fair maid oft immures me fast, within a chest; the woman me withdrew sometimes with her own hands and gave me to her lord, her gracious prince, as she was bid. Then thrust he deep his head into me upwards from below, into that narrow part. If the strength  of that attack availed, adorned as I was there should fill me something rough. Guess what  I mean.

 

RIDDLE 62

I’m hard and sharp, in entry strong, departure bold, deserving of my lord, the womb I enter  from below, myself the way rightly enlarge. The hero is in haste, who from behind belabours me, the champion, with his dream; he draws me out at times hot from the holes; at times I fare again into the narrow part somewhere; he presses hard, the southern man. Say what I’m called.

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

25 – Onion

37 – Bellows

44 – Key

45 – Dough

54 – Churn

61 – Mail-Shirt

62 – Poker