Riddle 3 (or 1c)

This week’s riddle is a long one!


Hwilum mec min frea      fæste genearwað,
sendeð þonne      under salwonges
bearm þone bradan,      ond on bid wriceð,
þrafað on þystrum      þrymma sumne,
5     hæste on enge,      þær me heord siteð
hruse on hrycge.      Nah ic hwyrftweges
of þam aglace,      ac ic eþelstol
hæleþa hrere;      hornsalu wagiað,
wera wicstede,      weallas beofiað,
10     steape ofer stiwitum.      Stille þynceð
lyft ofer londe      ond lagu swige,
oþþæt ic of enge      up aþringe,
efne swa mec wisaþ      se mec wræde on
æt frumsceafte      furþum legde,
15     bende ond clomme,      þæt ic onbugan ne mot
of þæs gewealde      þe me wegas tæcneð.
Hwilum ic sceal ufan      yþa wregan,
streamas styrgan      ond to staþe þywan
flintgrægne flod.      Famig winneð
20     wæg wið wealle,      wonn ariseð
dun ofer dype;      hyre deorc on last,
eare geblonden,      oþer fereð,
þæt hy gemittað      mearclonde neah
hea hlincas.      Þær bið hlud wudu,
25     brimgiesta breahtm,      bidað stille
stealc stanhleoþu      streamgewinnes,
hopgehnastes,      þonne heah geþring
on cleofu crydeþ.      Þær bið ceole wen
sliþre sæcce,      gif hine sæ byreð
30     on þa grimman tid,      gæsta fulne,
þæt he scyle rice      birofen weorþan,
feore bifohten      fæmig ridan
yþa hrycgum.      Þær bið egsa sum
ældum geywed,      þara þe ic hyran sceal
35     strong on stiðweg.      Hwa gestilleð þæt?
Hwilum ic þurhræse,      þæt me on bæce rideð
won wægfatu,      wide toþringe
lagustreama full,      hwilum læte eft
slupan tosomne.      Se bið swega mæst,
40     breahtma ofer burgum,      ond gebreca hludast,
þonne scearp cymeð      sceo wiþ oþrum,
ecg wið ecge;      earpan gesceafte
fus ofer folcum      fyre swætað,
blacan lige,      ond gebrecu ferað
45     deorc ofer dryhtum      gedyne micle,
farað feohtende,      feallan lætað
sweart sumsendu      seaw of bosme,
wætan of wombe.      Winnende fareð
atol eoredþreat,      egsa astigeð,
50     micel modþrea      monna cynne,
brogan on burgum,      þonne blace scotiað
scriþende scin      scearpum wæpnum.
Dol him ne ondrædeð      ða deaðsperu,
swylteð hwæþre,      gif him soð meotud
55     on geryhtu      þurh regn ufan
of gestune læteð      stræle fleogan,
farende flan.      Fea þæt gedygað,
þara þe geræceð      rynegiestes wæpen.
Ic þæs orleges      or anstelle,
60     þonne gewite      wolcengehnaste
þurh geþræc þringan      þrimme micle
ofer byrnan bosm.      Biersteð hlude
heah hloðgecrod;      þonne hnige eft
under lyfte helm      londe near,
65     ond me on hrycg hlade      þæt ic habban sceal,
meahtum gemagnad      mines frean.
Swa ic þrymful þeow      þragum winne,
hwilum under eorþan,      hwilum yþa sceal
hean underhnigan,      hwilum holm yfan
70     streamas styrge,      hwilum stige up,
wolcnfare wrege,      wide fere
swift ond swiþfeorm.      Saga hwæt ic hatte,
oþþe hwa mec rære,      þonne ic restan ne mot,
oþþe hwa mec stæðþe,      þonne ic stille beom.


Sometimes my lord confines me firmly,
then sends me under the broad embrace
of the prosperous plain, and pushes me to a halt,
he restrains some of my power in darkness,
5     violently in confinement, where my keeper, earth,
presses on my back. I have no escape
from that oppression, but I shake
the dwelling place of heroes; the gabled halls tremble,
the homes of men, the walls wobble,
10     steep over the householders. The air over the land
seems still and the ocean is silent,
until I burst forth from my confinement,
even as he instructs me, he who first laid
fetters upon me at creation,
15     bonds and chains, so that I might not bend
from the power that shows me my path.
Sometimes I must excite the waves from above,
stir up the streams and drive to the shore
the flint-grey flood. The foamy water
20     struggles against the wall, a dark mountain
rises up over the deep; dark in its track,
another goes, mixed with the sea,
so that they meet near the borderland,
the high banks. There the wood is loud,
25     the cry of the sea-guests, the steep stone-cliffs
quietly await the watery war,
the wet conflict, when the lofty tumult
crowds onto the cliffs. There the ship is in expectation
of a fierce fight, if the sea bears it
30     on that terrible tide, full of souls,
so that it must be deprived of control
robbed of life, the foamy one [must] ride
the backs of the waves. There a certain terror is
made visible to men, that which I must obey,
35     strong on the harsh path. Who stills that?
Sometimes I rush through, so that a dark water-vessel
rides on my back, I drive apart
the cups of water widely, sometimes I let
them slide together again. That is the greatest of clamours,
40     sounds over the cities, and the loudest of clashes,
when a sharp cloud comes against another,
edge against edge; the dark creatures
eager over the people bleed fire,
bright flame, and the clamour travels
45     dark over the people with a great din,
they go fighting, allow to fall
dark drops, humming, from the compass [of the clouds],
moisture from the belly. A terrible troop travels,
toiling; fear rises up,
50     a great mind-torment for mankind,
terror in the cities, when dark phantoms,
spreading out, shoot with sharp weapons.
The foolish one does not dread the death-spear,
and yet he dies, if the true measurer,
55     according to his right, allows an arrow
to fly through the rain from the tempest above,
a traveling dart. Few escape that,
of those whom the weapon of the racing guest reaches.
I establish the start of that strife,
60     when I go through the crush to force
the cloud-conflict with great strength
over the compass of the stream. Loudly the lofty
crowd crashes; then afterwards I sink
under the helmet of the air near the land,
65     and load up something I must have onto my back,
recovered with the strength of my lord.
Thus I, powerful servant, contend at times,
sometimes under the earth, sometimes I must
descend beneath the humble waves, sometimes above the hill
70     I stir up streams, sometimes I rise up,
excite the cloud-journey, I travel widely,
swift and strong of substance. Say what I am called,
or who raises me, when I may not rest,
or who stays me, when I am still.


Highlight the box with your cursor to reveal the possible solutions: Storm, Wind, etc. (stay tuned for commentary on Riddles 1-3 in the next post)

One thought on “Riddle 3 (or 1c)

  1. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 55 – The Riddle Ages

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