Riddle 9 (or 7)

This week’s translation is a guest post from the very clever Jennifer Neville. Jennifer is a Reader in Anglo-Saxon Literature at Royal Holloway University of London where she is currently working on a book about the Old English riddles. Stay tuned for her commentary in the next post.


Mec on þissum dagum      deadne ofgeafun
fæder on modor;      ne wæs me feorh þa gen,
ealdor in innan.      Þa mec an ongon,
welhold mege,      wedum þeccan,
5     heold ond freoþode,      hleosceorpe wrah
swa arlice      swa hire agen bearn,
oþþæt ic under sceate,      swa min gesceapu wæron,
ungesibbum wearð      eacen gæste.
Mec seo friþe mæg      fedde siþþan,
10     oþþæt ic aweox,      widdor meahte
siþas asettan.      Heo hæfde swæsra þy læs
suna ond dohtra,      þy heo swa dyde.

In these days my father and mother
gave me up for dead. There was no spirit in me yet
and no life within. Then someone began
to cover me with clothing;
5     a very loyal kinswoman protected and cherished me,
and she wrapped me with a protective garment,
just as generously as for her own children,
until under that covering, in accordance with my nature,
I was endowed with life amongst those unrelated to me.
10     The protective lady then fed me
until I grew up and could set out on wider journeys.
She had fewer dear sons and daughters because she did so.

Highlight the box with your cursor to reveal the possible solution: Cuckoo


4 thoughts on “Riddle 9 (or 7)

  1. Pingback: Report on Riddles at the Leeds International Medieval Congress | The Riddle Ages

  2. Pingback: Riddle 42 (or 40) | The Riddle Ages

  3. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 52 | The Riddle Ages

  4. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 57 – The Riddle Ages

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