Riddle 51’s translation is once again by Britt Mize (who translated and provided commentary for Riddle 33). Britt is Associate Professor and Interim Associate Head of English at Texas A&M University where he works on Old and Middle English language and literature, with special interests in linguistics, poetics and drama.
Ic seah wrætlice wuhte feower
samed siþian; swearte wæran lastas,
swaþu swiþe blacu. Swift wæs on fore,
fuglum framra fleag on lyfte;
5 deaf under yþe. Dreag unstille
winnende wiga, se him wegas tæcneþ
ofer fæted gold feower eallum.
[note that the punctuation of the above Old English text differs from Krapp and Dobbie’s ASPR edition at lines 4 and 6]
I saw four wondrous creatures
travel together. Dark were the tracks,
very black the footprints. It was swift in its going:
faster than birds it flew through the sky;
5 it dove under wave. Vigorously he labored,
that striving warrior who showed it—all four—
the paths across ornamental gold.
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