Four riddles from the Exeter Book, translated from Old English by Evan Klavon
Hrægl mīn swīga∂ þonne ic hrusan trede
oþþe þā wīc būge oþþe wado drēfe.
Hwīlum mec ahebbað ofer hæleþa byht,
hyrste mīne ond þēos hēa lyft,
ond mec þonne wide wolcna strengu
ofer folc byreð. Frætwe mīne
swōgað hlūde ond swinsiað
torhte singað þonne ic getenge ne bēom
flōde ond foldan, ferende gǣst.
My clothes stay quiet as I cross the earth
or let down on a dwelling or drive the waves.
At times my trimmings and the mighty sky
muster me up over men’s nooks
and then cloud’s clout bears me about
over the folk. My bits of kit
sound out loudly and sing a line
noting finely when I’m not near
river and ground, a rambling ghost.translated from Old English by Evan Klavon
Ic þurh mūþ sprece mongum reordum,
wrencum singe, wrixle geneahhe
heāfodwōþe, hlūde cirme,
healde mīne wīsan, hlēoþre ne miþe.
Eald ǣfenscēop, eorlum bringe
blisse in burgum, þonne ic būgendre
stefne styrme, stille on wicum
sittað hnīgende. Saga hwæt ic hātte,
þe swā scīrenige scēawendwīsan
hlūde onhyrge, hæleþum bodige
wilcumena fela wōþe mīnre.
I speak by one mouth a feast of tongues sing through modulations changing quick a heady voice crying out loud my tune carry my way resound without refrain as an old evening-bard to courtiers brings merriment to settlements when I alighting shout my voice to homes they quietly sit there nodding. So tell what I am called who like a showgirl jest and imitate with gusto cabaret promising men much to welcome with my voice.translated from Old English by Evan Klavon