#1 An Old English Riddle & A Modern English Translation ✨

I learnt this riddle last semester in my Old English class and so I thought I would share it as one of my main goals on my blog is to post history related posts! So as I am doing something different, I hope you enjoy the riddle and learning some Old English! I also have an exam next week so I feel that this post ties in nicely with what I am currently doing in the life. 

Old English Text

Iċ eom ānhaga īserne wund,

bille ġebennod, beadoweorca sæd,

ecgum wēriġ. Oft iċ wīġ sēo

frēcne feohtan. Frōfre ne wēne,

þæt mē ġēoc cyme gūðġewinnes,

ǣr iċ mid yldum eal forweorðe,

ac mec hnossiað homera lāfa,

heardecg heoroscearp hondweorc smiþa

bītað in burgum; iċ ābīdan sceal

10 lāþran ġemōtes. Nǣfre lǣċecynn

on folcstede findan meahte,

þāra þe mid wyrtum wunde ġehǣlde,

ac mē ecga dolg ēacen weorðað

þurh dēaðsleġe dagum ond nihtum.


Modern English Translation

I am a solitary one wounded by iron,

wounded by the sword, weary of the work of battle,

made weary by edges. Often I see battle,

and bold ones fighting. I do not expect help,

that help in strife in battle will come to me,

before I perish with men,

the leavings of hammers strike me,

hard edge swords, handiwork of blacksmiths,

bite in town; I must await for a

hostile encounter. Never in the battlefield,

can I find one of the physicians kind,

one of those who with herbs healed wounds,

but the wounds of edge become great on me,

through a death blow day and night.


Do you know the object being described in this riddle? Let me know in the comments what you think it is!


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