Riddle 24

Riddle 24
bertha rogers

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english translation

Riddle 24

I am wonderful and rare—     I can lay aside     
my own speech     for another’s!
At times, I hound-bark,     goat-bleat,   
goose-honk,    or sharply shrill like a hawk.    
Sometimes,     I mime the eagle’s long scree,
the gray soldier’s      keening cry; sometimes,
the call of the kite.    Sometimes, the gull’s water-song.     
As I gleefully sit, singing,      I am actor-glad.     
My letters are P, A, and G—and I.    I also have      
an M and an E.     Say what these six letters mean!

original Anglo-Saxon poem

Riddle 24 — Anglo-Saxon Original

Ic eom wunderlicu wiht—     wrΦsne mine stefne,
hwilum beorce swa hund,     hwilum blΦte swa gat,
hwilum grΦde swa gos,     hwilum gielle swa hafoc,
hwilum ic onhyrge     ζone haswan earn,
guξfugles hleoζor,     hwilum glidan reorde
muζe gemΦne,      hwilum mΦwes song,
ζΦr ic glado sitte.      G mec nemnaξ,
swylce E      ond R O fullesteξ,
H ond I.      Nu ic haten eom
swa ζa sieξ stafas     sweotule becnaζ.