Riddle 65

“Onion” (another sexual riddle).

Riddle 64

“Man, horse and hawk” (compare to Riddle 19).

Riddle 63

“Flask” or “drinking cup.”

Riddle 62

“Flaming arrow” or “hot poker.”

Riddle 61

“Shirt” (another sexual riddle).

The Ruin [all]

This poem, significantly damaged, describes in elegaic tones an ruined building or city.  It is often taken to refer to the city of Bath, the only natural hot springs in England, though it is also possible to interpret that passage as referring to a stream of water becoming hot by artificial means (there had been Roman baths in many other parts of England as well).

The Husband’s Message [all]

This poem is possibly another example of prosopopeia, wherein an inanimate object speaks.  In this case it may be a sticked carved with runes that is speaking a message.

The speaker in the poem says he has come to bring a message from a lord, asking a woman (though this point is sometimes disputed) to remember her vows and come and join the man, who was previously exiled due to a feud.  She is to take a ship to the south.  The man is wealthy, but he will have no need of treasures if he and the woman are re-united.

The poem ends with a runic passage that can be taken to read: I join sun with road  and earth and joy and man.

Riddle 60

“Reed” or “Stick inscribed with runes.”  Sometimes thought to be linked to “The Husband’s Message,” which is the next poem in the manuscript.
(My favorite bizarre solution, suggested by Morely, is “a letter-beam cut from the stump of an old jetty.”  Pretty specific!)

Riddle 30b

“Timber cross.”

This riddle is essentially the same as Riddle 30a, which appears much earlier in the manuscript.

Homiletic Fragment II [all]

The poem directly exhorts readers/hearers to rejoice, take comfort in Christian faith even if not all friends are faithful themselves.

The Lord’s Prayer I [all]

This is the least elaborate of the three Old English version of the Lord’s Prayer.  The final doxology is not included in this one

Pharoah [all]

How many men were in Pharaoh’s army pursuing the Israelites?

6x [where x is the number now lost from the manuscript, possibly a thousand or hundred-thousand].

Almsgiving [all]

It will be well for the man who is generous.  Alms wash away sins in the same way that water extinguishes fire.

The Descent into Hell

The women are mourning at the tomb. At daybreak Mary and the women came, seeking Jesus’ body. The tomb was open and the corpse had come to life.

Down in hell John spoke to the inhabitants of hell: “Jesus promised me that He would come to hell and rescue us.”

Jesus hurries down to hell, demolishing the walls and carrying off the imprisoned souls. The souls hurried to him, Adam and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and David, Isaiah and Zacharias and the rest of the patriarchs. Also many virgins and other people.

John calls out to Jesus: “Thanks be to you for rescuing us from the devil. We have held out until now. O Gabriel, thank you for bringing the child into Bethlehem. O Mary, that you for bearing us the king. We had betrayed ourselves through our minds. Alas, Jerusalem in Judea remains fixed in that place. Alas, Jordan in Judea remains fixed. Now I ask you Jesus to have mercy on us and by Jerursalem in Judea and Jordan in Judea, where we were both baptized in the stream. Thanks be to the Lord forever.

Resignation A and B [all]

[Although the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records prints this as one poem, in 1976 Bliss and Frantzen demonstrated convincingly that it is in fact two different poems spliced together because at least one leaf of the manuscript is missing. Thus lines 1-69 are generally now designated Resignation A and lines 70-119 Resignation B. I have recorded a long pause between A and B, but have posted them as one poem to keep to the ASPR nomenclature].

Resignation A: The speaker prays to God to deliver him and offers his body and soul to God. He asks for a sign of how to best serve God’s will.  God knows his many evils deeds but the speaker hopes to be received by Him even though he is unworthy.  He hopes for the life after this life even though he did not confess and atone for his sins quickly.  Although he had committed many sins, he prays that the devil not be allowed to take him.  He asks God to stand by him and steer his soul through the storm.  He is cruelly tormented by his sins in this world and is suffering because his sins were visible to many men.

Resignation B: I have spoken my words to thank god for my poverty and I have suffered hardship because I am exiled from the land of my birth.  A friendless exile cannot wait when the Lord is angry with him.  He suffers abuse from people and is sorrowful in heart at daybreak.  I speak about myself and my journey and think about the sea.  I do know know how I can buy a boat with what little gold I have and so I cannot carry out my desired journey.

A tree grows while it waits its fate.  I cannot love any mortal man in my native land. I cannot inhabit the earth without many hardships.  It is the best thing, since a man cannot change his fate, that he can endure it well.