This world is adorned in diverse ways,
decorated with rare ornaments.
I saw a strange thing singing in a house;
nothing on earth looked in the least
like this creature, her shape was so odd.
Her beak pointed upwards, her feet
and talons were those of a bird,
yet she cannot fly nor even move much,
through eager to start she sets to work
with her singular tasks; often and again
she goes the rounds at gathering of men,
she sits at the feast and awaits her turn - 
it comes soon - to prove her prowess
in the halls of thanes. But there this creature
never partakes of what makes men merry.
Daring, eager for fame, she stays dumb;
and yet in her foot she has a fine voice,
the glorious gift of song. It is so
strange that this creature makes sense only
with her dangling foot, richly decorated.
When she holds her hoard, proud of her rings
Yet naked, she bears her brothers on her neck -
a mighty kinswoman. Even a canny poet
will be hard put to name this creature.

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This world is adorned in diverse ways,
decorated with rare ornaments.
I saw a strange contraption, a fine traveler,
grind against the grit and move, screaming.
The strange creature couldn't see; it had
no shoulders, arms or hands; this oddity
has to move on one foot, travel fast
over the salt-fields. IT had many ribs,
and a mouth in its middle, useful to men.
It carries food in plenty, performs a service,
each yeat it yields men a gift used
by rich and poor. Tell me if you can, 
O man of wise words, what this creature is.

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A strange creature came floating over the waves,
she cried her beauty from ship to shore,
resounded loudly; her laughter was terrible
and fearsome to all; her edges were sharp.
She was so fierce - slow to engage,
savage in the fight; she stove in ship's sides.
She bound them with a baleful charm,
and spoke with native cunning:
'My mother, one of the beloved maidens,
is my daughter also, swollen and strong,
known by all people as she falls on the earth,
she stands in joy in every land.'

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In the town I saw a creature
which feeds the cattle. It has many teeth;
its beak is useful as it points down,
gently plunders and turns for home;
it searches for plants along the slopes,
and always finds those not rooted firmly;
it leaves the living ones held by their roots,
quietly standing where they spring from the soil,
brightly gleaming, blowing and growing.

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The dank earth, wondrously cold,
first delivered me from her womb.
I know in my mind I wasn't made
from wool, skillfully fashioned with skeins.
Neither warp nor weft wind about me,
no thread thrums for me in the thrashing loom,
nor does the weaver's rod bang and beat me.
Worms that decorate the yellow web
never spun for me with the skills of the Fates.
Yet all over the earth one man will tell
another that I'm an excellent garment.
O wise man, weigh your words
Well, and say what this object is.

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<This riddle was unrecoverable.>



I saw a creature: his stomach stuck out behind him,
enormously swollen. A strong servant
waited upon him. What filled up his stomach
had traveled from far, and flew through his eye.
He does not always die in giving life
to others, but new strength revives
in the pit of his stomach; he breathes again.
He fathers a son; he's his own father.

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I saw a creature: masculine, greedy
with all youth's abandon. As his due
his guardian gave him four springs,
four fountains, shooting and shining.
A man spoke, he said to me:
'Alive, the creature breaks the downs;
dead and shredded, he binds the living.'

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Books say this creature exists
amongst mankind, openly seen
as the seasons turn. It has a special power
far greater than people perceive. Its desire
is to seek out every living thing,
one by one; then it goes on its way.
It never spends two nights in the same place
but, homeless, follows forever the paths
of exile; noone despises it because of that,
It has neither hand nor foot, and never leaves
an imprint on the earth; no eyes either,
and no mouth, nor does it speak to men;
and it has no brain. But books explain
that this is the swiftest creature
ever conceived, of any species.
It lacks soul or life but must roam
far and wide through this wonderous world.
It lacks blood and bone yet benefits
many men throughout this middle-world.
It has never thrust into heaven, and never to hell,
but must exist always as the laws
of God decree. It would take long to tell
of how its life spins on, follows
fate's twisted pattern; that is a history
or marvels. Each and every word
describing this creature is true;
it has no offspring, it lives even so.
If you can answer quickly
and correctly, say what I am called.

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Enduring the Creator, He who now guides
this earth on its foundations and governs this world.
Powerful is the Ruler, and rightly King
and Sovereign over all; He governs and guides
earth and heaven, and they are encompassed by Him.
He made me - marvel - at the beginning,
when He first fashioned this circle of earth;
He ordained that I should stay awake
and never sleep again, and sleep suddenly
overtakes me, my eyes quickly close.
With His power the mighty Creator rules
this middle-earth in every respect;
so that I, at my Lord's leave,
embrace this circle of earth entire.
I'm so timid that a drifting ghost
can frighten me terribly, and from end
to end I'm bolder than a wild boar
when, bristling with fury, it stands at bay;
no warrior on earth can overcome me,
but only God, who governs and guides
this high heaven. My fragrance
is much fairer than frankincense or rose
<passage was unrecoverable> . . . grows in the greensward,
a delight; but I'm the more delicate;
although men love the lily of the field,
with its shining flower, I'm the finer;
so too with my sweetness, always and everywhere,
I overpower the aroma of spikenard,
and I'm more foul than this murky fen
that, festering here, reeks of filth,
I govern one and all under the circle
of heaven for, at the beginning, the beloved
Father enjoined me to be just
to thick and thin; I ssume everywhere
the form and feature of each thing.
I'm higher than heaven and the High King
bids me behold His secret nature;
I also see everything under the world,
the dismal pits of depraved spirits.
I am much older than this circle of earth
or this middle-world could ever be,
and I was born yesterday - a baby
from my mother's womb, acclaimed by men.
I'm fairer than gold ornaments,
even if filigree work adorn them;
I'm more foul than this moldering timber
or this slob of seaweed spewed up here.
I'm broader than the earth entire,
and more wide than this green world;
a hand enclose me, and all that I am
can easily be held between three fingers.
I'm harsher and more biting than sharp frost,
the fierce rime that settles the soil;
I'm hotter than the fire, the flames
surging and flickering at Vulcan's forge.
I am, besides, sweeter to the palate
than the honeycomb mingled with honey;
I'm more bitter than wormwood, too,
that stands, ashen, on this hillside.
I can gorge more greedily than an old giant,
holding my own in an eating match,
and I can always live content
If I see no food for as long as I live.
I can fly faster than the pernex,
the hawk or the eagle could ever do;
no Zephyr - that restless wind - ranges
as I do, rifling through every quarter;
the snail is swifter than I, the earthworm
more spry, and the fen frog outstrips me;
the son of dung (we call him
a weevil) crawls about more quickly.
I weigh much more than a grey boulder
or a hunk of lead, I'm much lighter
than this little insect that skitters
over the surfaces of the water with dry feet.
I'm tougher than flint, that strikes these sparks
from this adamant scrap of steel,
I'm much softer that this down, that here
in the wind wafts high into the air.
I'm broader than the earth entire
and more wide than this green world;
wondrously made with miraculous skill,
I embrace everything - and quite easily!
There's no creature below me
in this wondrous world; I'm exalted
above every one of our Lord's creations,
Who alone, with His eternal might, can forcefully
stop me from swelling up. I'm more massive
and mighty than the huge whale who peers
dimly at the ocean bed, stronger than he
and yet I've less muscle than a mere tick
which sensible men dig out with a knife.
No white locks, delicately curled, cover
my head, but I'm bald all over;
nor do I have eyelids or lashes,
they were all cut off by the Creator;
now, lovely to see, curled locks
spring from my scalp, and grow until they
shine on my shoulders - an utter marvel.
I'm greater and more gross than the fattened pig,
the grunting hog, who lives happily
in the beech-wood, muddy and rooting,
so that he . . .<rest was unrecoverable>

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