<This Riddle was unrecoverable>


I watched a couple of curious creatures
copulating openly out of doors;
the fair-haried, flushed woman
got her fill under her garments
if the work was fruitful. I can tell men
in the hall - those who are well-versed - the names
of these creatures with runes. there shall be
Need (N) twice over, and one gleaming
Ash (AE) on the line, two oaks (A)
and two Hailstones (H) also. With the key's power,
who has unlocked the treasury's chained door
that, firm in intent, denies runeman
access to the riddle, covered in its heart
with cunning bonds? Now they're exposed
to men drinking in the hall - the proper
names of this feather-brained pair.

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I've heard tell of a noble guest;
man entertains him. He's not prey
to hunger pangs or burning thirst;
age and illness are unknown to him.
If the servant tends him well, satisfies
this guest who must go on a journey,
both will be happy in their home,
live in prosperity, surrounded
by a family; but there'll be sorrow
if the servants neglects his lordly guest,
his rulers on the journey. Think of them
as brothers, fearless of each other.
When they depart, together desert
one kinswoman (their mother and sister),
both suffer hurt. Let him who can
put names to the pair I describe -
the guest, then his servant, the host.

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A strange thing hangs by a man's thigh,
hidden by a garment. It has a hole
in its head. It is still and strong
and its firm bearing reaps a reward.
When the man hitches his clothing high
above his knee, he wants the head
of that hanging thing to poke the old hole
(of fitting length) it has often filled before.

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I'm told a certain something grows
in its pouch, swells and stands up,
lifts its covering. A proud bride grasped
that boneless wonder, the daughter of a king
covered that swollen thing with clothing.

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A man sat sozzled with his two wives,
his two sons and his two daughters,
darling sisters, and with their two sons,
favoured firstborn; the father of that fine
pair was in there too, and so were
an uncle and a nephew. Five people
in all sat under that same roof.

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A moth devoured words. When I heard
of that wonder it struck me as a strange event
that a worm should swallow the song of some man,
a thief gorge in the darkness on fine phrases
and their firm foundation. The thievish stranger
was not a whit the wiser for swallowing words.

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I heard a radiant ring, with no tongue,
intercede for men, though it spoke
without argument or strident words.
The silent treasure said in front of men:
'Save me, helper of souls.'
May men understand the mysterious saying
of the red gold and, as the ring said,
wisely entrust their salvation to God.

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I know something that stands earthfast;
deaf and dumb, in the daylight hours
it often devours useful gifts handed to it
by a servant. at times, in the houses of men,
some dark-skinned, swarthy slave
puts more into it mouth, dearer than gold,
things such as sthelings, kings and queens,
dream of. But I will not name it,
this dumb creature here, this somber nitwit,
that for their use gives back to brave men
exactly what it has eaten, earlier.

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On earth there's a warrior of wonderous origin.
He's created, gleaming, by two dumb creatures
for the benefit of men. Foe bears him against foe
to inflict harm. A woman often fetters him,
strong as he is. If women and men
provide for him in the proper manner
and often feed him, he'll obey them
and serve them well. Those who succor him
win themselves pleasure. But this warrior savages
the man who lets him become proud.

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