poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Old English riddle

Anonymous
My dress is silent when I tread the ground 
Or stay at home or stir upon the waters.
Sometimes my trappings and the lofty air
Raise me above the dwelling-place of men,
And then the power of clouds carries me far
Above the people; and my ornaments
Loudly resound, send forth a melody
And clearly sing, when I am not in touch
With earth or water, but a flying spirit.

Anonymous

by this poet

poem
To my people it's as though he gave them a sacrifice:
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is otherwise with us.

Wulf is on one island, I on another.
A fastness is that island, rung round with fens.
Fierce men are there on the island.
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is
poem
Earth took of earth earth with ill;
Earth other earth gave earth with a will.
Earth laid earth in the earth stock-still:
Then earth in earth had of earth its fill.



Erthe Toc of Erthe

Erthe toc of erthe erthe wyth woh,
erthe other erthe to the earthe droh,
erthe leyde erthe in erthene throh,
poem
Adam lay ibounden,
     Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
     Thoght he not too long;
And all was for an appil,
     An appil that he tok,
As clerkes finden
     Wreten in here book.
Ne hadde the appil take ben,
     The appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
     A ben hevene quene.
Blessed be the time