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
O Insewn God--born from Zeus' thigh--
   some folk say in Drakanon,
some in windy Ikaros,
   others say in Naxos,
or by the deep-eddying river Alpheos,
pregnant Semele bore you to thunder-loving Zeus.
Others say you were born in Thebes, Lord,
but all of them lie:
   the father of men and gods gave birth to you
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
There was a lady loved a swine,
     "Honey!" quoth she;
"Pig-hog, wilt thou be mine?"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"I'll build thee a silver sty,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"And in it thou shalt lie!"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"Pinned with a silver pin,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"That thou mayest go out and in,"
     "