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The Old English Rune poem, an edition

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Title:
The Old English Rune poem, an edition
Creator:
Jones, Frederick George, 1938-
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1967
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 145 leaves. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Acrostics ( jstor )
Hymns ( jstor )
Lexical stress ( jstor )
Literary criticism ( jstor )
Oral poetry ( jstor )
Poetry ( jstor )
Riddles ( jstor )
Runic alphabets ( jstor )
Seas ( jstor )
Stanzas ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- UF
English thesis Ph. D
Runes ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 115-122.
Additional Physical Form:
Also Available on World Wide Web
General Note:
Manuscript copy.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
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13853896 ( OCLC )
ADA1715 ( NOTIS )

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Full Text











THE OLD ENGLISH RUNE POEM,

AN EDITION









By

FREDERICK GEORGE JONES, JR.


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY











UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


June, 1967




































0
For Siri, Lisa, and Adel










ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I am greatly indebted to my supervisory chair-

man, Professor John Algeo--lareowa craeftlicost--, for his

learning and his support of my work from beginning to end,

and I am grateful for the criticism and scholarly example

of the other two members of my committee, Professor Aubrey

Williams and Professor Oscar F. Jones. I would also like

to extend my hearty thanks to Professor Alton Morris for

his reading of this thesis and also for his kindnesses in

years past.


iii









PREFACE


The earliest records of any of the Germanic languages

are written in the runic fupark, a name taken from the first

six letters of this ancient and mysterious alphabet. The

origins of the fupark are obscure, but most scholars now be-

lieve it to have been developed by a Germanic tribe which

was in contact with certain North Italic alphabets sometime

in the period c. 250 to 150 B. C. The runes, each of which

signifies a sound and a common noun, were in the beginning

used primarily for casting lots and for divination, being

scratched on sticks and dice, and only secondarily for in-

scriptional purposes. But during the next five hundred

years, as a result of the Germanic migrations, the fupark

became the common property of all the Germanic peoples and

its inscriptional uses were realized, so that early forms

of the Germanic languages are preserved to this day, scratched

on various bits of wood, metal, and stone, from Greece to

Greenland.

Apart from a few isolated instances, the runes occur

but rarely in manuscripts. Most inscriptions are brief,

consisting only of a few words or sentences at the most,








but they provide a significant body of evidence in the early

cultural and linguistic history of the Germanic peoples. The

magnificent Golden Drinking Horn of Gallehus (fifth century)

contained, until it was stolen and melted down, one of the

earliest examples of Germanic alliterative verse:(M
NAH,^tlIT HRt 1fh 'WI : ek hlewagastiR holtijaR horna tawido:
I, Hlewagast, Holtts son, made the horn. Inscriptions on

tombstones and monuments abound in Sweden and Denmark, and

coins, swords, and stone cross fragments contain some of the

earliest examples of Old English. One of the noblest works

of art of early England is the Ruthwell Cross, with its in-

scriptions from the Dream of the Rood and the triumphant

*kItP PhI1 Fi RP#M : Krist waes on rodi. As recently as
the last three years, hundreds of new runic inscriptions

have been dug up from the wharf foundations in Bergen, Norway.

Most of these date fromHanseatic times and include scratching

on combs and mirror cases, shipping labels, business letters

written on sticks, and some are not without literary interest

as one verse epistle which reads:

Unn pu mer,
ann ek ker
Gunnhildr.
Kyss mik
kann ek Pik.

(You love me; I love you. Gunnhild. Kiss me: I know you

well.) Runic traditions are vigorous in Scandinavia as late

as the sixteenth century, but in England, after the intro-

duction of Christianity in the seventh century, the runes





seem to have fallen into disuse.

The Old English Rune Poem, a product of this period

of declining vitality of the English runic traditions,has

not suffered from the neglect of the scholar. Like all

runic documents, the Rune Poem has been devoted close

study, and because it contains a wealth of both runic and

cultural lore, a large body of scholarship has built up

around the poem, nearly all of it dealing with the runes--

their values, names, and meanings. This edition makes use

of the annotations of Dickins and Dobbie, but the main pur-

pose here has been to place the poem in the literary tradi-

tions of the period, so that the poem can emerge as a poem,

and not merely a document of linguistic interest. There-

fore, in addition to a summary of the manuscript history

and language, annotations and glossary, the present edition

offers a study of the genre of the poem, from the point of

view of both the vernacular and Latin traditions, a study

of the stylistic techniques, and a study of the theme and

structure of the poem.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ... . . . . ... . . iii

PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . iv

INTRODUCTION. .. . . . . . . . . 1

Manuscript. ... . . . . . . 2
Language and Date . . . . . 9
Sources and Genre . . . 16
Techniques and Themes . . . . . 38

TEXT. . . . . . ... . . . . 73

TRANSLATION ......... . . .... . 79

ANNOTATIONS . . . . . . . . . 85

BIBLIOGRAPHY. . .. . . . . . . .. 114

APPENDIX. . . .. . . . . .... 123

GLOSSARY. ..... . . . . . . . 130

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . ...... 14
















vii

























Introduction











MANUSCRIPT


The unique manuscript of the Rune Poem was extant

as MS Cotton Otho B. x. fol. 165 until the fire of 1731,

which destroyed it and so many other early English manu-

scripts. Fortunately, however, George Hickes (1642-1715),

pamphleteer, divine, and antiquarian, had printed the poem

in the Grammatica Anglo-Saxonica of his ponderous Thesaurus

(1705), which contains among other things grammars of Old

English and Gothic, Old High German, and Icelandic, specimens

of these languages, some runic and numismatic lore, and Hum-

phrey Wanley's catalogue of Old English manuscripts and'

printed books. All subsequent editions of the Rune Poem have,

therefore, been based on Hickes' printing of the poem in the

Thesaurus.

The earliest notice of the MS Cotton Otho B. x. oc-

curs in a note of Sir Robert Cotton in the 1621 catalogue of

the Cottonian collection (Harley 6018, f. 162V). The note

records the loan to William Camden of "A Saxon book of divers

saints lives and the Alphabett of the old Danish letter amonghs

Mr. Gocelins." N. R. Ker infers from this that the MS along

with the Rune Poem folio belonged at one time to John Josce-

lyn (1529-1603), Archbishop Parker's Latin secretary and

sometime Cambridge Latin and Greek lecturer, who collected a

number of important Old English manuscripts,2 and Ker suggests








that the Rune Poem MS folio, a single leaf, was bound with

the MS of saints' lives "perhaps by Joscelyn."3

In Thomas Smithts Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum

Bibliothecae Cottonianae (Oxonii MDCXCVI) occurs the first

complete description of the contents of the MS, yet Smith

fails to mention the Rune Poem, which, according to Wanley's

Catalogus, was found on f. 165. In Smith we read the follow-

ing description of the verso of that folio:

Characters Alphabeti peregrini, numero
tantum decem. Aliqui ex his videnturh
esse literis Runicis similes. 165 b.'

In Humphrey Wanley's copy of Smith's Catalogus now in the

Bodleian Library as Add. MS. 18041 (Gough London 54) there is

the annotation in Wanley's hand: "Litterae antiquae Runicae

numero plane viginti et nouem cum observatt. Saxonicis." And

in Wanley's own Catalogus, published in the same volume as

Hickes' Thesaurus, folio 165 is described as follows:

XXVIII. fol. 165 Folium quod olim ad alium
quendam librum pertinuit, nunc hujus pars,
in quo continetur Alphabetum Runicum cum
explicatione Poetica, Saxonice, quod non
ita pridem descripsi rogatu Cl. D. Hickesii,
qui in Gram. Anglo-Saxonicae, cap. 22 de
Dialecto Normanng-Saxonica. P. 135. illud
typis evulgavit.

Hempl has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the

rune values and several variant names found in Hickest edition

are borrowed from MS Cotton Domitian A. ix. f. 11v, which fuporc

Hickes reproduces on the next page after the Rune Poem (Thesau-

rus, p. 136).7 And C. L. Wrenn has produced further evidence

that Hickes added the runic paraphernalia to the facsimile:








Hickes himself was quite candid about
his additions when printing the Runic
Poem. There is, he says, on p. 165 of
the MS. 'Runarum Danicarum, tam sim-
plicium quam duplicium, description
quaedam poetica, Anglo-Saxonice expli-
cata.' It is of this 'Descriptio' that
he writes as follows:
Plane quasi ab omnibus doctis spectatu
dignam, hic cum runis aere incisis,
operate et sumptus pretium exhibere judi-
camus, Latinis additis ex adverse elements,
ad ostendendam runarum potestatem, una cum
iis nominibus quibus appellantur ipsae runae.
The italics are my own: but, with the corrob-
orative evidence of Wanley quoted above /The
description in his Catalogus 7, I think There
can be little doubt that Hickes, as Hempl
long ago suggested, added the marginal rune-
names and rune-values deliberately for the
better carrying out of his purpose, which
was, of course, primarily philological.

Wrenn has also pointed out the likelihood that Hickes' tran-

scription was actually made by Wanley,9 since in the descrip-

tion of Galba A. ii. (Catalogus, p. 237) Wanley says:

IV Alphabeta Runica divers, quae cum
aliis ex hujusce Bibliothecae Codd. MSS.
descripta D. Hickesio imprimenda dedi.

Wrenn comments: "It may be, therefore, that the whole of

Hickest transcriptions of runic fuparks and alphabets rests

on those originally made by Wanley."10 Ker also asserts that

the Rune Poem was printed "no doubt from Wanley's transcript."ll
The history of the Rune Poem MS may therefore be re-

constructed, from the evidence given above, as follows: The

medieval scribe transcribed the poem including only the single

runes and the verses. A later Old English scribe added the

names of the runes as a gloss. The Rune Poem folio became

detached from the original manuscript (if it was ever bound),









and was bound with a MS of Aelfric's Lives of the Saints, per-

haps by Joscelyn (1529-1603). The MS (now Cotton Otho B. x.)

was acquired by Sir Robert Cotton, apparently from Joscelyn,

and was lent to William Camden. In 1696 Thomas Smith de-

scribed Cotton Otho B. x., overlooking the Rune Poem but not-

ing ten runes on the verso of f. 165. Wanley transcribed the

poem as'.well as the fuporcs of Cotton Galba A. ii. and Domi-

tian A. ix., noted Smith's omission in his copy of Catalogus

1696, and described Otho B. x. for his own Catalogus 1705.

Hickes published Wanley's transcriptions of the Rune Poem

and the fuporcs, adding to the facsimile of the poem (if they

were not already present in Wanley's transcription) the Latin

values, the variant names, and variant runes from Wanley's

transcription of Dom. A. ix. In 1731 MS Otho B. x. was

badly damaged by the fire and f. 165 was destroyed.

Since the Rune Poem folio did not originally belong

to Otho B. x., the few leaves that survived the fire can be

of no value in determining the peculiarities of the hand,

nor can we even be sure just how the poem was arranged on

the page. But from a comparison of the letter counts of

single pages of several representatives MSS and of the Rune Poem

it seems likely that the poem was transcribed on both the

recto and the verso of f. 165. It is also probable that the

MS scribe, quite in keeping with Old English verse trans-

scription, did not divide the poem into stanzas as Hickes

has done. And if the runes occurred within the lines, this








situation would account for Smith's overlooking the poem,

which followed hard on the heels of a Saxon penitential, and

would account for his noting (incorrectly?) only ten mis-

cellaneous runes at the end of the poem, perhaps the nine

runes which Hickes includes at the bottom of the facsimile:
Hos characters P P p 1 ad alia sestinans

/sic, read festinans 7, studios lectori interpretanda re-

linguo.

In arranging the text of the poem for this edition,

I have taken the liberty of dividing it into stanzas, but

the rune names, Latin values, and the variant runes, have

been omitted.












NOTES


1N. R. Ker, A Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing
Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, 1957), p. 228.

20n Joscelyn's antiquarian activities, see Eleanor
N. Adams, Old English Scholarship in England from 1566 to
1800 (New Haven, 1917), p. 3b.

3Ker, p. 230.

4Quoted from R. Derolez, Runica Manuscripta (Brugge,
1954), P. 17.
5Cited by Ker, p. 230.
H. Wanley, Catalogus, p. 192.

7G. Hempl, MP, I (1904), 135-141.
C. L. Wrenn, "Late Old English Rune-Names," Medium
Aevum, I (1932), 25. The question of the relationship between
the Rune Poem folio and Hickes' facsimile is complicated by a
runic alphabet found in Hickes' Icelandic grammar later in the
Thesaurus. On a page filled with tables of runic alphabets
from various sources (including Dom. A. ix., St. John 17, Galba
A. ii) is an alphabet "e Cod. MS Bib. Cott. Otho B. 10." (Gram.
Is., p. 4, table II, 3), which contradicts the evidence from
The facsimile of the Rune Poem: (1) The incorrect values Y
and Z are given to Y and f but the values are.correct in
the runic alphabet of Dom. A. ix. (MS source of the Rune Poem's
accretions) and the facsimile of the Rune Poem. (2) Thetwo
H variants, the N, EO, and ING variants are included (all of
which are found in Dom. A. ix. and the facsimile), but the DC
and A variants are not included (found in Dom. A. ix. and
the facsimile). (3) The A rune, having neither name nor
value in the facsimile, is given the value Z, whereas it has
the value K in the Dom. A. ix. alphabet. (4) The values of
daeg and man are reversed (presumably following the evidence
of Dom. A. ix. against the evidence of the correct name glosses
found with the poem; see line 59n). This reversal was not
an idle slip since Hickes in his charts of the derivations of
the runes fro Greek and Latin (Gram. Is., p. 4) gives the
value M to and D to At least one conclusion may be









drawn from all these inconsistencies: The additions Hempl
and Wrenn ascribe to Hickes are really those of Wanley, and
although Hickes knew that some elements had been added to
Wanleyts transcription of the Rune Poem, he either did not
know, or did not distinguish te ---S evdence from the ad-
ditions in making up his alphabetical charts. These in-
consistencies have little bearing on the text of the Rune
Poem, but in view of our dependence on Hickes alone for
the runes of the lost MSS Galba A. ii. (destroyed by fire
in 1865) and Otho B. x., and in view of the contradic-
tions in the descriptions of Otho B. x., the question of
the reliability of Hickes' reproductions needs further
study.

9Wrenn, p. 27.

1Ibid., p. 27.

11Ker, p. 230.












LANGUAGE AND DATE


An analysis of the language of the poem reveals few

forms that can be assigned only to any non-West Saxon dia-

lect, and the relatively few unexpected spellings can in al-

most every case be seen as the result of the levelling of

vowels of unstressed syllables and the smoothing of early

West Saxon diphthongs, both of which are to be regarded as

late West Saxon changes (see Kemp Malone, "When did Middle

English begin?", Curme Volume of Linguistic Studies, Language

Monograph, No. 7, 1930, pp. 110-117). In addition, the change

m > n in final unstressed syllables is evidence for a

late MS date (see Campbell, Par. 378). Deviations from the

standard Alfredian texts are discussed in detail below:

A. Vowels in stressed syllables:

1. The tendency throughout the text to confuse

the graphs i and y: The byp-formula which begins nearly

every stanza is spelled byp, except in 45, 48, 49, 52, 58,

and 81, where we find bib. In line 6 is is written beside

s 8, and wile for drihtne 3, beside dryhten wyle 61. Other

instances of i alternating with y include hihte 45, unstyl-

lum 58, and gerysena 72. This spelling of i where we should

expect y and vice versa can tell us nothing positive about

the rounding or unrounding of the front vowels, and the oc-

currence of alternations in words which occur more than






10
once further precludes any final decision as to their pro-

nunciation.

2. Syllan 33 for earlier sellan must also be

regarded as a 1WS change common to the group sel- (Camp-

bell, Par. 325).

3. Byrneb 17 is 1WS Z for biernan (Campbell,
Par. 299a), eWS variant of birnan < *brinnan, class III

strong verb. BreneS 43, on the other hand, is a variant of

the causative baernan, a weak verb ultimately from -brannjan

(Campbell, Pan 193d).

4. Hlehter 38 and wexeo 42, e < ea, are examples
of 1WS smoothing (Campbell, Par. 312), or Anglian smoothing

(Bulbring, Par. 313).

5. Wature 42 and waetere 26 (beside waetre 89)
exhibit the parasitic vowel in the dative singular, u (prob-

ably representing /F9 7) written for e. Since OE ae and a

coalesced in 10E times in a, wature may be further evidence

for a late MS date (c. 1100?, cf. Campbell, Par. 329.3).

6. Trywe 48 for trTewe is a WS feature (Bil-
bring, Par. 188). Hwyrft 25 shows a similar WS monophthong-
ization of ie to Z (Campbell, Par. 300).

7. Est 68 beside East is more than likely a
reflection of the 1WS monophthongization of diphthongs

(Campbell, Par. 329.2).

8. The vowels o/a are commonly in free varia-
tion before nasals as in onfeng LJ, and anfeng 8, the a/o
variation presumably being extended to the noun by analogy

from the verb onfon.









9. Beb 46 beside baek 79 and semannum 45 for
expected saemannum is quite possibly a Kentish character-

istic. The raising of a to e in the Kentish Gospels is
a tenth-century change (Campbell, Par. 288).

B. Vowels in unstressed syllables:

1. The unstressed vowels a, u, o, e and i

fell together as schwa in late OE, and the large propor-

tion of inconsistent spellings in the Rune Poem testifies

to a certain confusion on the part of the scribe as to how
this schwa should be represented. Thus we find fr'ofur 1,

11, 58 for expected frofor, oftust 17, 41 and gelTcust 30
beside oftast 73, faerylde 49 beside faerelde 86, wynan 37

and magan 59 for expected wynnum and _agun, stapule 82 for

expected staoole, herenys 19 for herenes, underwrebyd 37

for underwrepod, tudder 52 for tuddor, and nepun 64 for

nrepan.

2. Syncopation in bridles 66, fCdres 88, waetre
89 (Campbell, Par. 388, 389) and haefb 23, 41 (Campbell, Par.

732). The uncontracted hafab 88, beside the expected haeft
23, 41 may be WS, since the form does occur in prose texts
(Campbell, Par. 762), or it may be Anglian, since it is
found regularly in Vespasian Psalter (Campbell, Par. 762)
and in Anglian poetic texts (Sievers-Brunner, Par. 417c).

The syncopated hwyrft 25 for hwyrfbl is also probably WS

(Campbell, Par. 732). The regular WS hylt 82 beside un-

syncopated healde6 48 is given by Sievers (Beitr., X, 474)
as evidence for a Southern origin of the poem. Verb






12

syncopation in Anglian texts is rare, and if the poem were

Anglian, line 82b would read stede rihte halde6. Such a

measure cannot be made to conform to any of Sievers'

five verse types (or Creed's, cf. PIMLA, LXXXI, 23); hence

it must be inferred that the line, if Anglian, violates the

patternsof OE versification. It is therefore likely that

the poem is not of Anglian provenance. In line 48 however,

either healda or hylt would give a metrical line (Sievers'

D2
D2).

C. Consonants:

1. There is metathesis in 1WS /sk/ to /ks/,

as in fisces 46 and fix 87 (Campbell, Par. 440).

2. Assimilation of 3 sing. pres. ending of fb

> ft as in hwyrft 25 is rare. J. Hedberg (The Syncope of

the Old English Present Endings, Lund, 1945) cites no in-

stance of f> ft occurring in the prose texts, and accord-

ing to Campbell (Par. 481.5) the change f) > ft which oc-

curs in, for example, 1WS peoft, does not occur in the

verbs. In the case of hwyrft there are two possible ex-

planations: either (1) hwyrft represents scribal confusion

with the noun hwyrft 'a turn, going, course'; or, (2) what

is more likely, with the syncopation of feb > ft, the f

became devoiced, and the final spirant dissimilated to a

stop. It is doubtful that the t of hwyrft represents a

spirant (Campbell, Par. 57.7), or that t is here an alterna-

tive phonological form .et of the 3 sing. pres. ind. (Camp-

bell, Par. 735b).









On the basis of the evidence above we can say that

the scribe confuses the graphs i and z in stressed position

and that the schwa of unstressed syllables is represented

variously by u, o, a, y, and e. These are common features

of 1WS, but there are a number of pairs of variant spellings

which indicate the absence of a vigorously standard scribal

tradition (wature/waetere/waetre, est/East, onfeng/anfeng,

beb/baeb, hafa//haefl, healde/hylt, fisces/fix, etc.). In

addition to the pairs of variant spellings, there is a cu-

rious bunching up of less expected forms between lines 37-

L6, and these lines will bear closer examination.

While one would not go so far as to say (as has J.

Dover Wilson in regard to the compositor of the First Folio)

that these lines were copied in a state of eagerness to get

on with the job however carelessly, "after an interval for

refreshment from 'a stoup of ale,'" nevertheless in line

37 we find two instances of final m> n, a alternating with
u in the dative plural, and y for o in the past participle:

wyrtrumun underwrebyd wynan on tle. In addition, within

these lines we find the most significant vocalic variant

spellings, those reflecting 1WS or Anglian smoothing (hlehter

38, wexe6 42) and the quite possibly tenth-century Kentish
raising of ae > e (semannum 45 and beh 46). And here also

is the form wature 42 with the less expected parasite vowel.

In addition to the high frequency of unexpected and possibly









dialectal spellings peculiar to these ten lines, it is here

that we find the only gap in the text of the poem. Some-

thing has been omitted from the line wlancum rar wigan sittap

39, although the omission is not noted by Hickes. It is, of
course, entirely possible that the omission was made by Wanley

in his transcription, but it is just as likely to be the error

of a scribe who, rather carelessly repeating dialectal accre-

tions and adding a few of his own, failed to understand some

of the runes and their accompanying verses, and who conse-

quently in his confusion omitted two or three words from the

MS. It is not therefore coincidental that these spellings

and omissions should occur within these two stanzas, (peorp

and eolh-secg), the rune-names of which are quite rare in OE

and the significations of which would have been preserved

only in a strong runic tradition.

Three tentative conclusions may be drawn from the

linguistic evidence of the text and from the mixture of forms

and the lacuna of lines 37 to 46: (1) The MS of the Rune

Poem is tenth or eleventh century, when the vigor of the

runic traditions had been all but lost. Such 1WS spellings

as n for final m, the levelling of unstressed vowels, and

the smoothing of diphthongs preclude an earlier date for

the MS. (2) The MS had a checkered history, and may have

been copied by Anglian and Kentish scribes before its final

redaction by the West Saxon Cottonian MS scribe. (3) The

original dialect of the poem cannot be known with certainty





15


although, because of the several syncopated verbs, notably

hylt 82, the poem is presumably not of Anglian origin, but

rather is Southern. The occurrence of the Tor rune, with

its Kentish connections (see line 87n), and the Kentish

spellings shemannum 45 and bet 46 suggest at least the pos-

sibility of Kentish origin, though the poem is more than

likely of West Saxon provenance.












SOURCES AND GENRE


Understanding the relationships between the pagan

and Christian traditions has always been one of the larger

concerns of Old English studies. Most of the disputes have

been waged around Beowulf, beginning with F. A. Blackburn's

essay "The Christian Coloring in the Beowulf" and contin-

uing to the very recent attack on the Christian-patristic

point of view in "Beowulf and the Pitfalls of Piety."2 It

would not be appropriate to discuss here the various ap-

proaches to Beowulf that have been made, nor to consider the

question of the fusion of pagan and Christian elements in

Old English poetry as a whole, but an attempt will be made

in this section to show that the assumption of earlier edi-

tors and critics that the Old English Rune Poem is derived

from a much older pagan Germanic rune poem is merely an as-

sumption, and to demonstrate that there are reasons some- -

what more compelling to place the poem within the Latin-

Christian poetic traditions of the early Middle Ages. Any

search for the source or the genre of the Rune Poem must

be directed toward these traditions.

The histories of Old English literature nearly al-

ways discuss the Rune Poem in the sections on survivalss








of the Germanic-pagan traditions," and there is justifica-

tion for this since clearly the runes themselves are a sur-

vival of a tradition reaching back as far as the first or

second century. But the suggestion that the Old English Rune

Poem itself is a survival of an ur-poem can be based on noth-

ing but sheer speculation.

Alois Brandl makes perhaps the earliest suggestion

(1901) that the Rune Poem is drawn from a heathen poem:

WAhrend aber dieser Dichter, wie aus
seinen Anspielungen auf den Himmels-
k6nig hervorgeht, bereits Christ war,
fihrt uns der Vergleich mit zwei ver-
wandten skandinavischen Runen gedich-
ten bis zu einer heidnischen Urform
zuruck.3

The one-page introduction of the first critical edition of

the poem (1915), that of Bruce Dickins, is based largely on

Brandl, and suggests that the poem is early, "pre-Alfredian

at least (with traces perhaps of an original from which the

Scandinavian poems are derived)."4 One of the more judicious

statements concerning the origin of the poem is to be found

in Dobbie's edition (1942), where the poem is called a

"miscellaneous compilation from all kinds of sources, both

literary and popular.'5 But although Dobbie acknowledges

the obscurity of the exact nature of these sources and their

combinations, and although he suggests the possibility of

accretion, nevertheless he asserts, probably rightly, that

the poem as we have it "gives the impression of a complete

and unified work by a single compiler." Dobbie sees its








unity consisting in the bib-formula, the conformity of the

length of stanzas, and the effect of finality in the last

stanza. Kemp Malone in A Literary History of England

(1948) has lent his weighty opinion to the discussion, and

in a chapter entitled "The Old Tradition: Popular Poetry,"

he says in regard to the source of the Rune Poem:

It seems altogether likely that the
runes from the first were learned by
means of a poem in which each rune-
name began a section, though in the
original poem the sections may have
been quite brief--possibly no more
than a short verse each. From this
original poem the three runic poems
were presumably descended.

Thus the notion of an original Germanic rune poem has per-

sisted, but on the basis of no evidence at all, except the

two later Norse rune poems.

These two poems, the source of the ur-poem specula-

tion from the beginning, can however offer no evidence for

an original: In the first place, the Old Norwegian Rune

Poem may have grown out of someones having heard the Old

English poem in the thirteenth century, and the Old Icelandic

poem, of the fifteenth century (Bruce Dickins' dates), may

have been derived from one or the other. Furthermore, the

only similarities between the Norse poems and the English

poem are those that are a necessary consequence of the simi-
8
lar rune names and a shared storehouse of kennings. Sec-

ondly, in regard to the stanza form, the second half of the

Old Norwegian line is in each case an independent gnome

with an end-rime:








Fe vaeldr fraenda roge;
foSesk ulfr i skoge.

Ur er at illu jarne; / 9
opt lypr raeinn a hjarne.

In the Old Icelandic poem each stanza is a series of three

kennings which define three aspects of each rune name, and

this is punctuated by the Latin equivalent of the name and

a synonym for 'king':

Fe er fraenda rog
ok flaeoar viti
ok grafseiSs gata.
aurum fylkir.

Ur er skyj gratr
ok skara pverrir
ok hirsis hatr.
umbre visi.

Thus on the basis of stanza form it may be doubted whether

there is any connection between the two Norse poems, much

less between either of them and the Old English Rune Poem

or a Germanic ur- rune poem. And finally, the structure of

the Old English poem, the extension of the Germanic fupark

of twenty-four runes to twenty-nine runes, and our poet's

sense of order and finality in the twenty-ninth stanza,

makes derivation from an earlier Germanic rune poem un-

likely. For all the secular lore that the poem does con-

tain, it has closer affinities to the Latin genres of

aenigma, gnomic catalogue poem, and abecedarium than to a

hypothetical Germanic-pagan rune poem genre.

The riddling quality of the Rune Poem has often been

noted, and if the runes were not originally accompanied by








the name glosses, each stanza would be a riddle for some-

one unfamiliar with the names. The riddle itself is an an-

cient and respectable genre: We see it in the riddle of

Odysseus to Polyphemus, in the riddle of the Sphinx, in

the riddle of Samson to the Philistines, and the riddle is

found in the early literature of England in both Latin and

the vernacular. Aldhelm at the abbey of Malmesbury, under

the influence of its Irish founders, composed a series of

one hundred Aenigmata modelled after the riddle cycle of

Symphosius, perhaps a sixth-century scholar of the Vandal
10
kingdom. Aldhelm's riddles, like the Rune Poem, glorify

the creation, and the introductory poem has the line Ald-

helmus cecinit millenis versibus odas,in acrostic and
11
telestich.1 As testimony to the relative wealth of the

English libraries, Aldhelm's knowledge of Latin authors

included his favorites Virgil and Sedulius, Ovid, Horace,

Terence, Perseus, Juvenal, Lucan, Juvencus, Paulinus of

Nola, Ausonius, Prudentius, Claudian, Prosper, Sidonius

Apollinaris, and, of course, the Fathers.12 And this Ald-

helm was the same who, according to William of Malmesbury,

used to sit at the bridge and.sing Old English lays to lure

people into church. Another collection of riddles, written

by Tatwine, Archbishop of Centerbury, testifies to the pop-

ularity of the genre, and Eusebius (Hwaetberht, abbot of

Wearmouth in 716) has a series of riddles of which four are








on the letters alpha, X, U, and I.13 Whatever the currency

of the riddle may have been in pre-literary Germanic times,

the riddles of the Exeter Book, especially the adaptations

there of Aldhelm's Creation and Lorica, are evidence of the

widespread tendency in the Old English period to fashion

compositions in the vernacular after classical modes; and

the Rune Poem has some affinities with the riddle in its

enigmatic runes, its brevity of stanza, its overall cyclic

structure, and, however tenuously, its preoccupation with

letters as in the Aldhelm acrostic.

In addition to the riddle, a second medieval kind

in which the Rune Poem seems to participate is the cata-

logue poem. A poet may wish to have a catalogue of heroes

or gods fixed for posterity, or a catalogue of cities, or

rivers, or trees. The thulas of Widsith are the best-known

examples in Old English literature, but the two poems the

Fortunes (or Fates) of Men and Gifts of Men are closer

stylistically to the Rune Poem.14 An early example of the

gnomic verse catalogue is found in Hesiod's Works and Days,

though since it may be doubted that the Old English poets

knew Hesiod, there are the Distichs of Cato, which every

scholar who passed through the medieval schools knew.15

Curtius has commented on the popularity of such gnomic

catalogues in the Middle Ages:

In the antique poets there were hundreds
and thousands of lines which put a psy-
chological experience or a rule of life








in the briefest form. Aristotle dis-
cussed such apophthegms in his Rhetoric
(II, 21). Quintillian called them "sen-
tentiae" (literally: "judgments") because
they resembled the decisions of public
bodies (VIII, 5, 3). Such lines are
"mnemonic verses." They are learned by
heart; they are collected; they are ar-
ranged in alphabetical order that they
may be ready at hand.16

There is, of course, nothing peculiarly English about sen-

tences or gnomic verses: They are found in all literatures

throughout the world. But the fact that Anglo-Saxon

scholars did know collections of verses, catalogues, per-

haps arranged alphabetically, indicates the possibility

that the Rune Poem was composed by someone familiar with

the Latin genre. As in the case of the Old English rid-

dles, we find an example of the easy commerce between Latin

and the vernacular in the Old English Panther, Whale, and

Partridge of the Exeter Book. Whether these poems repre-

sent only a fraction of a larger Old English Physiologus

is debatable, but the point here is that this bestiary has

its analogue in the manuscripts of the Latin Physiologus,

particularly the ninth-century Bern MS: 233, and the elev-

enth century versified Physiologus.17 Here, as in the case

of the thulas and the gnomic verses, we have a series of

descriptive verses, organized to form a catalogue, which

becomes a source for the Old English physiologus-catalogue

genre.

A third medieval genre to which the Rune Poem has








probable connections is the abecedarium, and the abecedarium

grows out of a rather simple notion that the letters them-

selves can be more than merely a way of representing the

sounds of a language, that letters may function in more

than one way. Both the Germanic runes and the Latin let-

ters, as shall be shown, were thought of as capable of mul-

tiple functions.

The runes, on the one hand, wereintimately asso-

ciated with rite and magic. The word rune itself means

'mystery' or 'secret,' and (in spite of their "baptism" in

such monuments as the Ruthwell Cross) as proof that the

pagan uses of the runes were quite alive in Anglo-Saxon
18
England, we find in Bede the story of Imma.8 This young

follower of the Northumbrian King Ecgfrith was taken pris-

oner, but his brother, believing him dead, said a mass for

him every day, and because of this mass, his fetters con-

tinually gave way. Bede tells the story to show the power

of the sacrament but also reports that Imma was asked by

his captors,

hwaeder he Sa alysendlecan rune cube,
ond pa stafas mid him awritene haefde,
be swylcum men leas spel secga5 ond
spreoca8, paet hine mon forpon gebindan
ne meahte.

Even as late as the eleventh century, Aelfric equates runes

and magic in a homily: ourh drycraeft oode Nurh runstafum,

'through magic or through rune-staves.'19 A curious synthe-

sis of the pagan and Christian occurs in the poetic Solomon








and Saturn debate, where the Latin letters are accompanied by -

the runes to spell out the opening words of the Pater Noster.

The passage advocates the use of the Lord's Prayer as a bat-

tle charm, each letter and rune symbolizing an angelic war-

rior who overcomes the devil. For instance:

T hine teswaS and hine on 6a 94
tungan stica3, / wraeste3 him lae
woddor and him &a wongan briece8.

The Greek and Latin alphabets were likewise con-

sidered to have various powers, though probably these powers

were never as clearly defined as those of the runes. Isidor

says in the Etymologiae, known by all scholars in the Middle

Ages:

Litterae autem sunt indices rerum, signa
verborum, quibus tanta vis est, ut nq is
dicta absentium sine voce loquantur.

Concerning the mysticism of the Greek letters he asserts:

Quinque autem esse apud Graecos mysticas litteras.
Prima X quae humanam vitam significant, de qua
nunc diximus. Secunda e, quae mortem significant.
. Tertia T figuram demonstrans Dominicae
crucis.22

And according to Curtius, the Gallic grammarian of the seventh

century, Virgilius Maro, also discusses the mysticism of the

alphabet.23 The best illustrations in Old English of the

fondness for playing with letters, of allowing a letter to be

understood both literally and symbolically, or literally in

more than one way, are the Pater Noster of the Solomon and

Saturn, the Cynewulfian runic signatures, and the runes of

the Husband's Message. This allowing runes (or letters) to









function in more than one way has an analogue in the Latin

acrostic poems, though of course in the case of both the

runes and the acrostics, the device illustrates only a turn

of mind, a way of conceiving of the powers of letters, an

understanding of the multiple functions of letters. Like

these uses of the runes, the acrostic device affords an op-

portunity to display the ingenuity of the poet, but it func-

tions in a more practical way, to facilitate the memoriza-

tion of the lines.

Turning now to the acrostic and abecedarium genres

in Latin, we see that the acrostic poems are characterized

by the acrostic of the initial letters of each line, the

telestich (final letters), criss-cross, or any number of

other combinations. As an illustration of the complexity

to which the Carolingian poets aspired, a pupil of Alcuin's,

Joseph the Scot, has a poem of thirty-seven lines, each of

which lines contains exactly thirty-seven letters.24 The

acrostic text, a poem itself whose subject matter is the

cross, takes the shape of a temple with peaked roof within

which are three crosses. Greatly reduced and schematized

the whole text resembles the figure below:

xxxxx 0 xxxxx
xxxxOxO xxxx
xxx xxxOxxx
xxOxxMxx xx
xO xxMMMxx Ox
xOxxxMxxx0 x
xO xxxMxxx0x
xOx I xMx Ix Ox









x 0 I IMI I 0 x
x 0 x I x M x I x 0 x
x 0 xI x M x I 0 x
xOxlxMxI xO x
xOxIxMxI xOx
0 xxI xMxIxx0

The first line of the poem reads Inclyta si cupias sancti

sub culmina templi, and the c of sancti is the first letter

of the acrostic text which begins at the roof peak and con-

tinues down to the left: Crux mihi certa salus Christi

sacrata cruore. The acrostic continues through each of the

three crosses. Another illustration of the device is the

brief Versus Bernowini Episcopi ad Crucem:

Conditor aeterne, quem laudo versibus istic
Rex requiem Bernwini da, pater atque redemptor
Virtus virtutum victor victoria Heisu
Xriste tu iustus iudex miserere mei rex.2'

The alphabetical poems sometimes tick off the letters with the

initial of each line, or with the initial of each stanza.

Both acrostic and alphabetic devices are mnemonic, but, ob-

viously, the acrostic sets up a secondary text (a word or

even whole sentences) in addition to the primary text of the

poem; the alphabetical, only the alphabet. It would not be

too great a claim to say that the acrostic and alphabetical

device is one of the most prevalent structuring devices of

Christian-Latin poetry, from its beginnings, through the

Carolingian period.

The earliest extant Christian verses in Latin are

those of Commodian, and all of the eighty poems which make

up his Instructiones are in acrostic or alphabetical form.









The poems are didactic, and according to F. J. E. Raby are

clearly intended to provide a solid grounding in the faith,

by polemics against Jews and heathen gods, by admonitions

to pursue the Christian way, and warnings of the terrors of

doomsday:

D at tuba caelo signum sublato leone
E t fiunt desubito tenebrae cum caeli fragore.

S ummittit oculos dominus, ut terra tremescat,
A dclamat et iam, ut audiant omnes, in orbem:
E cce diu tacui sufferens tanto tempore vestral
C onclamant pariter plangentes sero gementes,
U lulatur, ploratur, nec spatium datur iniquis.
L actanti quid faciat mater, cum ipsa crematr?
I n flamma ignis dominus iudicabit iniquos.

After Commodian, the most important hymn writer is Hilary of

Poitiers (c. 310-66), two of whose three surviving hymns are

alphabetical.27 That Augustine, a century after Commodian,

should have chosen the alphabetical structure for his Psalmus

contra partem Donati is testimony to its currency. He proba-

bly intended the hymn to be sung by his congregations, and

remarks, "Tales autem abecedarios appellant."2 The device

seems to have been ignored by the greatest of the early Chris-

tian hymn writers; apparently the poetry itself made demands

which transcended such tricks of rhetoric. Thus Prudentius
29
(c. 348-405), the first great Christian poet,2 and Ambrose

(c. 340-397), the father of Christian hymnody,30 produced
no alphabetical hymns, nor did the poet of the Vexilla regis

and Salve, festa dies, Venantius Fortunatus (540-600).31

A minor Latin alphabetical poet of fifth-century









Italy, Sedulius, became "a Christian classic, cited by the

grammarians, read as a model of style, and imitated by gen-

erations of versifiers."32 Sedulius, fame rested largely

on his long and allegorical Carmen Paschale, but he has two

hymns, one of which is alphabetical and is particularly rele-

vant to this study because it is quoted by Bede in the De

Metri and is found in no fewer than twelve English and con-

tinental eighth- to tenth-century MSS.

A solis ortus cardine
Adusque terrae limitem
Christum canamus principem,
Natum Maria virgine.

B eatus auctor saeculi
Servile corpus induit,
Ut care carnem liberans
Non perderet, quod condidit.

C lausae parents viscera
Caelestis intrat gratia,
Venter puellae baiulat
Secret, qusenon noverat.

The acrostic poems of Eugenius of Toledo, archbishop from

646 to 658, also were known by Bede, and according to Raby,

"it is supposed that Alcuin took them over to Frankish soil,

where the Carolingian poets admired and imitated them.3

It is well known that the English were taught to

write by the Irish, whose conversion to Christianity ante-

dates the mission of Augustine in 597 and who were largely

responsible for the preeminence of Celtic Christianity in

Northumbria. The early dependence on Ireland for the train-

ing of English scholars is evidenced not only in the adapta-

tion of the Irish half-uncial rather than the Italian script,









but also in a letter of Aldhelm's to Eahfrith boasting

that stylistic conceits can now be acquired in England--

that one need no longer go to Ireland to learn the scholar's

craft.3

One can observe, however, that the genre of the al-

phabetical hymn was strong in Ireland from the very begin-

ning, and in addition to Augustine of Hippo, Sedulius,

Hilary, and other continental alphabetical poets, the Irish

must have been one source for the genre in England. The

very earliest Irish Latin verse is the alphabetical hymn of

Sechnall (or Secundius) on St. Patrick.36 At least a half-

dozen other alphabetical hymns from the period of the great

Celtic monasteries of the sixth and seventh centuries have

survived, not the least important of which is the hymn Altus

Prosator, possibly written by Columba, founder of the mon-

astery at lona, which tells the story of the world from cre-

ation to doomsday.37

Turning again to England, in the eighth century

there is a vigorous production of Latin hymns, and Bede him-

self says that he is the author of a hymnal of both metrical

and rhythmical verse. This has not survived, but we do have

his hymn in honor of St. Etheldreda in the Ecclesiastical

History (Bk. IV, ch. xx). The hymn is alphabetic from A to

Z with the last four couplets spelling in acrostic AMEN.

It also employs the "serpentine" or echoing device of repeat-

ing the first phrase at the end of each couplet:








A Ima deus trinitas, quae saecula cuncta gubernas,
adnue iam coeptis, alma deus trinitas.
B ella Maro resonet, nos pacis dona canamus:
munera nos Christi, bella Maro resonet.
C armina casta mihi, foedae non raptus Helenae.
luxus erit lubricis, carmina casta mihi.
D ona superna loquar, miserae non proelia Troiae,
terra quibus gaudet: dona superna loquar. . .

Unfortunately, Alfred's translators did not put the hymn into

Old English. After the Viking invasions in the tenth and elev-

enth centuries there is little Latin poetry of any consequence:

Frithegode (fl. 947) and Wulfstan (c. 950) are almost solitary

voices.8 But the alphabetical traditions are strong enough

that Wulfstan has several hymns which, like Bede's hymn, are

both apanaleptic ("serpentine") and alphabetical.

The devices of acrostic and alphabet spring into full

flower in the poetry of the Carolingian revival, aided

partly by Alcuin, who carries on the traditions of the Irish

alphabetical poems of Aldhelm and Bede. Several of his acros-

tic poems have survived, and in verses on the library at

York, Alcuin mentions most of those whom we know to have writ-

ten in the alphabetic genre: Hilary, Augustine, Aldhelm, Bede,

and Sedulius. Others cited are Ambrose, Fortunatus, and Vir-

gilius Maro.39 Suffice it to say here that structuring a poem

after the letters of the alphabet was a common practice in the

Carolingian age. With respect to a large body of non-

classical verse, written for the most part by Frankish and

Italian poets, Raby has said, "One striking feature of this

collection is the large number of alphabetical poems."O








And he continues, "This was an almost universal form, culti-

vated in Italy and Spain as well as in Ireland and England,

and its appearance here cannot be traced to any one partic-

ular influence."41

The one conclusion that this study of the alphabetic

genre leads to is that probably any Anglo-Saxon cleric or

scholar who could write, or could read Latin, would have been

in touch with some of these poems. And it is generally agreed

that the bulk of extant Old English literature, including its

poetry, was composed by men who could read Latin.

Two Latin poems, however, stand even closer to the

Rune Poem in form and intention than all the alphabetic poems

mentioned so far. They are both the product of the late

Latin rhetorical schools.42 They both are exercises in in-

genuity and preciousness. They ave both alphabetical poems

which take as their subject matter the letters of the alpha-

bet.

The first, De Litteris Monosyllabis Graecis ac Latinis,

is by Ausonius (mentioned earlier in connection with Aldhelm),

Gallic grammarian, rhetorician, and consul. The poem is in

the Technopaegnion, a rhetorical exercise of several poems

in which each line ends in a monosyllable. In a remark we

might speculate the Rune Poem poet to have echoed later,

Ausonius says in a letter to his friend, Paulinus of Nola:

You may well exclaim, then: "Heavens, what time
and toilI" Of a surety I have spent my pains upon








a useless task: it is small, yet it brings a sense
of surfeit; it is disjointed, yet a hopeless
tangle; though it is something, it is proved to be
worth just nothing. Nevertheless, I have taken
pains to give it something of learning and lore; for
the rule I was bound to keep debarred the lighter
graces of poetry and rhetoric.43

A few verses will suffice to show its form and quality:

Dux elementorum studiis viget in Latiis A
et supreme notis adscribiturArgolicisl .
H-TR quod Aeolidum, quodque E valet hoc Latiare E.
praesto quod E Latium semper breve Dorica vox E .

Aldhelm of Malmesbury knew both Paulinas of Nola and

Ausonius; there can be little doubt that Ausonius is one

source of the mannerist extravagances of the Anglo-Saxon Latin

poetry and the Carolingian.4 That Ausonius, alphabet poem is

a source for the genre of the Old English Rune Poem is only

a remote possibility. But they are both abecedaria whose sub-

ject matter is the letters themselves.

The other alphabet poem is somewhat closer to the

time and the place of the Rune Poem: it is the Versus Cuius-

dam Scoti de Alphabeto, found in several continental manu-

scripts and in the eleventh-century Cambridge University Li-

brary MS G. g. V. 35:

A Principium vocis ueterumque inventio mira
Nomen habens domini sum felix uoce pelasga;
Exsecrantis item dira interiectio dicor.

B Principium libri, mutis caput, alter et ordo,
Tertia felicis uere sum syllaba semper;
Si me graece legas, uiridi tum nascor in horto.

C Principium caeli, primis et luna figures;
Et me clerus amat, legeris si graece, latinus;
Littera sum terrae pedibus perscripta quaternis.

D Ablati casus nox sum et pars septima linguae,
Omnipotentis habens nomen, cum 'us' bannita iuncta;46
Sum medium mille et ueterum mala nota deorum. . .










The poem is a series of enigmas on the letters from A to Z,

generally describing the articulation of the letters and

sometimes their use and form. Thus, C is luna figures; R,

Est nomen durum; X, Per me saepe patet numerous de lege

Sacratus. Whether these verses were well known in England,

or whether they have influenced the four letter-riddles of

Eusebius (Hwaetberht) cannot be proved. But the Versus has

affinities with the Rune Poem which may not be fortuitous:

It is a series of verses on the letters themselves; there is

a stanza descriptive in kind for each letter; the stanzas of

the Versus are three lines, of the Rune Poem nearly all are three

or four lines long; they are both riddling.

The Rune Poem may be said, therefore, to participate

in at least three genres, the riddle, the gnomic catalogue,

and the abecedarium. Of the first two of these there are

clear examples in both Latin and Old English, and in some

cases, we can say with assurance that an Old English exam-

ple is modelled on the Latin genre or even that a particular

Latin riddle, the Lorica for instance, is a source for the

Old English riddle. We cannot point to any Latin abecedarium

and say that this is the source for the Old English Rune Poem,

but for a poet familiar with Sedulius, the Irish hymns, and

Bede, the alphabetical tradition would have been difficult to

ignore. And the Versus Cuiusdam Scoti might have provided

the necessary link between the alphabetical hymns and a poem

on the letters of the alphabet, or the fuporc.









As was said at the beginning of this investigation,

the precise relationship between the Christian literary

traditions and the pagan literary traditions is still a mat-

ter for conjecture. Perhaps there is a tendency to place

almost all Old English literature within the Christian tra-

ditions solely on the negative evidence of the dearth of

surviving pagan Germanic literature. But when we have a

poem such as the Rune Poem which has affinities with Latin

genres, which is clearly Christian in its treatment of its

clearly pagan runes, and which has several points of con-

tact with monkish antiquarianisms, with the kind of rhetor-

ical mannerisms we know to have been cultivated assiduously

in Anglo-Saxon England from the seventh to the eleventh

century--then we may see the poem for what it really is: a

product of Christian Latin traditions. Like Beowulf, or

the Seafarer, or the Dream of the Rood, the poem, however

minor, is another attempt to bring together the best of both

cultures, to Christianize the heathen fanes, to translate

the runes into that kind of world, created and governed by

a benevolent God, in which men can live in charity and peace.












NOTES


1PMLA, XII (1897), 205-225.
2John Halverson, University of Toronto Quarterly,
XXXV (1966), 260-278.
3Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (2nled.),
ed. Herman Paul (Strassburg, 1901-1909), II, 1, 964.
hRunic and Heroic Poems (Cambridge, 1915), p. 6.

5The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems (New York, 1942), p.
xlviii.
Ibid., p. xlix.

7p. 34.
Cf. OIce Rune Poem, kaldastr korna 7; OE Seafarer,
coma caldast 32; OE Rune Poem, hwitust coma 25).
9Norse rune poems quoted from Dickins, Runic and Heroic
Poems.
10F. J. E. Raby, A Histor of Secular Latin Poetry;.in
the Middle Ages vol. I Thereafter cited as SLPT) Oxford,
19-7), p. Tl- -
11SLP, p. 171.

12M. Laistner, Thought and Letters in Western Europe,
A. D. 500 to 900 (London, 1931T7 pp. 120-1; F. J. E. Raby, A
History of Christian-Latin Poetry from the beginnings to the
close e M iddle Ages (hereafter cited as CLP) (Oxford,
19277, p. ~7 3.
13Erika von Erhardt-Siebold, Die lateinischen Ritsel
der Angelsachsen (Heidelberg, 1925), pp. 251-256.
1'Cf. their sum sceal-, sum bi_-formulas to the byp-
formula of the Rune Poem.
15SLP, p. 44.








16Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and
the Latin Middle Ages (New York, 1953), p. 5. An ex-
ample of such an alphabetical gnomic catalogue, the Sen-
tentis of Publius Syrus, is found in J. Wight Duff aTn
Arnold M. Duff, Minor Latin Poets, Loeb Classical Li-
brary (London, 1931 pp. 14-111.

1ASPR, III, 1.
18Ecclesiastical History, Book IV, ch. 22. Pagan
uses of the runes include casting of lots (Tacitus, Ger-
mania, X), spells (Sigrdrifumal in the Poetic Edda), and
inscriptions (see Sven B. Jansson, The Runes of Sweden,
London, 1962).

19Quoted by R. W. V. Elliott, Runes (Manchester,
1959), p. 69.

2ASPR, VI, 35.
21PL, 82, col. 74.

22PL, 82, col. 76.

23Curtius, p. 313.
2Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini, ed. Ernest Duemmler
(Hanover and Berlin, 1881), vol. I, p. 159.
2Ibid., p. 423.

2CLP, p. 13.

27Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi, vol 50, pp. 4ff.
28PL, 43, col. 23.

2CLP, p. 44.

30CLP, p. 43.

31CLP, p. 86.

32CLP, p. 110.
33Analecta Hymnica, vol. 51, p. 340.

SLP, p. 151.

35Laistner, p. 119.

36Analecta Hymnica, vol. 51, p. 340.








37CLP, p. 134.
38CLP, p. 153.
39Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini, vol. I, pp. 224-7.
0SLP, p. 209.
4SLP, p. 209.

2LP, p. 55.
43Ausonius (Loeb Classical Library), ed. H. G. E.
White (London, 1919), vol. I, p. 289.
44Ausonius, pp. 303-4.
5cf. Curtius, "Mannerism," pp. 273-291.
46A. Baehrens, Poetae Latini Minores (Leipzig, 1888),
vol. 5, pp. 375-378.













TECHNIQUES AND THEMES


The Old English Rune Poem has never suffered from

scholarly neglect. But the attention it has been paid is

of two kinds only: one, that of the curious delver after

runologic lore; and the other, that of the editor, who must

necessarily erect a vast critical apparatus, which being

so far out of proportion to the size of the poem only

serves to obscure it. The poem hangs lost amid a maze of

girders.

Bruce Dickins in his Runic and Heroic Poems makes

no comment on the style except to say that "the versifica-

tion is quite correct."l In Charles W. Kennedyts critical

survey, The Earliest English Poetry, the Rune Poem is men-

tioned only in connection with the fuporc: the poem "is

hardly a literary composition, but represents a kind of al-

phabetic descriptive verse intended to facilitate memoriza-

tion of the meaning of the several runes."2 Stanley B.

Greenfield, in his excellent Critical History of Old Eng-

lish Literature, only notes that "as poetry the verse needs

little comment, though one may observe the Christian em-

phasis in stanza 1, the use of formulas, the humor in the

stanza on riding, and a pervasive riddling quality."3

Now there can be, as Dickins has said, no doubt

that the verse is correct; but it is precisely the









assimilation of a large number of traditional devices in a

relatively short poem that calls for comment. The poem is

correct, and it is neat. That this fact has some bearing

on the meaning of the poem should become clear as we inves-

tigate the various technical and thematic aspects of the

poem in the course of this chapter. The poem as we have it

must have been composed by a scop who was fully aware of the

potentialities of the oral and literary traditions and who

moved easily within the restrictions of his form.

Kennedy's statement that the poem is primarily

mnemonic has been repeated by Kemp Malone, who, however,

sees the poem as having descended from a much briefer orig-

inal ABC poem,4 but any mnemonic poem must have a kind of

brevity or catchiness, as the Norse rune poems do, which

facilitates memorization of the names. The stanza lengths

in the Old English poem obviate such a mnemonic use: it

would surely have been a greater task to memorize the

stanzas than twenty-nine rune names; the order of the stan-

zas is entirely dependent upon the traditional order of

the runes, which would therefore have to be learned first;

and furthermore with the possible exception of two or three,

the rune names were everyday nouns and therefore the stanzas

do not give the apprentice runemaster any new information.

Greenfield's brief comments are a step at least in

the direction of a critical interpretation, yet here only

a few isolated devices are noted. The Christian emphasis









in stanza one is merely observed; Greenfield makes no at-

tempt at seeing this fact through or at making any analysis

of the poem as a whole, although each of his observations

is, no doubt, accurate.

Such commentary on the Rune Poem is typical: the

problem of reading it as a coherent and unified poem has

been universally side-stepped or at least ignored, and that,

because of its apparent sententiousness. What has probably

discouraged critical consideration of the poetry as much

as anything is that the poet seems indeed to have a firm

grasp on the obvious. Everybody knows that wealth is a com-

fort for every man and that one must bestow it freely on

others if one wants to obtain dom from the Lord. The sen-

tence is as familiar to the Old English Christian audience

as the commandment to love one's neighbor or the gnomic-

like "where your treasure is, there is your heart also."

But underlying the sententiousness of the lines there is

the implication of the kind of generosity the heroic poets

Widsith and Deor have sung about--of the necessity for be-

stowing gifts, rings and treasure, in the meadhall--so

that the seeming sententiousness of the first stanza is

alleviated by its working in both directions, Christian

and heroic. Or to put it another way, the stanza seems to

embrace both points of view, thus moving to a level some-

what more complex than the merely gnomic. Likewise, dom

means 'favorable judgment' and by extention 'earthly glory,,








but it also works in another direction, to domesdaeg, to

all that is unknown and terrible in death. Now as anyone

familiar with runes knows, runes as well as words are capa-

ble of evoking powerful associations. And as Professor

Randolph Quirk has shown recently, Old English words linked

by meter may "'interanimate' each other"5--words such as dom

and deap, or eorl and aepeling:

The name Grendel, for instance, is allit-
eratively linked in more than half its two
score occurrences with words congruently
indicative of fierceness, especially gu6
and gryre: and it is surely unnecessary
to point out that there is no question of
the poet's being obliged to make such se-
lections by reason of a scarcity of words
which will alliterate. Frequently, the
lexical connexion is in unison with the
grammatical one; for instance: 'he hra6e
wolde Grendle forgyldan gu6-raesa fela'
(Beowulf 1576 f.; and similarly 483, 591,
and elsewhere). But we find notable in-
stances in which the lexical connexion is
maintained without a grammatical one, an
effect which can be achieved not only be-
cause the particular type of lexical con-
nexion is already established in the poem,
but also because the whole metrical tradi-
tion has, as we have seen, established an
expectation of lexical connexion.

The interanimation of deap and dom is documented by Profes-


sor Quirk:









wyrce se be mote Beowulf 1387
domes aer deape

and ealle ta gastas be for gode hweorfaS Maxims II 59
after deaddaege, domes bida6
on faeder fae~me

ic me mid Hruntinge Beowulf 1490
dom gewyrce, op6e mec dea_ nime6

holen sceal inaeled, yrfe gedreled Maxims I 79
deades monnes.. Dom bib selast.

The lexical association of dom and dea_ was well enough es-

tablished that the connotative effects of dom, even when not

linked to 'death,' must have at least radiated in that di-

rection. Treasure is a comfort to every man, yet with the

word dom we are given our first clue of the outcome of the

poem. The poet has subtly undercut his argument of the

consolation of possessions right from the beginning of the

poem.

The first stanza, therefore, although it may at

first glance appear even heavyhanded in its didacticism,

in its sententiousness, points to virtues both Christian

and heroic, and the connection of feoh with dom as glory

and dom as death hints at the impending doom of the final

stanza. The feoh-stanza can thus be seen as a paradigm of

the structure and meaning of the poem as a whole. But any

meaning that the poem may have can emerge only after a con-

sideration of its participation in the traditional modes of

Old English poetry; it is only by attempting to see what

the poet has done with this common store of metrical devices









and themes that the poem can be seen as much more than

doggerel.

Oral and literary traditions

A great deal of effort has gone into attempting to

discover whether an Old English poem is the product of a

live performance by a scop, transcribed in the hall, or

whether it is from its beginning a product of the pen of

the poet, alone in his closet. Professor Magoun's appli-

cation to Old English verse of Parry and Lord's researches

in oral literature has demonstrated the close connection
8
between formulaic poetry and oral poetry, but as Profes-

sor Larry D. Benson has pointed out recently, the use of

formulas in an Old English poem does not imply necessarily

either oral composition or lettered, and furthermore a high

percentage of formulas has been found in poems which are

clearly the product of the pen (i.e. Exeter Book Riddle 35,

Phoenix, Meters of Boethius).9

It is entirely possible that the Rune Poem was

sung, that either the scop performed alone, reciting the

rune names as well as the stanzas, thus delighting an

audience already familiar with Latin alphabetical hymns

and acrostic poems, or that its sententiae were a kind of
"philological parlour game," the evidence for which in

Hellenic times Ernst Robert Curtius10 quotes Athenaeus

(220 A. D.) in the Deipnosophistai ("Scholars at a Banquet")

X, 457:









Clearchus of Soloi, a man of the school
of Aristotle, also tells us how the an-
cients went about this. One recited a
verse, and another had to go on with the
next. One quoted a sentence, and a sen-
tence from some other poet expressing the
same idea had to be produced. Verses of
such and such a number of syllables were
demanded, or the leaders of the Greeks and
of the Trojans had to be enumerated, or
cities in Asia and Europe beginning with
the same letter to be named in turn. They
had to remember lines of Homer which be-
gin and end with the same letter, or the
first and last syllable taken together
must yield a name or an implement or a
food. The winner gained a garland, but
anyone who blundered had brine poured
into his drink and had to drain the whole
cup at a draught.

Perhaps in the meadhall it was the custom to recite the poem,

each person taking a stanza and therefore being required to

know the rune names and their order as well as the sententiae.

Anyone who forgot a rune name or recited out of the traditional

order would pay the penalty. Or perhaps the stanzas were ut-

tered as a riddle: ic by frofur fira gehwylcum . saga

hwaet ic hatte; and of course the audience would guess the

rune. Any of the riddles in the Exeter Book and more es-

pecially the indecent ones, could be adaptable to such enter-

tainment, and perhaps it was at just such a philological

game that Caedmon saw the harp approach:

Ond he for pon oft in gebeorscipe, bonne
paer waes blisse intinga gedemed, paet heo
ealle sceolden burh endebyrdnesse be hearpan
singan, ponne he geseah pa hearpan him neal-
ecan, bonne aras he for scome from baem
symble, ond ham eode to his huse.11

On the other hand, because of its structural similarity








to the Latin alphabetical poems, because of the pleasure the

Anglo-Saxons took in reading runes (cf. the Cynewulfian runic

signatures, the runic riddles, and our r by frofur . .

and because of the poet's obvious interest in the letter as

well as the spoken word, the poem would seem to belong to a

literary tradition.

But oral or lettered, like Beowulf (which was probably

transmitted orally or at least sung) or the Meters of Boethius

(which is clearly a literary production, a translation), the

Rune Poem derives its poetics from Germanic oral traditions,

and hence the poem can be discussed as if it were an oral com-

position.


Meter

Whether or not the harp was used in the recitation of

Beowulf or any other extant Old English poem can never be

finally proved. But John C. Pope in The Rhythm of Beowulf12

and recently Robert P. Creed13 have devised a method of

scanning Old English poetry which provides, in addition, a

means of comparing the techniques of, say, Beowulf and the

Rune Poem.

According to Creed's adaptation and simplification

of Pope's thesis, the first hypothesis is that the measure

(quarter-line) rather than the verse (half-line) is the

primary prosodic unit, and he sets forth six patterns of

stress with but three significant degrees of stress (I pri-

mary, \ secondary, and x minimum):








/ x
o( / x frugnon Beowulf 2
/ x \
p / x frofre gebad Beowulf 6

S= / \ x Scield Sceafing- Beowulf 4

S= / or / (x) pah (x) Beowulf 8
x
= x or (/) x (/) hwaet we Beowulf 1

c / \ gear-dagum Beowulf 1
\ -x
c- = \ x paet hine on Beowulf 22

A second hypothesis is that the measure (of which there are

two in every verse, four in every line) is a unit of time and

that OE rhythm is isochronous, in spite of the number of syl-

lables that may inhabit any given measure. Creed states fur-

ther a series of rules for determining measure boundaries and

primary stresses:1

I. Alliteration is the best guide to the first (and
sometimes the second) primary stress in each
verse.

That is, the alliterating sound must be identified in the

second half-line and if the first half-line begins with that

sound, the first syllable takes the primary stress (unless of

course the first syllable is a non-significant alliteration

such as preposition, demonstrative, conjunction). If the

first syllable does not alliterate as in Hwaett we Gar-Dena,

Beowulf 1, Rule IV below should be observed. And if such is

the case, the second primary stress will fall on the first

alliterating syllable wherever it comes in the half-line.

II. A primary stress always begins a measure.
(There can thus be only one primary stress
in each measure), except in those cases in
which four or more non-alliterating









light-stressed syllables make up the meas-
ure. In these measures, and in these meas-
ures only, the first primary stress is re-
placed by a secondary stress (eO- \ x ).

III. Two immediately adjacent primary stresses
can occur only at the beginning of a verse.

IV. A stroke of the harp (or, in practice, a
timed pause) must substitute for the missing
first primary stress in a verse-which other-
wise contains only a single primary stress.

V. Whenever a short syllable bearing primary
or secondary stress is followed by another
syllable with which it is closely associated
(in close juncture) the two syllables to-
gether receive resolved stress. No x should
be placed over the second of these syllables.
Instead, the two should be joined with a
curved horizontal bracket and together given
the same stress sign, / or\ On the other
hand, when an etymologically short syllable
bearing primary or secondary stress is closed,
that is, when it ends with a consonant no
resolution is possible.

In order to handle measures of five or more syllables when

resolution is not possible, Creed devises the theory of

rhythmemes, where two or three syllables are linked under

one stress. Thus Beowulf 310a would be scanned
/ x / x
receda under roderum

(or cf. above Beowulf 6, 1). Creed's further discussion of

the theoretical problems concerning the resolution of poly-

syllables into one stress need not be discussed here since

he has given the reader, in these rules, all the equipment

necessary to read the poetry rhythmically. His own scan-

sion of the first three lines of Beowulf is here reproduced:








x \ I I
Hwaet, we Gar-Dena on gear-dagum,

G (Xa) o / I / x I
peod- cyninga prymm ge- frugnon,

l() e /
hu a ae elingas ellen fremedon.

If this theory of scansion is correct, a number of stylistic
devices in the Rune Poem become apparent.15
The pause in the third measure, non-alliterative, of
a line (anE measure, in which the primary stress is taken
by the harp stroke, following Rule IV) serves to bunch up
the heavy syllables in the fourth measure (we always find a
final C( or measure in such cases). So that rather
than the regular d i. sequence ( / xj / x) we have (rest)

x / \ with a possible unstressed syllable occurring just
before or after the secondary stress. These lines are nearly
always run-on, and the syntax and the sense demand that the
reader be thrust into the next line. The effect of the en-
jambment is complemented by this crowding of stressed sylla-
bles into the end of the line, so that the syntax, the mean-
ing, and the thrusting rhythm all seem to complement each
other:







V x I X
am Ne I sittep onufan 14
meare I maegenheardum
Si and wraecna gehwam 20
lar and aetwist
x x 2
5e can weana lyt22
I/ / x / x \
shares and sorge,' and him sylfa haefi
I x I x 1 / -- \
bl ed and blysse ( and eac byrga geniht.

(Compare also lines 25, 27, 32, 51, 56, 67, 72, 84, 87,

and 88.) In the lines quoted above, this reading marks off
the natural syntactic groupings that a sensitive reader would
expect: the combination of "stress-thrust" and enjambment
produces a linking of words into rhetorical units which tran-
scend the narrower units of the verse or the alliteration
(Se can weana lyt shares and sore; and him sylfa haefl blaed and
bl7sse). The contrasting sense of the phrases shares and
sorge and blaed and blysse is further emphasized by the
thrusts to shares and to blaed; the rapid pronunciation of
the second half-line acts as an up-beat to shares and similarly
to blaed.
Another result of Creed's method is that nearly every
internal primary rest (necessarily the primary stress of the
third measure) serves to introduce either a relative or sub-
ordinate clause, prepositional phrase, or a compound ele-
16
ment. Thus the rest, or the stroke of the harp, comes
to signify that these kinds of qualifying or compounding









grammatical structures will follow. Thus:


x / 1 x

X 'A \ 21
1 e him mid rested I 9

I e byp o ra leas 21
X I \x
(' SonGod 1aetep. I 32

We have in each of these verses an additional metrical em-

phasis of the alliterating word: harp stroke, upbeat, land-

ing on the stressed word. And such a stress is appropriate

to the particular emphasis or contrast the poet seems to be

after, as we shall later see. Another important traditional

use of the internal rest is the paet is formula, found also

in Beowulf, Dream of the Rood, and elsewhere:17


Saet is I modig wuht.l 6
In almost every case of the primary harp stroke or rest an

expectation is set up for something that will corroborate or

perhaps punctuate the preceding verse:

feohtep mid hornum, 5
maere morstapa; paet is modig wuht.

yr byp aepelinga and eorla gehwaes 84
wyn and wyrPmynd

hafab faegerne eard 88
waetre beworpen 6aer he wynnum leofap.

Or the reader is set up for that which will qualify or even

contrast the preceding:









rad by" on recyde rinca gehwylcum 13
sefte, and swiphwaet 6am 6e sitter onufan
meare

weorpep hi 6eah oft nipa bearnum
to help and to haele gehwaepre, gif hi his hlystab aeror.

If the harp was struck on each primary rest, as Pope

and Creed believe, a curious musical phenomenonemerges from

a consideration of the relative frequency of such rests.

They seem to occur in lines 1-58 at the rate of about one

stroke per four half-lines (except in the wynne-stanza dis-

cussed above); or to put it another way, in the first 116

half-lines (to line 58) the stroke occurs in 23% of them.

But beginning with line 59 and continuing for some thirty

half-lines the rate of strokes doubles. Then there are no

rests for the next stanza and a half, and the average rate

for lines 74 to the end of the poem is back to 26%. Of

course, since the rest in Creedts system depends ultimately

on the syntax (i.e. relatives and conjunctions are never

stressed), what may appear by this scansion as a doubling

of musical energy may be a doubling of subordinate and cor-

relative syntactic structures only. But if the poem ever

was performed, this middle section would give the scop an

opportunity to modify the tone of his delivery, whether

purely rhythmic or musical as well, thus effecting the

change of mood which the digressions or the shift of

speaker brings about in the longer Old English poems.










The Rune Poem contains one of the few instances in

Old English verse of the hypermetric line, in the haegl-

and nyd- stanzas. Now these lines can be scanned with three

primary stresses to the half-time and 0( measures predominat-

ing. This would give the same total of primary stresses

(12) in each two-line stanza as are found in the three-

line stanzas which precede and follow them. Therefore, it

would take about the same length of time to utter the hy-

permetric stanzas as any of the normal three-line stanzas.

But if each half-line is given the normal two primary

stresses and the rhythmic beat of the primary stresses re-

mains consistent with the normal stanzas, the result is the

crowding of the measures and quickening of pace necessary

to get all the words into the measures. And such a quick-

ening of pace is perfectly commensurate with the sense of

the verses: Hail is thrown from the lofty height of heaven,

billows in a shower of wind, turns into water at the end.

The increase in the pace of the words thus is paralleled

by the hail-storm, and yet the steady four-stress rhythm

is maintained. The nyd-stanza is cast in the same rhythm,

and the hypermetrics here enforce what is a clear parallel-

ism of sense: As hail turns afterward into water, so need,

constraint, turns into a help or even a salvation, and the

parallelism of meter and sense is further enforced by the

repetition of weorbeb, 'hail turns,t 'constraint turns.'








The poet has therefore not shifted into the hypermetric

line idly, but has utilized the rapidity of the line to

enhance the movement of the hail and to show that like hail,

constraint will surely pass away.

Of course, the most consistent unifying element in Old

English poetry is alliteration, and in the Rune Poem alliter-

ation is quite correct. Only two passages call for special

attention. Klaeber has remarked concerning the transverse

alliteration in Beowulf that "it was occasionally recognized

as a special artistic form,"18 and it is found in the Rune

Poem:

aabab

nyd byp nearu on breostan; weorpep hi 6eah oft nipa bearnum 27

heard hrusan faest, hyrde fyres 36

wyrtrumun underwrepyd wynan on eple. 37

Of the four hypermetric lines (25-28) the two of the haegl-

stanza exemplifywhat might be called double alliteration:

a aba a c

haegl byp hwitust corna; hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte; 25

wealcap hit windes scura; weorpep hit to waetere sycoan. 26


Rhetoric and diction

A rhetorical device frequent in this poem and in all

Old English poetry is variation, the repetition of the same

idea in the form of appositive or modifier. Professor Brodeur

has commented on the device in his Art of Beowulf:









Variation . the chief characteris-
tic of the poetic mode of expression . .
restrains the pace of Old English poetic
narrative, gives to dialogue or monologue
its leisurely or stately character, raises
into high relief those concepts which the
poet wishes to emphasize, and permits him
to exhibit the object of his thought in
all its aspects. But it could be a dan-
gerous instrument in the hands of an in-
ferior poet: it could impart on the one
hand an effect of sheer redundancy, on
the other an unpleasing jerkiness of pace;
it could stiffen the flow of style, and
clog the stream of thought.19

Perhaps the most traditional use of variation occurs in the

ur-stanza, where such a formula as felafrecne deor 5 or

maere morstapa 6 is paralleled by Exeter Maxims I, 147 fel-

afaecne deor (wolves) or Beowulf 103 maere mearcstapa

(Grendel). The function of such repetitions here is to slow

down the pace by repeating in other terms the subject of the

clause and hence to set the subject in "high relief," to use

Brodeur's analogy, by emphasizing its terror to animals and

man and its dominion over the moors. Two other instances

of appositive variation are halig heofones cyning 33 and

maere Metodes leoht 75 where the effect is to place God

clearly at the center of the seasonal cycle, as has been

noted, and to reemphasize God's power as the source of light.

Other instances of variation such as the repetition

in compound phrases of modifier or abstract nouns tend to
20
cloy the verse,20 although part of the blame for such seeming

redundancies must rest on the modern reader, who is simply









unaware of the connotative values of words long since

dead. Suffice it to say here that there are two main cate-

gories of compounds in the poem, which may be called con-

trastive and correlative. The contrastive compounds offer

less immediate problems of interpretation: sefte, and

swiphwaet 14, blac (pale?) and beorhtlic 17, beornum and

8earfum 34, eadgum and earmum 76. But it is more diffi-

cult to see the effect gained by the correlatives, such as

shares and sorge 23 or blaed and blysse 24, though in this

particular instance the two compound phrases do stand in

contrastive relationship to each other. In general it can

be said that the compounds, most of which occur in the first

half-line, tend, like rime, to give a kind of stylistic

unity to the various parts of the poem within single stanzas

and even between stanzas, as do any repeated elements in any

poem.

Nearly all the techniques discussed above--meter,

variation, parallelism, alliteration--converge in the last,

and longest, stanza of the poem, as if to summarize in a

display of technical fireworks what has gone before:

ear byp egle eorla gehwylcun 90
6onn faestlice flaesc onginnep
hraw colian, hrusan ceosan,
blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosap;
wynna gewitap; wera geswicap.

Here we find transverse alliteration in hraw colian, hrusan

ceosan, as well as the repetition of the ge-prefix. Also,









hraw colian, hrusan ceosan is linked to bleda gedreosab,

wynna gewitab, wera geswicap, by blac to gebeddan--linked

backward by the suffix rime -an to colian and ceosan, and

forward by the b-alliteration to bleda. Here too we have

the parallel infinitives hraw colian, hrusan ceosan, and

the parallel syntax of bleda gedreosab, wynna gewitab,

wera geswicab. The poem is finally brought to a close by

a device rare in Old English, rime, and here its effect

is the kind of tying-up that the final rimes of terza rima

or the English sonnet later achieve: we find the suffix

rimes -an thrice, -a thrice, and-a thrice. Such close

interplay of parallelisms and alliteration and rime is found,

finally elsewhere, in Judith:

be gesceop wind ond lyfte, 347
roderas ond rume grundas, swylce eac reoe streams
ond swegles dreams, 6urh his sylfes miltse,

and in Beowulf:

cwaedon paet he waere wyruldcyninga 3180
manna mildust ond monowaerust,
leodum liiost ond lofgeornost.

Thus the poet of the Rune Poem was, if nothing else,

a versifier well acquainted with all of the various devices

of the traditional poetry, and one might be tempted to see

in the poem, particularly in view of its nature as a cata-

logue, a kind of Old English Skaldskaparmal or Hattatal, a

repository of figures and meter. Furthermore, if it is re-

lated to late Latin alphabetical traditions, then the poem









may be an Old English mannerist production, with its de-

light in rune, riddle, and refinement of versification.

Theme and Structure

The only device for unifying the Rune Poem as a

whole is the byp-formula, which begins nearly every stanza.

The formula (illustrated by r by frofur) occurs elsewhere

in both the Cotton and Exeter gnomic verses much abbreviated

(and sometimes with sceal):

Wyrd by" swi6ost. Winter by cealdost, (ASPR, vi,
lencten hrimigost (he by6 longest ceald). 75 1. 5)

But, although there is in the Rune Poem some development of

the rune described, the resultant stanzas are short (two to

five lines) and are superficially as discontinuous as the

runes themselves. Each stanza can even stand alone as a sort

of vignette, each depicting a separate scene from Anglo-

Saxon life, or some plant, or some animal, so that within

each stanza we find the same unity as in, say, a stanza

from Deor. One might compare Deor's

Deodric ahte pritig wintra 18
Maeringa burg; paet waes monegum cup.

and, at the first opportunity for a hero-stanza, the Rune

Poem's

Ing waes aerest mid East-Denum
gesewen secgun op he sioian est
ofer waeg gewat, waen after ran;
6us heardingas 6one haele nemdun.

In Deor the relationship between the stanzas is enforced not







58

only by the similarity of theme21 but by the refrain as

well.22 In the Rune Poem stanzas are linked by the runes

and by certain parallel syntax, but any unity the poem may

possess is gained only by overcoming the great disparity

that the rune names necessarily exhibit. That is, the

poet, setting out to write twenty-nine stanzas on twenty-

nine things as diverse as Possessions, Aurochs, Thorn, or

Ing, must handle each of these disparates in such a way

within each stanza that an overall unity emerges.

As has been observed, the first stanza on feoh sets

up a paradigm which underlies the structure of the poem.

Possessions are a consolation, yet every man must bestow

them generously if he wants to obtain glory or judgment in

the presence of the Lord. A Christian paradox is implicit:

he who would gain all must first lose all. And from the

point of view of Anglo-Saxon heroic values, one must be a

bestower of rings--for the strengthening of comitatus. The

stanza works in both directions.

An implication of the aurochs and thorn stanzas is

that one ought not fool around with that fierce animal on

the moors--let him well enough alone--and that likewise a

thorn thicket is no place to rest. Rather, as the verbal
/ \ x / / A
and rhythmical parallels (mid reste6--inne restap) demon-

strate, one would do better to rest within the hall, where

the torch flickers blac and beorhtlic. The mouth and journey

stanzas, preceded by the fierceness of the wild ox and the









thorn and followed by the joys of the hall may be seen as

an axis for this section of the poem, which precedes the

hypermetric lines. For it is in the hall that we hear the

best talk, that we find wits and wisdom and earls. To such

warriors in the hall, journey is easy, and the difficulties

of riding over mile paths, of exile perhaps, are contrasted

in the next three stanzas to the hall torch, to the honor

and praise that is attendant upon gifts, to the necessity

of comitatus, of supporting the needy (with the rhythmical

emphasis on e by b ra leas), and to the "joy one has

who has enough prosperity in his burh."

The emphasis in this first section of the poem is,

therefore, on the necessity for strengthening the comitatus

by the giving of possessions to the rich and the poor alike,

and on the danger and possible pain one can bring upon him-

self if he ventures outside the burh, to the moors, among

the thorns, or on the meare maegenheardum. In other words,

a man has a place in this world and that is with kinfolk or

in a community of mutually supporting elements such as the

Court of Hropgar or Eormanric (cf. Widsith 109 ff.) or the

abbey of Hild.

The hail stanza shifts into hypermetrics and the

poet treats hail, as well as need and ice in the next stan-

zas, in a way that is quite unusual in Old English poetry.

Hail is the whitest of grains as it hurls and billows from










the loft of heaven, and (with a hint of the lif is laene

theme to come) afterward it turns into water. Need like-

wise, as we have observed, can be turned into a help and

even a salvation. And so ice, ordinarily a most dreadful

of elements, is exceptionally cold and slippery, but glis-

tens glasslike, is gem-like, makes a frosty floor fair to

behold. The spring (ger) which follows immediately is the

manifestation of the benevolence of God: it is God rather

than Wyrd or Freyja who permits (6on God laeteh 32) that

bright fruits be given to earth for the rich and the poor--

the same halig heofones cynig 33 who caused the hail: hwyrft

hit of heofones lyfte 25.23 Although heofones here is for-

mulaic, it is not fortuitous that the word occur in these

contexts. For, whatever association hail, need, ice, or ger

may have had with the Germanic world of malevolent natural

forces, or fertility cults, it is clear from these four

stanzas that the poet considered the natural forces of hail

and ice fair to behold, that he was optimistic about the out-

come of oppressions (as Iaes ofereode, hisses swa maeg, Deor

7) and he believed God rather than the Germanic deities to

be at the center of the seasonal changes.24 The runes as

well as their meanings have been Christianized, like the

heathen fanes under Augustine.25

One of the problems which the poet must have faced

was what to do with all those runic trees and plants--the

yew, elk-sedge, birch, oak, and ash. No doubt the poet








could have composed a stanza of mere biological description

for each plant, and let it stand at that; but he didn't.

Rather, he has taken pains to relate the plants to some as-

pect of their usefulness to man. Moreover, the trees seem

to take on almost human qualities; it is as though they are

related to man by the bond of comitatus. Thus the yew is

the guardian of the fire, a joy on the estate. The oak

from which the ship is built must keep its pledge: I garsecg

('ocean") finds whether the oak has a worthy treowe' ('troth,'

with a pun on treow, 'tree'?). And so the ash, or spear,

dear to men, holds its place in battle 'though many men

fight against.' Thus even trees enjoy a place within the

community; man depends on the tree to keep its oath, to be

true to its nature, stiP on stabule 82.

Another theme touched upon in the plant stanzas is

that of the proper "dwelling" place. Yew is on the estate,

wynan on eble 37. 'Elk-sedge has its dwelling (eard) most

often in the fens,' traditional abodes of monsters and exiles,

and that this is no place for any man to be is emphasized

by the harm that will come to any man who touches it, just

as we have noted in the thorn-stanza. For the thorn is

'evil of touch' (anfengys 8), and the elk-sedge'wounds grimly

any man who attempts seizure' (onfeng 44). Mention of dwell-

ing place is extended to the iar-fish stanza, and here the

fish 'has a fair dwelling (eard 88) surrounded by water where

he delights in joys.'









A third theme found in the tree stanzas is that

of bled 'fruit,' 'blossoms,' or 'progeny.' And as we have

been assured in connection with spring, God laetep hrusan

syllan beorhte bleda. So although the birch (poplar?) is

bleda leas, it nevertheless has suckers, has lovely boughs,

is laden with leaves. The word blaed, which occurs twice

in the poem, is a poetic word meaning 'fame, prosperity.'

And as H. C. Wyld pointed out long ago, there is reason to

believe that bled and blaed were associated semantically

in the poetry. Bled 'flower' or 'progeny' is derived from

blowan 'to blow, as a flower blooms' (cf. ModE fullblown),

and blaed 'fame' from blawan 'to blow, as a wind, inspire.'

The two verbs were derived ultimately from the same root.26

It is probable that something of the sense of 'prosperity'

in the lines blaed and blysse 24 (cf. Dream of the Rood,

mid bledum & mid blisse 49) and brucan on bolde bleadum

oftast 73 would be echoed along with bled 'fruit' in the

penultimate line: bleda gedreosaP 93.

The two runes which represent things not on the

earth are sigel 'sun' and tir 'some constellation,' yet

they are intimately related to the life of the Anglo-Saxon.

The sun helps the sailor get his ship back to land, and tir

keeps its pledge to man as it fares over the darkness of

night. And a further point of similarity is that because

they are heavenly bodies, they never fail:









Sigel semannum symble bib on hihte 45

Tir . a bib on faerylde 48
ofer nihta genipu; naefre swicep.

But only two stanzas later we learn that man, every man, must

fail the other, because the Lord will by his dom (cf. for

drihtne domes 3) commit that wretched flesh to the earth.'

The poet is bound by the order of the fuporc to follow stead-

fast sigel and tir by beorc and eh, but when he gets to man,

the verbal echoes are there: the love of kinsmen, the mirth

and laughter of the game of dice where warriors sit in the

beer hall, the dom, oncq as glory, now as judgment, and the

juxtaposition of the eternal and the mutable.

After this moment offoreboding, however, we are

plunged back into vigorous life--to journey by sea where the

ship is tilting, "the sea-horse heeds not its bridle." And

this is followed up by Ing, the hero who also "made a jour-

ney" (gewat) over the waves. Yet the word gewat 69 works in

two directions, Ideparted' and 'died,' as if gently reinforc-

ing the foreboding of the death of man.

The poet had said:

Man byp on myrgbe his magan leof 59

but in the stanza following Ing, and contrasting the journey,

the exile, the poet says:

Epel byp overleof aeghwyclum men 71

if he can there with justice and propriety enjoy, oftenest

in the hall, prosperity. And it is to display the bounty









of the homeland, man's proper abode, that the poet has con-

tinually fashioned his verses. The aurochs has his place

on the moors, the elk-sedge in the fens; the thorn is no

place for a thane to rest; the journey is hard, better to

stay in the hall with the torch, the wisemen, dicing; or if

one must travel, go with kinsmen and bandy words about the

horses, trust the oak ship that it will fare over the gan-

get's bath and, with the help of the sun, will return safely

to land.

The poem up to line 89 is, therefore, essentially

hopeful. The continual emphasis on comitatus, the goodness

of creation, of trees, of the sea, the homeland, lends a per-

vasive prosperity to each of the stanzas. Aebeling, eorl,

rinc, leod, haele, hearing, weleg, wiga--all terms for the

wealthy or princely--occur a total of sixteen times, and

the specifically poor (earm twice) only in the context of a

providential society. Words for prosperity and joy occur

in almost every line: wynn itself no less than six times

and blaed-bled five times. Such a net work of mutually

corresponding verbal echoes of comitatus, flourishing es-

tate, and prosperity is found in little extant Old English

poetry: In fact it is almost a cliche of Old English criti-

cism that pervading its poetry is an "elegiac" strain which,

as Professor Greenfield has recently shown, has as its chief

characteristics rather the loss of status (earm an-haga),

deprivation, sadness, and exile, with its concomitant moving









away from homeland, its endurance of hardship, its fruitless

searching elsewhere for what has been lost.27 In the Rune

Poem we see the world through the eyes of one who enjoys

prosperity of fortresses and hence the usual conventions of

the elegy are turned upside down. From the very first stanza,

where the dispensing of treasure is juxtaposed to dom we are

set up for an expectation of the loss of treasure, exile and

doom. Yet in stanza after stanza, this expectation remains

unfulfilled. When the poet is faced with a rune that could

naturally fit into the conventional elegiac mode, he does

almost the reverse. Journey, for all. the hardship and mis-

ery of the Seafarer, the Wanderer, The Fates of Man, is in

the Rune Poem a laughing matter (sefte and swibhwaet), and

the heroes on horseback brag about their horses. Even the

two sea journeys are hardly the woeful affairs met with in

the Seafarer and Wanderer. Rather one might compare the

treatment here with that of Elene or the return of Beowulf

(though expanded somewhat) where heroes make joyful journeys,

frightful perhaps, but in the company of a band of heroes,

in comitatus (leodum). Faced with a rune nyd 'constraint,'

the poet turns the expected conventional motif of the mis-

ery of the an-haga into a help and even a salvation. Hail

and ice throughout Old English poetry bring only distress

and affliction: hreo haeglfare, Wanderer 105, hrim hrusan

bond, haegl feol on eorpan, coma caldast, Seafarer 32,









wintery e beleac isgebinde, Beowulf 1132. To emphasize the

misery of Andreas' exile, the poet gives a winter to Merme-

donia, heardum haegelscurum 1257, and Paradise is depicted

in both Phoenix and Judgement Day II as devoid of hail and

ice, ne forstes fnaest ne fyres blaest ne haegles hryre ne

hrimes dryre (Phoenix 15, cf. Judgment Day II, 265). In-

the Rune Poem, as has been noted, hail and ice are harmless,

lovely to behold, in striking contrast to their conventional

treatment.

But as the poem progresses in almost artless praise

of the beauty of the world and the joys of the hall, turn-

ing a number of expectations upside down, such as the journey,

constraint, ice and hail, the poet at the same time subtly

undercuts his argument with the duplicity of dom, the fail-

ure of every man to the other, the departure (funeral?)

of Ing, and finally, with the last lines, the grave.

Ear, in the last stanza, 'the earth' and hence 'the

grave, collects in one word all the terms for earth through-

out the poem (hrusan 33, 36, lande 46, eortan 62, 77, foldan

88) as well as eard 'dwelling place' and e el 'homeland.'

In five lines all the treasures that belong to life are

overthrown: that dom which is doom and was only insinuated

in the opening lines finally emerges to cover all.

The grave is terrible to every earl
when quickly begins the flesh,
the corpse to cool--the-livid one, to choose
the earth for bed-companion . .

And the poet, reaching back into every stanza of the poem,










draws together the three main strands that have bound them

all:
bleda gedreosap; 93
wynna gewitap; wera geswicap.

Blossoms fall;
joys pass away; treaties fail.

The poet has urged again and again the beauty of the world,

flowers, joy, kinship, but finally, having made the very best

he could of his runes of hail and constraintand all the rest,

when faced with the grave, he is powerless to make it any

less terrible than it is. The grave and the final verses of

the poem sweep away everything that has gone before.

The poet of the Rune Poem, therefore, was well versed

in the traditional devices of Old English poetry. He could

employ variation, the formulas, the hypermetric line, varia-

tions of the harp perhaps, rime, complex alliteration--all

quite cleverly. He knows the Old English poetic vocabulary

and is aware of the potentialities in words such as.dom,

treowe, ebel, bled, brimhengest, glistnap glaeshluttor,

gewat. And in the poem he has built up a network of corres-

pondences in the use of various terms for nobleman, joy,

honor, consolation. But clearly, the most startling fact

that emerges from the various themes in the poem is the

poet's continual frustration of our expectations. In its

self-conscious reversal of the elegiac traditions, when

viewed against the background of Beowulf, Ruin, the Wife's









Lament, the gnomic verse, Andreas and a dozen other poems,

the poem becomes almost an anti-elegy--that is, until the

final stanza, when, in one terrible moment the corpse chooses

the earth for a consort and everything is lost. Seen as a

catalogue, the Rune Poem is little more than mere doggerel;

viewed against the background of a body of poetry with a

storehouse of extremely conventional metrics, language, and

themes, the poem can emerge as a unified, coherent, and for

its length, a forceful poem. In urging the critical method

of considering Old English poetry in terms of its thematic

conventions Professor Creed has written:

There is no distance between the first
occurrence of, for example, the theme
of the singer and its second and subse-
quent occurrences. There is no distance
between the many appearances of a given
theme within a tradition. That is to say,
every time a singer performs the same
theme he and his audience hear and appre-
ciate that performance against the music
of all other performances of that theme.
Whenever the singer pictures someone walk-
ing in a hall, let us say, he and his au-
dience superimpose that picture on their
trained recollections of every similar
picture. Or to vary the metaphor, the
audience--singer included--hears each new
performance of a theme counterpointed
against all the old performances it has
heard.28

Thus the final implication of the Rune Poem is like that of

"That passed away, and so may this" but with a darkening

irony in the Rune Poem that forces up an old theme: Wealth

and loved ones are a consolation, in this life, yet lif is










laene and these things will pass away. And the runes, rem-

nants of a past both pagan and heroic, like the animals,

heroes, and trees they conjure up, the runes, too, will pass

away. As the pagan priest said, in a passage in the Vener-

able Bede reminiscent of this same mood of the passing of

old ways and the transitoriness of life:

The present life of man upon earth, 0
king, seems to me, in comparison with that
time which is unknown to us, like to the
swift flight of a sparrow through the house
wherein you sit at supper in winter, with
your ealdormen and thegns, while the fire
blazes in the midst, and the hall is warmed,
but the wintry storms of rain or snow are
raging abroad. The sparrow, flying in at
one door and immediately out at another,
whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry
tempest; but after a short space of fair
weather, he immediately vanishes out of your
sight, passing from winter into winter again.
So this life of man appears for a little while,
but of what is to follow or what went before
we know nothing at all.29












NOTES

Bruce Dickins, Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old
Teutonic Peoples (Cambridge, 191-), p. 6.

2Charles W. Kennedy, The Earliest English Poetry
(New York, 1943), p. 13.

3Stanley B. Greenfield, A Critical History of Old
English Literature (New York, 19-5),.p. 193.
4Kemp Malone, "The Old English Period (to 1100)" in
A Literary History of England (New York, 1948), p. 34.

5Randolph Quirk, "Poetic Language and Old English
Metre" in Early English and Norse Studies (London, 1963), p.
155.

6bid., p. 155.

7bid., p. 156-7.
8Francis P. Magoun, "The Oral-Formulaic Character of
Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry," Speculum, XXVIII(1953), 446-
467.
9Larry D. Benson, "The Literary Character of Anglo-
Saxon Formulaic Poetry," PMLA, LXXXI (1966), 334-341.

10Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the
Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard H. 'rask (New York and
Evanston, 1963-, p. 58.
11Samuel Moore and Thomas A. Knott, The Elements of
Old English (Ann Arbor, 1962), p. 258.
12
John Collins Pope, The Rhythm of Beowulf (New Haven,
1942).
13Robert P. Creed, "A New Approach to the Rhythm of
Beowulf," PMLA, LXXXI (1966), 23-33.
lCreed, p. 25.
5See Appendix for the scansion of the Rune Poem
according to Creed's method.








16Relative clauses such as oe him mid resteo 9b in-
clude 14b, 21b, 22b, 44a; subordinate clauses as :if he his
hylstaJ aeror include 2a, 18a, 28b, 32b, 39b, 46a, -7 a, 5b,
60a, 61a, 6a, 68b, 72a, 80a, 83a, 89b, 91a; prepositional
phrases as ofer milpabas 15b include 40a, 46b, 49a, 50a, 64b,
67b, 69a, 81a; and various compound elements connected by
and include 4b, 20b, 23b, 24b, 58a, 65a, 66a, 84b, 87b. Such
structures (40 in all) account for all the primary rests ex-
cept nine: aet is 6, non-alliterating verbs 27b, 48b, 52b, 85b,
88b, non-alliterating objects 59b, 62a, 70b.

17See line 6, note, for other instances.
8Fr. Klaeber, Beowulf and the Fight at Finnesburg
(Boston, 1950), p. Ixx.
19Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, The Art of Beowulf (Ber-
keley and Los Angeles, 1959), p. 39.

20E.g. the gyfu-stanza where six abstract nouns in
variation refer to the same subject: gleng, herenys, wrapu,
wyrbscype, ar, aetwist.
21Norman E. Eliason, "Two Old English Scop Poems,"
PMLA, LXXXI (1966), 185.
22Kemp Malone, Deor (London, 1933), p. 17.

23See R. W. V. Elliott, Runes (Manchester, 1959), pp.
47, 50, 56, 60.
20Cf. Bertha S. Phillpotts, "Wyrd and Providence in
Anglo-Saxon Thought," Essays and Studies, XIII (1927), 7-27;
and B. J. Timmer, "Heathen and Christian Elements in Old English
Poetry," NeoPhil, XXIX (1944), 180-185; "Wyrd in Anglo-Saxon
Prose and Poetry," NeoPhil, XXVI (1941), 24-33, 213-228.
25The Ruthwell and Bewcastle crosses with their runic
inscription from The Dream of the Rood are the most graphic
early (first half of the eighth century) illustrations of the
Christianizing of the runes.
26H. C. Wyld, "Diction and Imagery in Anglo-Saxon
Poetry," Essays -nd Studies, XI (1925), 87.
27Stanley B. Greenfield, "The Formulaic Expression of
the Theme of 'Exile' in Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Speculum, XXX
(1955), 200-206.







72
28Robert P. Creed, "On the Possibility of Criticiz-
ing Old English Poetry," Texas Studies in Language and Lit-
erature, III (1961), 101.
29
2Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England, trans.
A. M. Sellar (London, 1912), Book II, Chapter 13, p. 116.


















tQj


Text












Sbyp frofur fira gehwylcum;
sceal 86ah manna gehwylc miclun hyt daelan,
gif he wile for drihtne domes hleotan.

Sbyb anmod and oferhyrned,
5 felafrecne deor, feohte) mid hornum,
mere morstapa; paet is modig wuht.

Sbyb 8earle scearp degna gehwylcum,
anfengys yfyl, ungemetun rbpe
manna gehwylcun 9e him mid resteS.

10 F byb ordfruma aelcre spraece,
wTsdomes wrapu and witena frofur
and eorla gehwam eadnys and t5hiht.

K byl on recyde rinca gehwylcum
sefte, and swIphwaet 5am e sitter onufan
15 mare maegenheardum ofer milpapas.

h byP cwicera gehwam cui on fire;
blic and beorhtlic byrnep oftust
a-er hT aepelingas inne restab.

X gumena byp gleng and herenys,
20 wrabu and w-yrscype, and wraecna gehwim








Ge byb obra l1as.


P ne braceb 8e can weana lyt
shares .and sorge, and him sylfa haefD
bled and blysse and eac byrga getiht.


25 byp hwitust corna; hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte;
wealcaP hit windes scara; weorpeb hit tS waetere sy$$an.


% byb nearu on briostan; weor
tS helpe and t5 haele gehwaebre,

I byb oferceald, unge
30 glisnaD glaeshlittur g
flor forste geworuht f


beb hi $Sah oft nipa bearnum
gif hi his hlysta a-eror.

metum slidor;
immum gellcust;
aeger ansyne.


+ byb gumena hiht 'on God 1leteD--
hilig heofones cyning-- hrusan syllan
beorhte blda beornum and 6earfum.

Z byb utan unsmepe triow,
heard hrusan faest, hyrde fyres,
wyrtrumun underwrebyd wynan on eble.


h byP symble pl
wlancum .
on beorsele, bli

Y secg eard haefb
wexeS on wature,


ega and hlehter
oar wigan sittak
pe aetsomne.

oftust on fenne,


wundak grimme,


ar and aetwist








bl3de brene8 beorna gehwylcne
Se him aenigne onfeng gedFe.

45 1 ssmannum symble bib on hihte
oonn hi hine feriap ofer fisces beb
Ub hi brimhengest bringeb t5 lande.

Sbib tEcna sum, healde6 tr-wa wel
wib aeeelingas; E bib on faerylde
50 ofer nihta genipu; naefre swiceb.

| byb bleda leas, berek efne swa oeah
tanas batan tEdder; bib on telgum wlitig,
h~ah on helme hrysted faegere,
geloden lafum, lyfte getenge.

55 by) for eorlum aegelinga wyn;
hors hofum wlanc 6aer him haelep ymb
welege on wicgum wrixlab spraece
and bib unstyllum aefre frofur.

M byj on myrgbe his magan 1lof;
60 sceal b;ah anra gehwylc 85rum swican
for8Fm Dryhten wyle d5me sine
baet earme flaesc eorpan betaecan.

I byb lodum langsum gep bht,
gif hi sculun nebun on nacan tealtum,
65 and hi saeyba sw pe bregan,








and se brimhenge!

A waes aerest
gesewen secgun,
offer waeg gewat,

70 $us heardingas


st bridles ne gymeA.

mid East-Denum

3) hT si66an est
waen after ran;
gone haele nemdun.


Sby" oferl1of Eeghwylcum men,
gif he m3t 6aer rihtes and gerysena on

brucan on bolde bleadum oftast.


H by" Drihtnes sand, deore nannum,
mere Metodes loht, myrgP and tohiht
eadgum and earmum, eallum brice.


Sbyp on eorban
fl'esces fodor;
ofer ganotes baeb;

80 hwaeper Ec haebbe

P bib oferh7ah,
stip on stabule;
Nah him feohtan


j byl aeBelinga
85 wyn and wgyrmynd;
faestlic on faerel

Sbyb eafix a


elda bearnum,
fereb gelnme
garsecg fandap
aebele treowe.

eldum dyre,
stede rihte hylt
on firas monige.

and eorla gehwaes
byb on wicge faeger,
.de fyrdgeatewa sum.


Lnd 6ah a braceb








f5dres on foldan;
waetre beworpen


hafa) faegerne eard
5a~er he wynnum leofa).


Y by] egle eorla gehwylcun
onn faestlice flaesc onginnep
hraw c5lian, hrisan ceosan,
blac t5 gebeddan; blda gedrgosab,
wynna gewitab, wera geswicap.

























Translation









Translation










Treasure is a comfort for every man

Yet must every one give it generously

If he wants to obtain honor from the lord.


Aurochs is fierce and great-horned,

A terrible beast that fights with its horns, 5

A notorious moor-haunter. That is a proud creatures


Thorn is severely sharp to any warrior,

Its seizure is painful and immeasurably fierce

To any man who rests among them.


Mouth is the source of every language, 10

Wisdom's support and consolation for the wise;

Happiness and hope for every earl.


Journey is easy for warriarsin the hall,

And racking for those who sit up high

On the powerful horse, over the mile-roads. 15


Torch is by the living seen ablaze;

Bright and splendid, it burns always

Where noble men rest themselves within.


Gift of men is an honor and praise,

Support and worthiness; and for the miserable 20

Kindness and sustenance when they have nought else.


Joy he has, who knows little of woes,


-80









Of sorrow and grief, who has for himself 25

Success and bliss, and the sufficiency of castles.


Hail is the whitest of grains as it hurls from the

loft of the heavens;

It is rolled by the showers of wind; to water it

turns at the end.


Need is oppressive to the heart, but she turns,

for the children of men,

Into both a help and salvation, if they pay heed

to it betimes.


Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;

It glistens clear as glass, most like unto gems; 30

Fashions a frosty floor, fair to behold.


Spring is the hope of men when God,

The holy King of Heaven, suffers to give to earth

Bright blossoms for warriors and beggars.


Yew is on the outside a rough-barked tree; 35

Firm and fast in the earth, the keeper of fire

Is sustained by roots, is the pride of the realm.


Dicing is ever a sport and laughter,

High-spirited . where warriors sit

Around the beer-hall, blithely together. 40









Elk-sedge has its place most often in the fen;

It grows in the water, wounds sharply

And burns with blood every man

Who dares to touch it at all.


Sun is ever the hope of sailors 45

When they sail over the fish's bath

And the sea-horse brings them back to land.


Tir is some kind of token; well keeps its faith

With noblemen; remains on its course

Over the darkness of nights; it fails never. 50


Birch has no fruit, yet it bears nevertheless

Shoots without fruits, is beautiful with branches

High in its crown, splendidly adorned

And laden with leaves, pressing up loftily.


The horse is for earls as a princely pleasure, 55

A steed splendid of hoofs, where heroes,

The wealthy on horseback, bandy words

About him, that is ever a remedy for the restless.


Man who is mirthful is dear to his kinsman.

Yet must every man fail all others 60

Because the Lord will by his law

Commit that wretched flesh to the earth.









Sea is by princes thought long-enduring

If they must venture on the tilting ship

And they by sea waves are terribly frightened 65

And the sea-horse heeds not its bridle.


Ing was at first seen by men

Among the East Danes, until he later eastward

Over the wave departed; a wagon ran after.

Thus, those brave men named that hero. 70


Homeland is cherished by every man

If he can make use of his right and customs,

At his dwelling, in constant prosperity.


Day is the Lord's message, dear unto men,

Great light of God, a joy and a comfort 75

To the rich and the wretched, beneficial to all.


Oak is on earth for the children of men

Bodily food. Oak fares constantly

Over the bath of the gannet, and sea will find out

Whether oak keeps its oath with earls. 80


Ash is towering, beloved of men,

Stiff in its station, holds to it steadfastly

Though many men battle against it.


Bow is for princes and earls alike

Delight and an honor; it is fair on horse, 85

Reliable on the journey, a real piece of war-gearl






84

Iar is always a river fish and yet ever enjoys

Food from the land; he has a fair dwelling

Covered with water where he lives in joy.

The grave is grim to every nobleman 90

When quickly begins the flesh,

The corpse, to cool -- the livid one, to choose

The earth for bed-companion; blossoms fall,

Joys pass away, and treaties are broken.































Annotations








1. rune, feoh (ON. fe, Go. fe, Gothic 8th-cent. 'spell-
ings are from Vienna Codex 795, Gmc. *fehu) 'goods,

cattle, property' with the inscriptional value of the

letter f. The rune is also used to represent the let-

ter b (late Latin /-_ 7), as in Franks Casket afita-

tores (= habitatores). On the interchange of f and

b spelling see Campbell, Par. 57. The rune occurs in

other poetic texts as signifying its name in Fates of

the Apostles 98, Christ 807, Elene 1269, and possibly

in Juliana 708 (see ASPR, III, 287 and Elliott, ES,

XXXIV, 49ff., 193ff. for interpretations), and as sig-

nifying a sound or letter in the Exeter Riddles, num-

bers 19 and 64 (ASPR, III, 189, 230).

frofur, T. Grienberger (Anglia, XLV, 204) suggests the

interpretation tauxilium' rather than 'solatium, Trost';

Dickins translates as 'comfort.'

2. miclun, a dative plural used adverbially, may be a stage

of the change um> on, an (Campbell, Par. 387). Cf. un-

gemetun 8; gehwyclun 9, 90; wyrtrumun 37; wynan 37; sec-

gun 68.

4. h rune, ur (ONorw. ur 'slag,' OIce. ur 'drizzle,' Go.
uraz, Gmc. *:-uruz aurochs') probably retains the older

meaning 'wild ox' with the inscriptional value u. Al-

though this gigantic wild ox (bos taurus primigenius)

had been extinct in Britain for centuries before the

OE period (fossil remains are abundant in England in


'86






87


the later Plistocene deposits), the aurochs was to

be found in the forests of Poland as late as mid-

sixteenth century. That they were known in Prussia

as well at least as late as the twelfth or thirteenth

centuries suggests that the Germanic and Scandinavian

tribes about the time of the invasion (450) could

have had first-hand knowledge of this enormous animal.

Cf. Lydekker, Wild Oxen, Sheep, and Goats of all lands,

living and extinct, London (1898), p. llff. Caesar

gives evidence that the hunting and slaying of the

aurochs was a sport among young men,the horns being

valued as drinking vessels (Gallic War, VI, 28):

(The Aurochs) are a little below the
elephant in size and of the appearance,
color, and shape of a bull. Their
strength and speed are extraordinary, and
they spare neither man nor beast that has
the misfortune to come their way. These
the natives capture with much pains in pits
and kill them. The youths harden themselves
to this exercise and particular kind of hunt-
ing. He who has killed the greatest number
of them brings the horns to display as evi-
dence of his courage and is highly applauded
by his countrymen. So savage is the nature
of these beasts that no matter how young
they are captured, they can never be tamed.
The great size, shape, and type of their
horns make them quite different from the
horns of our oxen. These are much sought
after; and it is the custom to bind them
with tips of silver and to use them as cups
at their most sumptuous feasts. (Burdock's
translation)

Although no drinking horn could have attained the fab-

ulous proportions of that one by which orr was









hoodwinked (Snorri Edda, Gylfaginning, 46), yet the

remains of two large horns uncovered in the Sutton Hoo

excavation are 3 feet long and have a capacity of

six quarts (cf. Charles Green, Sutton Hoo (New York,

1963), p. 73).

and for Hickes' 7t so also in 20, 24, 58, 65, 84,

-where these have been expanded oferhyrned, for Hickes'

ofer horned, is defined 'having horns above,' B-T, p.

735; so Grienberger and Dobbie. Dickins translates
'with great horns,' seeing ofer as an intensifier as

in 29 and 71, oferceald and oferleof. The word is a

hapax legomenon.

5. felafrecne for Hickes' fela frecne.
6. maere morstapa, cf. the formula in Beowulf 103, Grendel

as maere mearcstapa. morstapa for Hickes' mor stapa.

paet for Hickes' ,.and so in line 62.

For other instances of the "paet is" formula in OE poetry

see Beowulf 11, 863, 1075, 1812, 2390; Dream of the

Rood 74; Panther 74'; Deor 19, 23; Daniel 7, 24, 324.

The formula seems to have been used as a kind of punc-

tuation mark for a descriptive passage about a good

king, sad woman, or a fearsome wight.

7. p rune, porn 'thorn,'rlwith the inscriptional value
of P and S. The Scandinavian rune name gyrs (Gmc.
*:-purisaz) appears in the ONorw. Rune Poem as "Giant

causes anguish to women," and in the OIce. Rune Poem








as "Giant=torture of women and cliff-dweller and hus-

band of giantess" (Dickins, translations). Christian

scribes probably substituted the paler born for the

older pagan pyrs 'giant, enchanter, (cf. Beowulf 426),

and so in the case of os and tir. The rune was

adopted by the scribes of OE MSS to represent that

sound for which the Latin alphabet had no symbol and

was used through the ME period. A derivative of 'orn

(pe> p e> ) appears ultimately in such archaisms as
"Ye Olde Choppe Suey Shoppe" (Pyles, Origins and De-

velopment of the English Language, p. 31).

8. anfeng ys fy for Hickest anfen-gys yfyl. So Dickins

and Dobbie after the suggestion of Grein (Germania, X,

428).

Grienberger (Anglia, XLV, 206) reads anfengys yfyl. y

for unstressed e, cf. eadnys 12, recyde 13, herenys 19,

underwrepyd 37, faerylde 49.

10. F rune, os (ONorw. oss 'estuary,' OIce. oss 'god,'

Go. aza, Gmc. *ansuz 'god') 'mouth' with the inscrip-
tional value o. Gmc. nasalized a became in OE o and

with loss of n, o became lengthened; thus the rune
name *:ansuz > os, and its meaning was presumably changed

in Christian times to the Latin homophone os, 'mouth.'

The new shape of the rune is generally explained as

a ligature of a plus j n ( 4 > H >) > > ),
so Hempl, Dickins, Keller, Schneider, and Guinn (p.









33). The old rune P for Gmc. a developed by regular

phonetic change into ae and was renamed aesc 'ash.,

The word os does not appear elsewhere in OE except in

the personal names of the Os- variety and in the charm

"For a sudden stitch," (ASPR, VI, 122, line 23) Gif

hit were esa gescot oooe hit waere ylfa gescot, etc.

(cf. also Beowulf, 112, eotenas ond ylfe and orcneas,

swylce gigantas) where in OE times the esa are con-

nected with the realm of pagan divinities. Other

glosses of os are 'speech, language,' and Isidore in

discussing orthographia makes the point that "Os, si

vultum aut ossum significant, per o solam scribendum

est, si personal, h praeponenda est." And only a few

lines later in the Etymologiae: "Etymologia est origo

vocabulorum," which resembles Os byp ordfruma aelcre

spraece. There may be a connection between the equa-

tion of God, the Word, and Christ (in St. John's Gos-

pel I, 1: "In principio erat verbum") and the older

*ansus 'god' becoming os 'mouth-speech-language,' but

this is, of course, highly speculative. If the mean-

ing in the Rune Poem is 'mouth' after the Latin os, it

is the only rune of the original Gmc. fupark to take

its name from a foreign language.

12. tohiht for Hickes' to hiht; otherwise we would expect

dat. sing. to hihte.

13. K rune, rad (ONorw. raei_ OIce. reiA, Go. reda, Gmc.








*rai6o) 'riding' with the inscriptional value r.

Elliott points out (p. 57) that k is perhaps asso-

ciated with the belief that the soul takes a journey

after death (cf. The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, London,

1963; and the opening passages of Beowulf). Concern-
ing this pagan association of the runes, Elliott fur-

ther asserts: "Thus interpreted the r-rune could con-

ceivably have come to function almost as a journey-

charm, whether for the living or for the dead. In

the three runic poems the word 'riding, is interpreted

quite literally." A number of translations have been

suggested for rad: 'music' (Grein-K'ohler, p. 540);

'furniture (of a horse),' 'harness (of a horse)'

(B-T, p. 781); 'equipment, tackle' (Chadwick, in

Dickins, p. 14); 'saddle' (Kemble, Archaeologia,

XXVIII, 340). Even as late as 1965 C. L. Wrenn

writes "Some Earliest Anglo-Saxon Cult Symbols,"

Franciplegius, ed. J. B. Bessinger and R. P. Creed,

p. 47): "It is now generally agreed that RAD of
the Runic Poem expresses the rhythmic music of harp

(or possibly flute): and in both such music and the

distant roll of a wagon may be heard a fractum murmur,"

Here, rad is taken as 'journey,' as in Elene 981.

on recyde, for Hickes' onrecyde.

15. maegenheardum, for Hickes' maegen heardum.




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE OLD ENGLISH RUNE POEM, AN EDITION By FREDERICK GEORGE JONES, JR. A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA June, 1967

PAGE 2

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA illllliiiil 3 1262 08552 3933

PAGE 4

o For Siri, Lisa, and Adel

PAGE 5

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am greatly indebted to my supervisoiTT chairman. Professor John Algeo — lar^owa craeftlicost — , for his learning and his support of my i^ork from beginning to end, and I am grateful for the criticism said scholarly example of the other two members of my committee. Professor Aubrey Williams and Professor Oscar F. Jones. I would also like to extend my hearty thanks to Professor Alton Morris for his reading of this thesis and also for his kindnesses in years past. ill

PAGE 6

PREFACE The earliest records of any of the Germanic lant^uages are written in the runic fu'^ark, a name taken from the first six letters of this ancient and mysterious alphabet. The origins of the fui)ark are obscure, but most scholars now believe it to have been developed by a Germanic tribe which was in contact with certain North Italic alphabets sometime in the period c. 250 to 150 B. C. The rvanes, each of which signifies a sound and a common noion, were in the beginning used primarily for casting lots and for divination, being scratched on sticks and dice, and only secondarily for inscriptional purposes. But during the next five hujidred years, as a result of the Germanic migrations, the fu^ark became the common property of sll the Germanic peoples and its inscriptional uses were realized, so that early forms of the Germanic languages are preserved to this day, scratched on various bits of wood, metal, and stone, from Greece to Greenland. Apart from a fev; isolated instances, the rimes occur but rarely in manuscripts. Host inscriptions are brief, consisting only of a fev; vrords or sentences at the most.

PAGE 7

but they provide a significant body of evidence in the early cultural and linguistic history of the Germanic peoples. The magnificent Golden Drinking Horn of Gallehus (fifth century) contained, vtntil it was stolen and melted dovm, one of the earliest examples of Germanic alliterative verse : (1^ NrttK^X^^tlf NAMl'v'f^Y H^Wf tl^MM^ • ek hlewagastJR holti.iaR horna tawido: I, HleT^ra-gast, Holt's son, made the horn. Inscriptions on tombstones and monuments abovmd in Sweden and Denmark, and coins, swords, and stone cross fragments contain some of the earliest examples of Old English. One of the noblest works of art of early England is the Ruthwell Cross, with its inscriptions from the Dream of the Rood and the triiomphant /hWlf ^^'^ PiKPMl : Krist waes on rodi . As recently as the last three years, hundreds of new runic inscriptions have been dug up from the wharf foundations in Bergen, Norway. Most of these date from Hanseatic times and include scratchings on combs and mirror cases, shipping labels, business letters vn?itten on sticks, and some are not without literary interest as one verse epistle which reads: Unn ^u mer, ann ek |)er Gunnhildr. Kyss mik kann ek Jjik. (You love me; I love you. Gunnhild. Kiss me: I know you well.) R^xnic traditions are vigorous in Scandinavia as late as the sixteenth century, but in England, after the introduction of Christianity in the seventh centaury, the runes

PAGE 8

seem to have fallen into disuse. The Old English Rune Poem , a product of this period of declining vitality of the English runic traditions, has not suffered from the neglect of the scholar. Like all runic documents, the Rune Poem has been devoted close study, and because it contains a wealth of both rvmic and cultural lore, a large body of scholarship has built up arotxnd the poem, nearly all of it dealing with the runes — their values, names, and meanings. This edition makes use of the annotations of Dickins and Dobbie, but the main purpose here has been to place the poem in the literary traditions of the period, so that the poem can emerge as a poem, and not merely a document of linguistic interest. Therefore, in addition to a svimmary of the manuscript history and language, annotations and glossary, the present edition offers a study of the genre of the poem, from the point of view of both the vernacular and Latin traditions, a study of the stylistic techniques, and a study of the theme and structure of the poem. vi

PAGE 9

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMEI^TS iii PREFACE iv INTRODUCTION 1 Manuscript 2 Language and Date 9 Sources and Genre 16 Techniques and Thenes 38 TEXT 73 TRANSLATION 79 ANNOTATIONS 85 BIBLIOGRAPHY lllj. APPENDIX 123 GLOSSARY 130 BIOGRAPHICAL SICETCH lii.5

PAGE 10

Introduction

PAGE 11

MANUSCRIPT The unique manuscript of the Rvne Poem was extant as MS Cotton Otho B. x. f ol . 165 until the fire of 1731, which destroyed it and so many other early English manuscripts, Fortrmately, however, George Hickes (1614-2-1715), pamphleteer, divine, and antiquarian, had printed the poem in the Grammatica Anglo Saxonica of his ponderous Thesaurus (1705), which contains among other things grammars of Old English and Gothic, Old High German, and Icelandic, specimens of these languages, some runic and numismatic lore, and Humphrey Wanley's catalogue of Old English manuscripts and' printed books. All subsequent editions of the Rune Poem have, therefore, been based on Hickes' printing of the poem in the Thesaurus . The earliest notice of the MS Cotton Otho B. x. occurs in a note of Sir Robert Cotton in the 1621 catalogue of the Cottonian collection (Harley 60l8, f. 162^). The note records the loan to William Camden of "A Saxon book of divers saints lives and the Alphabet t of the old Danish letter amonghs Mr. Gocelins." N. R. Ker infers from this that the MS along with the Rime Poem folio belonged at one time to John Joscelyn (1529-1603), Archbishop Parker's Latin secretary and sometime Cambridge Latin and Greek lecturer, who collected a 2 number of important Old English manuscripts, and Ker suggests

PAGE 12

that the Rvme Poem MS folio, a single leaf, was bound with the MS of saints' lives "perhaps by Joscelyn."-^ In Thomas Smith's Catalogus Librorxam Manuscript orum Bibliothecae Cottonianae (Oxonii MDCXGVI) occurs the first complete description of the contents of the MS, yet Smith fails to mention the Rune Poem , which, according to Wanley's Catalogus , was found on f. 165. In Smith we read the following description of the verso of that folio: Characteres Alphabeti peregrini, n^;^mero tantvmi decern. Aliqui ex his videntur. esse literis Rixnicis similes. 165 b.^ In Humphrey Wanley's copy of Smith's Catalogus now in the Bodleian Library as Add. MS. l80ij.l (Gough London Sk) there is the annotation in Wanley's hand: " Litterae antiquae Runicae niimero plane viginti et nouem cum observatt . Saxonicis ." And in Wanley's own Catalogus , published in the same volume as Hickes' Thesaurus , folio 165 is described as follows: XXVIII. fol. 165 Folixom quod olim ad alium quendam librvim pertinuit, nunc hujus pars, in quo continetur Alphabetum Runicum cum explicatione Poetica, Saxonice, quod non ita pridem descripsi rogatu CI. D. Hickesii, qui in Gram. Anglo-Saxonicae, cap. 22 de Dialecto Normanno-Saxonica. P. 135. illud typis evulgavit. Hempl has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the rune values and several variant names found in Hickes' edition are borrowed from MS Cotton Domitian A. ix. f. 11 , which furore Hickes reproduces on the next page after the Rune Poem ( Thesau rus , p. 136). And C. L. Wrenn has produced fxu'ther evidence that Hickes added the runic paraphernalia to the facsimile:

PAGE 13

Hickes himself was quite candid about his additions when printing the Runic Poem. There is, he says, on p. 165 of the MS. 'R-unarixm Danicarum, tarn simplicium quam duplicium, descriptio qviaedam poetica, Anglo -Saxonice explicata.' It is of this 'Descriptio' that he writes as follows: Plane quasi ab omnibus doctis spectatu dignam, hie cum r-unis aere incisis, operae et sumptus pretium exhibere judicamus, Latinis additis ex adverso elementis, ad ostendendam runarum potestatem , una cvm. iis nominibus quibus appellantur ipsae rtinae . The italics are my own: but, with -bhe corroborative evidence of Wanley quoted above /the description in his Catalogus 7, I think "^ere can be little doubt that Hickes, as Hempl long ago suggested, added the marginal runenames and rtine-values deliberately for the better carrying out of his purpose, which was, of course, primarily philological. ° Wrenn has also pointed out the likelihood that Hickes' trance scription was actually made by Wanley, since in the description of Galba A. ii. ( Catalogus , p. 237) Wanley says: IV Alphabeta Rxmica diversa, quae cum aliis ex hujusce Bibliothecae Codd. MSS . descripta D. Hickesio imprimenda dedi. Wrenn comments: "It may be, therefore, that the whole of Hickes ' transcriptions of runic fu^jarks and alphabets rests on those originally made by ^aniey." Ker also asserts that the Rvme Poem was printed "no doubt from Wanley' s transcript." The history of the Rvne Poem MS may therefore be reconstmicted, from the evidence given above, as follows: The medieval scribe transcribed the poem including only the single runes and the verses. A later Old English scribe added the names of the ^^mes as a gloss. The Rune Poem folio became detached from the original manuscript (if it was ever bound).

PAGE 14

and was bound with a MS of Aelfric's Lives of the Saints, perhaps by Joscelyn (1529-1603). The MS (now Cotton Otho B. x.) was acquired by Sir Robert Cotton, apparently from Joscelyn, and was lent to William Camden. In 1696 Thomas Smith described Cotton Otho B. x., overlooking the Rune Poem but noting ten runes on the verso of f. 165. Wanley transcribed the poem as-'well as the furores of Cotton Galba A. ii. and Domitian A. ix., noted Smith's omission in his copy of Catalogus 1696, and described Otho B. x. for his own Catalogus 1705. Hickes published V/anley ' s transcriptions of the Rune Poem and the furores, adding to the facsimile of the poem (if they were not already present in Wanley 's transcription) the Latin values, the variant names, and variant runes from Wanley 's transcription of Dom. A. ix. In 1731 MS Otho B. x. was badly damaged by the fire and f . 165 was destroyed. Since the Rune Poem folio did not originally belong to Otho B. X., the few leaves that survived the fire can be of no value in determining the peculiarities of the hand, nor can we even be sure just how the poem was arranged on the page. But from a comparison of the letter counts of single pages of several representatives MSS and of the Rune Poem it seems likely that the poem was transcribed on both the recto and the verso of f. 165. It is also probable that the MS scribe, quite in keeping with Old English verse transscription, did not divide the poem into stanzas as Hickes has done. And if the runes occurred within the lines, this

PAGE 15

situation would account for Smith's overlooking the poem, which followed hard on the heels of a Saxon penitential, and would account for his noting (incorrectly?) only ten miscellaneous runes at the end of the poem, perhaps the nine runes which Hickes includes at the bottom of the facsimile: Hos characteres p t H r > i P t^X ad alia sestinans / sic , read festinans 7, studioso lectori interpretanda relinguo . In arranging the text of the poem for this edition, I have taken the liberty of dividing it into stanzas, but the rune names, Latin values, and the variant runes, have been omitted.

PAGE 16

NOTES •'"N. R. Ker, A Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, 1957), p. 22B. ^On Joscelyn's antiquarian activities, see Eleanor N. Adams, Old English Scholarship in England from 1566 to 1800 (New Haven, 1917), p. 30. \gv, p. 230. Quoted from R. Derolez, Runica Manuscripta (Brugge, 195U), p. 17. ^Cited by Ker, p. 230. H. Wanley, Catalogus , p. 192. '''g. Hempl, MP, I (190ii), 135-li+l. C. L. VJrenn, "Late Old English Rime-Names," Medium Aevum, I (1932), 25. The question of the relationship between the Rune Poem folio and Hickes' facsimile is complicated by a runic alphabet found in Hickes' Icelandic grammar later in the Thesaurus . On a page filled with tables of rimic alphabets from various sources (including Dom. A. ix., St. John 17, Galba A. ii) is an alphabet "e God. MS Bib. Cott. Otho B. 10." ( Gram . Is,, p. ij., table II, 3), which contradicts the evidence from ^e facsimile of the Rune Poem : (1) The incorrect values Y and Z are given to Y and |^ , but the values are. correct in the rtmic alphabet of Dom. A. ix. (I-IS source of the Rune Poem's accretions) and the facsimile of the Rvme Poem . (2) The two H variants, the N, EO, and ING variants are included (all of whichiiare found in Dom. A. ix . and the facsimile), but the W and ^ variants are not included (found in Dom. A. ix. and the facsimile). (3) The ([x rune, having neither name nor value in the facsimile, is given the value Z, whereas it has the value K in the Dom. A. ix. alphabet. (Ij.) The values of da eg and man are reversed (presumably following the evidence of Dom. A. ix. against the evidence of the correct name glosses foxind vjith the poem; see line 59n) . This reversal was not an idle slip since Hickes in his charts of the derivations of the runes from Greek and Latin ( Gram . Is., p. k) gives the value M to ^ and D to f^ . At least one conclusion may be

PAGE 17

dravm from all these inconsistencies: The additions Hempl and Wrenn ascribe to Hickes are really those of V/anley, and although Hickes knew that some elements had been added to V/anley's transcription of the Rvine Poem , he either did not know, or did not distinguish the MS evidence from the additions in making up his alphabetical charts. These inconsistencies have little bearing on the text of the Rune Poem , but in viev/ of our dependence on Hickes alone for the runes of the lost liSS Galba A. ii. (destroyed by fire in 1865) and Otho B. x., and in view of the contradictions in the descriptions of Otho B. x., the question of the reliability of Hickes' reproductions needs further study. "^Wrenn, p. 27. •^°Ibid., p. 27. '^Ker, p. 230.

PAGE 18

LANGUAGE AND DATE An analysis of the language of the poem reveals few forms that can be assigned only to any non-West Saxon dialect, and the relatively few unexpected spellings can in almost every case be seen as the result of the levelling of vowels of unstressed syllables and the smoothing of early West Saxon diphthongs, both of which are to be regarded as late West Saxon changes (see Kemp Malone, "When did Middle English begin?", Curme Volume of Linguistic Studies , Language Monograph , No. 7, 1930, pp. 110-117). In addition, the change m > n in final unstressed syllables is evidence for a late MS date (see Campbell, Par. 378). Deviations from the standard Alfredian texts are discussed in detail below: A. Vowels in stressed syllables: 1. The tendency throughout the text to confuse the graphs i and ^: The by^? formula which begins nearly every stanza is spelled by^ , except in J4.5, 1+8, I4.9, 52, 58, and 81, where we find bi^ . In line 6 i_s is written beside ys 8, and wile for drihtne 3» beside dryhten wyle 6I . Other instances of ± alternating with ^ include hihte i;5» unstyl l\im 58, and gerysena 72. This spelling of i where we should expect 2 and vice versa can tell us nothing positive about the rounding or unrovmding of the front vowels, and the occurrence of alternations in words which occur more than

PAGE 19

10 once further precludes any final decision as to their pronvmciation. 2. Syllan 33 for earlier sellan must also be regarded as a IV/S change common to the group sel (Camp' bell. Par. 325). 3. Byrneb 17 is IWS j for biernan (Campbell, Par. 299a), eWS variant of birnan < -x -brinnan . class III strong verb. BreneS' k.3, on the other hand, is a variant of the causative baernan, a weak verb ultimately from -" -brannjan (Campbell, Parv 193d) . k. Hlehter 38 and wexeS i;2, e < ea, are examples of IWS smoothing (Campbell, Par. 312), or Anglian smoothing (Biilbring, Par. 31 3) . 5. Wature 1|2 and waetere 26 (beside waetre 89) exhibit the parasitic vowel in the dative singular, u (probably representing /~9_7) written for e. Since OE ae and a coalesced in IDE times in a, wature may be further evidence for a late m date (c. 1100?, cf. Campbell, Par. 329.3). 6. Trywe I|.8 for trlewe is a V/S feature (Billbring, Par. 188). Hwyrft 25 shows a similar WS monophthongization of ie to j (Campbell, Par. 300). 7. Est 68 beside East is more than likely a reflection of the 1•S monophthongization of diphthongs (Campbell, Par. 329.2). 8. The vovrels o/a are commonly in free variation before nasals as in onfeng I4I1, and anfeng 8, the a/o variation presumably being extended to the noun by analogy from the verb onfon.

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11 9. Be^ 14.6 beside bae^j 79 and semannxxm . l\.S for expected sae^mannum is quite possibly a Kentish characteristic. The raising of aje to £ in the Kentish Gospels is a tenth-century change (Campbell, Par. 288). B. Vowels in vinstressed syllables: 1. The unstressed vowels a, u, o, _e and 1. fell together as s chwa in late OE, and the large proportion of inconsistent spellings in the Rune Poem testifies to a certain confusion on the part of the scribe as to how this schwa should be represented. Thus we find fro fur 1, 11, 58 for expected frofor, oftust 17, hi and pelTcust 30 beside oftast 73, faerylde 1^9 beside faereld e 86, wynan 37 and magan 59 for expected wynnixm. and ma gun , 5ta|)ule 82 for expected sta^ole , herenys 19 for herenes , undervjre^yd 37 for ixnderwre^od , t udder $2 for tuddor , and ne^xm 6I4. for ne^an. 2. Syncopation in brTdles 66, fodres 88, waetre 89 (Campbell, Par. 388, 389) and haefb 23, lf.1 (Campbell, Par, 732). The uncontracted ha fat? 88, beside the expected haef^ 23, k^ xnay be WS , since the form does occur in prose texts (Campbell, Par. 762), or it may be Anglian, since it is foimd regularly in Vespasian Psalter (Campbell, Par. 762) and in Anglian poetic texts (Sievers-Briinner, Par. Ip-lc) . The syncopated hwyrft 25 for hwyr&b is also probably V/S (Campbell, Par. 732) . The regular WS hylt 82 beside \msyncopated healdeS ij.8 is given by Sievers ( Beitr . , X, l^lk) as evidence for a Southern origin of the poem. Verb

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12 syncopation in Anglian texts is rare, and if the poem were Anglian, line 82b wo\ild read stede rihte haldeS. Such a measure cannot be made to conform to any of Sievers' five verse types (or Creed's, cf. FI-ILA , LXXXI, 23); hence it must be inferred that the line, if Anglian, violates the patterns of OE versification. It is therefore likely that the poem is not of Anglian provenance. In line I4.8 however, either hea]da5 or hylt would give a metrical line (Sievers' C. Consonants: 1. There is metathesis in IWS /sk/ to /ks/, as in fisces i;6 and fix 87 (Campbell, Par. kM-0) , 2. Assimilation of 3 sing. pres. ending of f^ > ft as in hwyrft 25 is rare. J. Hedberg (The Syncope of the Old English Present Endings , Lund, 19i|.5) cites no instance of f^>ft occurring in the prose texts, and according to Campbell (Par. I|-8l.5) the change f^ > ft which occurs in, for example, IWS beoft, does not occur in the verbs. In the case of hwyrft there are two possible explanations: either (1) hvryrft represents scribal confusion with the noun hwyrft 'a turn, going, course'; or, (2) what is more likely, with the syncopation of fe|3 > f^, the f became devoiced, and the final spirant dissimilated to a stop. It is doubtful that the t of hwyrft represents a spirant (Campbell, Par. 57.7), or that t is here an alternative phonological form -^^et of the 3 sing. pres. ind. (Campbell, Par. 735b).

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13 On the basis of the evidence above we can say that the scribe confuses the graphs 1 and ^ in stressed position and that the schwa of unstressed syllables is represented variously by u, o, a, j_f and _e. These are common features of IWS, but there are a number of pairs of variant spellings which indicate the absence of a vigorously standard scribal tradition ( wature / waetere / waetre , "est / last , onf eng / anf eng , be|) / baeb , hafab / haefb , healdeS / hylt , fisces / fix , etc.). In addition to the pairs of variant spellings, there is a curious bvinching up of less expected forms between lines 37lj.6, and these lines will bear closer examination. vniile one wotold not go so far as to say (as has J. Dover Wilson in regard to the compositor of the First Folio ) that these lines were copied in a state of eagerness to get on with the job however carelessly, "after an interval for refreshment from 'a stoup of ale,'" nevertheless in line 37 we find two instances of final m> n, a alternating with u in the dative plural, and ^ for o in the past participle: wyrtr-gmun underwrebyd wynan on eble * In addition, within these lines we find the most significant vocalic variant spellings, those reflecting IWS or Anglian smoothing ( hlehter 38, wexeS k.2) and the quite possibly tenth-century Kentish raising of ae > £ ( semannum kS and beb I|6) . And here also is the form wature k2. with the less expected parasite vowel. In addition to the high frequency of vmexpected and possibly

PAGE 23

11^ dialectal spellings peculiar to these ten lines, it is here that we find the only gap in the text of the poem. Something has been omitted from the line wlancum Kar wigan sitta^ 39, although the omission is not noted by Hickes. It is, of course, entirely possible that the omission was made by VJanley in his transcription, but it is just as likely to be the error of a scribe who, rather carelessly repeating dialectal accretions and adding a few of his own, failed to understand some of the r\mes and their accompanying verses, and who consequently in his confusion omitted two or three words from the MS. It is not therefore coincidental that these spellings and omissions should occ\ir within these two stanzas, ( peor^ and eolh secg ) , the rvme-names of which are quite rare in OE and the significations of which would have been preserved only in a strong rvinic tradition. Three tentative conclusions may be drawn from the linguistic evidence of the text and from the mixture of forms and the lacuna of lines 37 to ij.6: (1) The MS of the Rune Poem is tenth or eleventh century, when the vigor of the runic traditions had been all but lost. Such IWS spellings as n for final m, the levelling of unstressed vowels, and the smoothing of diphthongs preclude an earlier date for the MS. (2) The MS had a checkered histojry, and may have been copied by Anglian and Kentish scribes before its final redaction by the West Saxon Cottonian MS scribe. (3) The original dialect of the poem cannot be known with certainty

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15 althoiigh, because of the several syncopated verbs, notably hylt 82, the poem is presumably not of Anglian origin, but rather is Southern. The occurrence of the Tor rune, with its Kentish connections (see line 87n) , and the Kentish spellings semannum kS and be^ k-6 suggest at least the possibility of Kentish origin, though the poem is more than likely of West Saxon provenance.

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SOURCES AND GENRE Understanding the relationships between the pagan and Christian traditions has always been one of the larger concerns of Old English studies. Most of the disputes have been waged arovmd Beowulf , beginning with F. A. Blackbvim's essay "The Christian Coloring in the Beowulf " and continuing to the very recent attack on the Christian-patristic point of view in "Beowulf and the Pitfalls of Piety." ^ It would not be appropriate to discuss here the various approaches to Beowulf that have been made, nor to consider the question of the fusion of pagan and Christian elements in Old English poetry as a whole, but an attempt will be made in this section to show that the assumption of earlier editors and critics that the Old English Rune Poem is derived from a much older pagan Germanic rune poem is merely an assvimption, and to demonstrate that there are reasons somewhat more compelling to place the poem within the LatinChristian poetic traditions of the early Middle Ages. Any search for the source or the genre of the Rime Poem must be directed toward these traditions. The histories of Old English literature nearly always discuss the Rvme Poem in the sections on "survivals 16

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17 of the Germanic-pagan traditions," and there is justification for this since clearly the runes themselves are a survival of a tradition reaching back as far as the first or second century. But the suggestion that the Old English Rune Poem itself is a survival of an ur-poem can be based on nothing but sheer speculation. Alois Brandl makes perhaps the earliest suggestion (1901) that the Rime Poem is drawn from a heathen poem: V<'ahrend aber dieser Dichter, wie aus seinen Anspielungen auf den Himmelskonig hervorgeht, bereits Christ war, fuhrt uns der Vergleich mit zwei verwandten skandinavischen Runen gedichten bis zu einer heidnischen Urform zuruck . 3 The onepage introduction of the first critical edition of the poem (1915), that of Bruce Dickins, is based largely on Brandl, and suggests that the poem is early, "pre-Alfredian at least (with traces perhaps of an original from which the Scandinavian poems are derived)." One of the more judicious statements concerning the origin of the poem is to be found in Bobbie's edition (19l|.2), where the poem is called a "miscellaneous compilation from all kinds of sources, both literary and popular." But although Dobbie acknowledges the obscurity of the exact nature of these sources and their combinations, and although he suggests the possibility of accretion, nevertheless he asserts, probably rightly, that the poem as we have it "gives the impression of a complete and \xnified work by a single compiler." Dobbie sees its

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18 unity consisting in the bi^-formula, the conformity of the length of stanzas, and the effect of finality in the last stanza. Kemp Malone in A Literary History of England (19l|.8) has lent his weighty opinion to the discussion, and in a chapter entitled "The Old Tradition: Popular Poetry," he says in regard to the source of the Rune Poem ; It seems altogether likely that the runes from the first were learned by means of a poem in which each runename began a section, though in the original poem the sections may have been quite brief — possibly no more than a short verse each. From this original poem the three rvinic poems were presumably descended. ' Thus the notion of an original Germanic rvme poem has persisted, but on the basis of no evidence at all, except the two later Norse rune poems. These two poems, the source of the ur-poem speculation from the beginning, can however offer no evidence for an original: In the first place, the Old Noi^egian Rune Poem may have grown out of someone's having heard the Old English poem in the thirteenth century, and the Old Icelandic poem, of the fifteenth century (Bruce Dickins' dates), may have been derived from one or the other. Furthermore, the only similarities between the Norse poems and the English poem are those that are a necessary consequence of the simiQ lar rune names and a shared storehouse of kennings. Secondly, in regard to the stanza form, the second half of the Old Norwegian line is in each case an independent gnome with an end-rime:

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19 Fe vaeldr fraenda roge; fjziSesk \alfr i skoge. Ur er af illu jarne; ^ o opt liziypr raeinn a hjarne. In the Old Icelandic poem each stanza is a series of three kennings which define three aspects of each rune name, and this is punctuated by the Latin equivalent of the name and a synonym for 'king': Fe er fraenda rog ok flaeSar viti ok grafseiJs gata. aurura fylkir. Ur er skyja gratr ok skara ^verrir ok hirSis hatr^ umbre visi. Thus on the basis of stanza form it may be doubted whether there is any connection between the two Norse poems, much less between either of them and the Old English R\me Poem or a Germanic urrone poem. And finally, the structure of the Old English poem, the extension of the Germanic fu^ark of twenty-fo\ir runes to twenty-nine runes, and our poet's sense of order and finality in the twenty-ninth stanza, makes derivation from an earlier Germanic rvme poem unlikely. For all the secular lore that the poem does contain, it has closer affinities to the Latin genres of aenigma , gnomic catalogue poem, and abecedarium than to a hypothetical Germanic -pagan rune poem genre. The riddling quality of the Rune Poem has often been noted, and if the rvines were not originally accompanied by

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20 the name glosses, each stanza wotild be a riddle for someone tmfamiliar with the names. The riddle itself is an ancient and respectable genre: We see it in the riddle of Odysseus to Polyphemus, in the riddle of the Sphinx, in the riddle of Samson to the Philistines, and the riddle is found in the early literature of England in both Latin and the vernacular. Aldhelm at the abbey of Malmesbury, under the influence of its Irish founders, composed a series of one himdred Aenigmata modelled after the riddle cycle of Symphosius, perhaps a sixth-century scholar of the Vandal kingdom. Aldhelm' s riddles, like the Rune Poem , glorify the creation, and the introductory poem has the line Aldhelmus cecinit millenis versibu.^r odas,in acrostic and telestich. As testimony to the relative wealth of the English libraries, Aldhelm 's krtowledge of Latin authors included his favorites Virgil and Sedulius, Ovid, Horace, Terence, Perseus, Juvenal, Lucan, Juvencus, Paulinus of Nola, Ausonius, Prudentius, Claudian, Prosper, Sidonius 1? Apollinaris, and, of course, the Fathers. And this Aldhelm was the same who, according to William of Malmesbury, used to sit at the bridge and. sing Old English lays to lure people into church. Another collection of riddles, written by Tatwine, Archbishop of Genterbury, testifies to the popularity of the genre, and Eusebius (Hwaetberht, abbot of WeaiTTiouth in 716) has a series of riddles of which four are

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21 on the letters alpha , X» 2* ^^^ !• Whatever the c-urrency of the riddle may have been in pre-literary Germanic times, the riddles of the Exeter Book , especially the adaptations there of Aldhelm's Creation and Lorica , are evidence of the widespread tendency in the Old English period to fashion compositions in the vernacular after classical modes; and the Rune Poem has some affinities with the riddle in its enigmatic rxmes, its brevity of stanza, its overall cyclic structure, and, however tenuously, its preoccupation with letters as in the Aldhelm acrostic. In addition to the riddle, a second medieval kind in which the Rune Poem seems to participate is the catalogue poem. A poet may wish to have a catalogue of heroes or gods fixed for posterity, or a catalogue of cities, or rivers, or trees. The t hulas of Widsith are the best-known examples in Old English literature, but the two poems the Fortunes (or Fates ) of Men and Gifts of Men are closer stylistically to the Rune Poem . ^ An early example of the gnomic verse catalogue is found in Hesiod's Works and Days , though since it may be doubted that the Old English poets knew Hesiod, there are the Distichs of Cato, which every scholar who passed through the medieval schools knew. Curtius has commented on the popularity of such gnomic catalogues in the Middle Ages: In the antique poets there were hundreds and thousands of lines which put a psychological experience or a rule of life

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22 in the briefest form. Aristotle discussed such apophthegms in his Rhetoric (II, 21). Quintillian called them "sententiae" (literally: "judgments") because they resembled the decisions of public bodies (VIII, 5» 3). Such lines are "mnemonic verses." They are learned by heart; they are collected; they are arranged in alphabetical order that they may be ready at hand.^" There is, of course, nothing peculiarly English about sentences or gnomic verses: They are found in all literatures throughout the world. But the fact that Anglo-Saxon scholars did know collections of verses, catalogues, perhaps arranged alphabetically, indicates the possibility that the Rune Poem was composed by someone familiar with the Latin genre. As in the case of the Old English riddles, we find an example of the easy commerce between Latin and the vernacular in the Old English Panther , Whale, and Partridge of the Exeter Book . Whether these poems represent only a fraction of a larger Old English Physiologus is debatable, but the point here is that this bestiary has its analogue in the manuscripts of the Latin Physiologus , particularly the ninth-century Bern MS: 233, and the elev17 enth century versified Physiologus . Here, as in the case of the thulas and the gnomic verses, we have a series of descriptive verses, organized to form a catalogue, which becomes a source for the Old English physiologus-catalogue genre. A third medieval genre to which the Rune Poem has

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23 probable connections is the abecedarivmi , and the abecedarj-um grows out of a rather simple notion that the letters themselves can be more than merely a way of representing the sounds of a language, that letters may function in more than one way. Both the Germanic rxines and the Latin letters, as shall be shown, were thought of as capable of multiple functions. The runes, on the one hand, were intimately associated with rite and magic. The word rune itself means 'mystery' or 'secret,' and (in spite of their "baptism" in such monviments as the Ruthwell Cross) as proof that the pagan uses of the runes were quite alive in Anglo-Saxon T ft England, we find in Bede the story of Imma. This young follower of the Northumbrian King Ecgfrith was taken pris' oner, but his brother, believing him dead, said a mass for him every day, and because of this mass, his fetters continually gave way. Bede tells the story to show the power of the sacrament but also reports that Imma was asked by his captors, hwaeSer he Sa alysendlecan rvine cu5e, ond i)a stafas mid him awritene haefde, be swylcura men leas spel secgaS ond spreocaft, ^aet hine mon for|>on gebindan ne meahte. Even as late as the eleventh century, Aelfric equates rimes and magic in a homily: Surh drycraeft oSoe Ourh runstafum, 19 'through magic or through runestaves . ' A curious synthesis of the pagan and Christian occurs in the poetic Solomon

PAGE 33

2k and Saturn debat, where the Latin letters are accompanied by the runes to spell out the opening words of the Pater Noster. The passage advocates the use of the Lord's Prayer as a battle charm, each letter and rvine symbolizing an angelic warrior who overcomes the devil. For instance: . f T . hine teswa3 and hine on 5a 91]. t-ongan stica3, / wraeste3 him "^aet woddor and him cla wongan brieceS. The Greek and Latin alphabets were likewise considered to have various powers, though probably these powers were never as clearly defined as those of the runes. Isidor says in the Etymolop;iae , knox-m by all scholars in the Middle Ages: Litterae autem svmt indices rein;uii, signa verborum, quibus tanta vis est, ut nobis dicta absentium sine voce loquantur . 2-'Concerning the mysticism of the Greek letters he asserts: Quinque autem esse apud Graecos mystacas litteras. Prima X , quae h\xmanam vitam significat, de qua nunc diximus. Secunda O, quae mortem significat. . . . Tertia T , f iguram demonstrans Dominicae crucis.22 And according to Curtius, the Gallic grainmarian of the seventh century, Virgilius Maro, also discusses the mysticism of the alphabet. -^ The best illustrations in Old English of the fondness for playing with letters, of allowing a letter to be understood both literally and symbolically, or literally in more than one way, are the Pater Noster of the Solomon and Saturn , the Cynewulfian runic signatures, and the runes of the Husband's Message . This allowing runes (or letters) to

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fvinction In more than one way has an analogue in the Latin acrostic poems, though of course in the case of both the runes and the acrostics, the device illustrates only a turn of mind, a way of conceiving of the powers of letters, an understanding of the multiple functions of letters. Like these uses of the rimes, the acrostic device affords an opportunity to display the ingenuity of the poet, but it functions in a more practical way, to facilitate the memorization of the lines. Turning now to the acrostic and abecedarium genres in Latin, we see that the acrostic poems are characterized by the acrostic of the initial letters of each line, the telestich (final letters), criss-cross, or any number of other combinations. As an illustration of the complexity to which the Carolingian poets aspired, a pupil of Alcuin's, Joseph the Scot, has a poem of thirty-seven lines, each of which lines contains exactly thirty-seven letters.*^ The acrostic text, a poem itself whose subject matter is the cross, takes the shape of a temple with peaked roof within which are three crosses. Greatly reduced and schematized the whole text resembles the figure below: xxxxxOxxxxx xxxxOxOxxxx xxxOxxxOxxx xxOxxMxxOxx xOxxMMMxxOx xOxxxMxxxOx xOxxxMxxxOx xOxIxMxIxOx

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26 xOIIIMIIIOx xOxIxMzIxOx xOxIxMxIxOx xOxIxMxIxOx OxxIxMxIxxO The first line of the poem reads Inclyta si cupias sancti sub culmina templi , and the c of sancti is the first letter of the acrostic text which begins at the roof peak and continues down to the left: CrTAx mihi certa salus Christi sacrata cruore. The acrostic continues through each of the three crosses. Another illustration of the device is the brief Versus Bernowini Episcopi ad C rue em ; Conditor aeterne, quern laudo versibus isti£ Rex requiem Bernwini da, pater atque redemptor Virtus virtutum victor victoria Heisu ^ Xriste tu iustus iudex miserere mei rex.^^ The alphabetical poems sometimes tick off the letters with the initial of each line, or with the initial of each stanza. Both acrostic and alphabetic devices are mnemonic, but, obviously, the acrostic sets up a secondai*y text (a word or even whole sentences) in addition to the primary text of the poem; the alphabetical, only the alphabet. It would not be too great a claim to say that the acrostic and alphabetical device is one of the most prevalent structuring devices of Christian-Latin poetry, from its beginnings, through the Carolingian period. The earliest extant Christian verses in Latin are those of Commodian, and all of the eighty poems which make up his Instructiones are in acrostic or alphabetical form.

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27 The poems are didactic, and according to F. J. E. Raby are clearly intended to provide a solid grounding in the faith, by polemics against Jews and heathen gods, by admonitions to pursue the Christian way, and warnings of the terrors of doomsday: D at tuba caelo signum sublato leone E t fiunt desubito tenebrae c\jm caeli fragore. S \iramittit oculos dominus, ut terra tremescat, A dclamat et iam, ut audiant omnes, in orbem: E cce diu tacui sufferens tanto tempore vestral C onclamant pariter plangentes sero gementes, U lulatur, ploratur, nee spatium datur iniquis. L actanti quid faciat mater, cvun ipsa crematur? I n flamma ignis dominus iudicabit iniquos.^° After Commodian, the most important hymn writer is Hilary of Poitiers (c. 3IO-66) , two of whose three surviving hymns are 27 alphabetical. That Augustine, a centvu?y after Commodian, should have chosen the alphabetical structure for his Fsalmus contra partem Donati is testimony to its currency. He probably intended the hymn to be svmg by his congregations, and remarks, " Tales autem abecedaries appellant ." The device seems to have been ignored by the greatest of the early Chris tian hymn writers; apparently the poetry itself made demands which transcended such tricks of rhetoric. Thus Prudentius 29 (c. 3i4.8-)4.05) , the first great Christian poet, and Ambrose (c. 3i4.0-397), the father of Christian hymnody,-^ produced no alphabetical hymns, nor did the poet of the Vexilla regis 31 and Salve , festa dies , Venantius Fortunatus (5^4-0-600).-^ A minor Latin alphabetical poet of fifth-century

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28 Italy, Sedulius, became "a Christian classic, cited by the grararnarians, read as a model of style, and imitated by generations of versifiers."-^ Sediilius' fame rested largely on his long and allegorical Carmen Paschale , but he has two hymns, one of which is alphabetical and is particularly relevant to this study because it is quoted by Bede in the De Metri and is found in no fewer than twelve English and continental eighthto tenth-century MSS . A solis ortus cardine Adusque terra e limit em Christum canamus principem, Natvim I'iaria virgine. B eatus auctor saeculi Servile corpus induit, Ut came camem liberans Non perderet, quod condidit. C lausae parentis viscera Caelestis intrat gratia. Venter puellae baiulat 33 Secreta, quae non noverat. The acrostic poems of Eugenius of Toledo, archbishop from 6I1.6 to 658, also were knovna by Bede, and according to Raby, "it is supposed that Alcuin took them over to Frankish soil, where the Carolingian poets admired and imitated them.-^ It is well known that the English were taught to write by the Irish, whose conversion to Christianity antedates the mission of Augustine in 597 and who were largely responsible for the preeminence of Celtic Christianity in Northumbria. The early dependence on Ireland for the training of English scholars is evidenced not only in the adaptation of the Irish half-uncial rather than the Italian script,

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29 but also in a letter of Aldhelm's to Eahfrith boasting that stylistic conceits can now be acquired in England — that one need no longer go to Ireland to learn the scholar's craft. ^^ One can observe, however, that the genre of the alphabetical hyran was strong in Ireland from the very beginning, and in addition to Augustine of Hippo, Sedulius, Hilary, and other continental alphabetical poets, the Irish must have been one source for the genre in England. The very earliest Irish Latin verse is the alphabetical hymn of Sechnall (or Secundius) on St. Patrick.^ At least a halfdozen other alphabetical hymns from the period of the great Celtic monasteries of the sixth and seventh centuries have survived, not the least important of which is the hymn Altus Prosator, possibly written by Colutnba, founder of the monastery at lona, which tells the story of the world from cre57 at ion to doomsday.-"^ Turning again to England, in the eighth centxary there is a vigorous production of Latin hymns, and Bede himself says that he is the author of a hymnal of both metrical and rhythmical verse. This has not survived, but we do have his hymn in honor of St. Etheldreda in the Ecclesiastical History (Bk. IV, ch. xx) . The hymn is alphabetic from A to Z with the last four couplets spelling in acrostic AMEN, It also employs the "serpentine" or echoing device of repeating the first phrase at the end of each couplet:

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30 A Ima deus trinitas, quae saecuila cuncta gubemas, adnue iam coeptis, alma deus trinitas. B ella Maro resonet, nos pacis dona canamus: munera nos Christi, bella Maro resonet. C armina casta mihi, foedae non raptus Helenae. luxus erit lubricis, camina casta mihi. D ona superna loquar, miserae non proelia Troiae, terra quibus gaudet: dona superna loquar. . . . Unfortunately, Alfred's translators did not put the hyinn into Old English. After the Viking invasions in the tenth and eleventh centuries there is little Latin poetry of any consequence: Frithegode (fl. 914-7) and Wulfstan (c. 950) are almost solitary voices.^ But the alphabetical traditions are strong enough that v;ulfstan has several hjTtins which, like Bede's hymn, are both apanaleptic ("serpentine") and alphabetical. The devices of acrostic and alphabet spring into full flower in the poetry of the Carolingian revival, aided partly by Alcuin, who carries on the traditions of the Irish alphabetical poems of Aldhelm and Bede . Several of his acrostic poems have survived, and in verses on the library at York, Alcuin mentions most of those whom we know to have written in the alphabetic genre: Hilary, Augustine, Aldhelm, Bede, and Sedulius. Others cited are Ambrose, Fortimatus, and Vir-39 gilius Maro."^ Suffice it to say here that structuring a poem after the letters of the alphabet was a common practice in the Carolingian age. With respect to a large body of nonclassical verse, written for the most part by Prankish and Italian poets, Raby has said, "One striking feature of this collection is the large number of alphabetical poems. "^

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31 And he continues, "This was an almost universal form, cultivated in Italy and Spain as well as in Ireland and England, and its appearance here cannot be traced to any one particular influence."^ The one conclusion that this study of the alphabetic genre leads to is that probably any Anglo-Saxon cleric or scholar who could write, or could read Latin, would have been in touch with some of these poems. And it is generally agreed that the btilk of extant Old English literatvire, including its poetry, was composed by men who could read Latin. Two Latin poems, however, stand even closer to the Rune Poem in form and intention than all the alphabetic poems mentioned so far. They are both the product of the late Latin rhetorical schools.^ They both are exercises in ingenuity and preciousness. They aa?e both alphabetical poems which take as their subject matter the letters of the alphabet. The first, De Litteris Monosyllabis Graecis ac Latinis , is by Ausonius (mentioned earlier in connection with Aldhelm) , Gallic grammarian, rhetorician, and consvil. The poem is in the Technopaegnion , a rhetorical exercise of several poems in which each line ends in a monosyllable. In a remark we might speculate the Rune Poem poet to have echoed later, Ausonius says in a letter to his friend, Patdinus of Nola: You may well exclaim, then: "Heavens, what time and toil I " Of a surety I have spent my pains upon

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kM. 32 a useless task: it is small, yet it brings a sense of surfeit; it is disjointed, yet a hopeless tangle; though it is something, it is proved to be worth just nothing, nevertheless, I have taken pains to give it something of learning and lore; for the rule I was bound to keep debarred the lighter graces of poetry and rhetoric. ^3 A few verses vjill suffice to shovr its form and quality: Dux elementorum studiis viget in Latiis A et suprema notis adscribiturArgolicisXl . IKZ quod Aeolidum, quodque £ valet hoc Latiare E. praesto quod 3 Latium semper breve Dorica vox £ Aldhelm of Malmesbury knew both Paxolinas of Nola and Ausonius; there can be little doubt that Ausonius is one source of the mannerist extravagances of the Anglo-Saxon Latin poetry and the Carolingian. That Ausonius' alphabet poem is a source for the genre of the Old English R-une Poem is only a remote possibility. But they are both abecedaria vrhose subject matter is the letters themselves. The other alphabet poem is somewhat closer to the time and the place of the Rune Poem ; it is the Versus Cuiusdam Scoti de Alphabeto , found in several continental manuscripts and in the eleventh-century Cambridge University Library MS G. g. V. 35: A Principivmi vocis ueterumque inventio mira Nomen habens domini sura felix uoce pelasga; Exsecrantis item dira interiectio dicor. B Principium libri, mutis caput, alter et ordo, Tertia felicis uere svim syllaba semper; Si me graece legas, uiridi turn nascor in horto. C Principium caeli, primis et luna f iguris ; Et me clerus amat, legeris si graece, latinus; Littera sum terrae pedibus perscripta quaternis. D Ablati casus nox svim et pars septima linguae, Omnipotentis habens nomen, cijm 'us' bannita iuncta;) / Svun medium mille et ueterum mala nota deorum. . . .

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33 The poem is a series of enigmas on the letters from A to Z, generally describing the articulation of the letters and sometimes their use and form. Thus, C is luna figuris ; R, Est nomen durum; X, Per me saepe patet nvanerus de lege Sacratus . Vlhether these verses were well known in England, or whether they have influenced the four letter-riddles of Eusebius (Kwaetberht) cannot be proved. But the Versus has affinities with the Rune Poem which may not be fortuitous: It is a series of verses on the letters themselves; there is a stanza descriptive in kind for each letter; the stanzas of the Versus are three lines, of the Rune Poem nearly all are threi or four lines long; they are both riddling. The Rune Poem may be said, therefore, to participate in at least three genres, the riddle, the gnomic catalogue, and the abecedarium . Of the first two of these there are clear examples in both Latin and Old English, snd in some cases, we can say with assurance that an Old English example is modelled on the Latin genre or even that a particular Latin riddle, the Lorica for instance, is a source for the Old English riddle. V/e cannot point to any Latin abecedarium and say that this is the source for the Old English Rune Poem , but for a poet familiar with Sedulius, the Irish hymns, and 3ede, the alphabetical tradition would have been difficult to ignore. And the Versus Guiusdam Scoti might have provided the necessary link between the alphabetical hymns and a poem on the letters of the alphabet, or the fujjorc.

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3k As was said at the beginning of this investigation, the precise relationship between the Christian literary traditions and the pagan literary traditions is still a matter for conjecture. Perhaps there is a tendency to place almost all Old English literature within the Christian traditions solely on the negative evidence of the dearth of surviving pagan Germanic literature. But when we have a poem such as the Rune Poem which has affinities with Latin genres, which is clearly Christian in its treatment of its clearly pagan runes, and which has several points of contact with monkish antiquarianisms, with the kind of rhetorical mannerisms we know to have been cultivated assiduously in Anglo-Saxon England from the seventh to the eleventh century — then we may see the poem for what it really is: a product of Christian Latin traditions. Like Beowulf , or the Seafarer , or the Dream of the Rood , the poem, however minor, is another attempt to bring together the best of both cultures, to Christianize the heathen fanes, to translate the runes into that kind of world, created and governed by a benevolent God, in which men can live in charity and peace.

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35 NOTES ^TMA, XII (1897), 205-225. ^John Halverson, University of Toronto Quarterly , XXXV (1966), 260-278. %r\mdriss der germanischen Philologie (2nied.), ed. Herman Paul (Strassburg, 1901-1909), II, 1, 96i|.. ^Runic and Heroic Poems (Cambridge, 1915), p. 6. ^ The Anglo Saxon Minor Poems (New York, 19l|-2), p. xlviii . ^Ibid., p. xlix. ''p. 3k.' a Of. Olce R\ane Poem, kaldastr korna 7; OE Seafarer , corna caldast 32; OE Rune Poem , hwitust coma 25) • Norse rime poems quoted from Dickins, Runic and Heroic Poems . P. J. E. Raby, A History of Secular Latin Poetry ; in the Middle Ages , vol/ I Thereafter cited as SLP) (Oxford, 19^7), p. 1T6T" ^•^SLP, p. 171. ^^M. Laistner, Thought and Letters in Vie stem Eiirope , A. D. 500 to 900 (London, 193lT7 PP* 120-1; F. J. E. Raby, A History of Christian Latin Poetry from the beginnings to the close of the Midd'lT'Ages (hereafter cited as CLP ) (Oxford, 19^77, p."TIi:3. der Angelsachsen (Heidelberg, 1925), pp. 251-236. •"Cf . their sum sceal -, sum biS -formulas to the |^ by^ formula of the Rune Poem . ^^SLP, p. kh.

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36 Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages (New York, 1953), p. 5b. An example of such an alphabetical gnomic catalogue, the Sen tentiag of Publius Syrus, is found in J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff, Minor Latin Poets , Loeb Classical Library (London, 193i+) , pp. lii-lll. •'•'^ ASPR , III, 1. 1 R Ecclesiastical History , Book IV, ch. 22. Pagan uses of the runes include casting of lots (Tacitus, Germania, X), spells ( Sigrdrifumal in the Poetic Edda ) , and inscriptions (see Sven B. Jansson, The Rvmes of Sweden , London, 1962) . 19 ^Quoted by R. W. V. Elliott, Rvnes (Manchester, 1959), p. 69. ^^ASPR, VI, 35. ^PL, 82, col. 714.. ^^PL, 82, col. 76. ^^Curtius, p. 313. ^Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini , ed. Ernest Duemmler (Hanover and Berlin, iSBDT vol. I, p. 159. ^^Ibid., p. ij.23. ^^CLP, p. 13. 27 Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi , vol 50, pp. i4.f,f . 2^PL, k3, col. 23. ^W, p. kk, ^°CLP , p. i;3. ^^CLP, p. 86. 32 CLP , p. 110 A ^^LP, p. 151. L 36 -^ ^Analecta Hymnica , vol. 51, p. 3i;0. ^''Laistner, p. 119. Analecta Hymnica . vol. 5l, p. 3i|-0.

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37 ^"^CLP, p. I3I+. 3^CLP, p. 153. ^'^ Poetae Latini Aevi Carolinl , vol. I, pp. 22l|.-7. ^°SLP, p. 209. ^"SLP, p. 209. ^^SLP, p. 55. ^^A-usonius (Loeb Classical Library), ed. H. G. E. White (London, 1919), vol. I, p. 289. ^^ Ausonius , pp. 303-1^. ^^Cf. Curtius, "Mannerism," pp. 273-291. ^ A. Baehrens, Poetae Latini Minores (Leipzig, I888) , vol. 5, pp. 375-378.

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TECHNIQUES AND THEMES The Old English Rune Poem has never suffered from scholarly neglect. But the attention it has been paid is of two kinds only: one, that of the curious delver after rxinologic lore; and the other, that of the editor, who must necessarily erect a vast critical apparatus, which being so far out of proportion to the size of the poem only serves to obscure it. The poem hangs lost amid a maze of girders. Bruce Dickins in his Runic and Heroic Poems makes no comment on the style except to say that "the versification is quite correct." In Charles W. Kennedy's critical survey. The Earliest English Poetry , the Rune Poem is mentioned only in connection with the fu^jorc: the poem "is hardly a literary composition, but represents a kind of alphabetic descriptive verse intended to facilitate memorization of the meaning of the several runes." Stanley B. Greenfield, in his excellent Critical History of Old Eng lish Literature , only notes that "as poetry the verse needs little comment, though one may observe the christian emphasis in stanza 1, the use of formulas, the humor in the stanza on riding , and a pervasive riddling quality."^ Now there can be, as Dickins has said, no doubt that the verse is correct; but it is precisely the > 38

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39 assimilation of a large number of traditional devices in a relatively short poem that calls for comment. The poem is correct, and it is neat. That this fact has some bearing on the meaning of the poem should become clear as we investigate the various technical and thematic aspects of the poem in the course of this chapter. The poem as we have it must have been composed by a scop who was fully aware of the potentialities of the oral and literary traditions and who moved easily within the restrictions of his form. Kennedy's statement that the poem is primarily mnemonic has been repeated by Kemp Malone, who, however, sees the poem as having descended from a mucl). briefer original ABC poem,^ but any mnemonic poem must have a kind of brevity or catchiness, as the Norse rxme poems do, which facilitates memorization of the names. The stanza lengths in the Old English poem obviate such a mnemonic use: it would surely have been a greater task to memorize the stanzas than twenty-nine rune names; the order of the stanzas is entirely dependent upon the traditional order of the rianes, which wovild therefore have to be learned first; and furthermore with the possible exception of two or three, the rune names were everyday nouns and therefore the stanzas do not give the apprentice runemaster any new information. Greenfield's brief comments are a step at least in the direction of a critical interpretation, yet here only a few isolated devices are noted. The Christian emphasis

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in stanza one is merely observed; Greenfield makes no attempt at seeing this fact through or at making any analysis of the poem as a whole, although each of his observations is, no doubt, accurate. Such commentary on the Rvme Poem is typical; the problem of reading it as a coherent and unified poem has been universally side-stepped or at least ignored, and that, because of its apparent sententiousness . What has probably discouraged critical consideration of the poetry as much as anything is that the poet seems indeed to have a firm grasp on the obvious. Everybody knows that wealth is a comfort for every man and that one must bestow it freely on others if one wants to obtain dom from the Lord. The sentence is as familiar to the Old J^nglish Christian audience as the commandment to love one's neighbor or the gnomiclike "where your treasure is, there is your heart also." But underlying the sententiousness of the lines there is the implication of the kind of generosity the heroic poets Widsith and Deor have sung about— of the necessity for bestowing gifts, rings and treasure, in the meadhall — so that the seeming sententiovisness of the first stanza is alleviated by its working in both directions. Christian and heroic. Or to put it another way, the stanza seems to embrace both points of view, thus moving to a level somewhat more complex than the merely gnomic. Likewise, dom means 'favorable judgment' and by extention 'earthly glory,'

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but it also works in another direction, to domesdaeg , to all that is unknown and terrible in death. Now as anyone familiar with nines knows, runes as well as words are capable of evoking powerful associations. And as Professor Randolph Quirk has shown recently. Old English words linked by meter may " ' interanimate ' each other"'' — words such as dom and dea^ , or eorl and aelaeling ; The name Grendel, for instance, is alliteratively linked in more than half its two score occurrences with words congruently indicative of fierceness, especially guo and gjryre ; and it is surely lonnecessary to point out that there is no question of the poet's being obliged to make such selections by reason of a scarcity of words which will alliterate. Frequently, the lexical connexion is in unison with the grammatical one; for instance: 'he hraSe wolde Grendle forgyldan gu5-raesa f ela ' ( Beowulf 1576 f.; and similarly i|.83, 591, and elsewhere). But we find notable instances in which the lexical connexion is maintained without a grammatical one, an effect which can be achieved not only because the particular type of lexical connexion is already established in the poem, but also because the whole metrical tradition has, as we have seen, established an expectation of lexical connexion. ° The interanimation of dea^ and dom is documented by Professor Quirk:

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k2 wyrce se pe mote Beowulf I387 domes aer deajae and ealle ^a gastas Jje for gode hweorfaS Maxims II 59 aefter dea^daege, domes bida3 on faeder faeSme ic me mid Hr\mtinge Beovmlf li|.90 dom gev/yrce, oi)5e mec deaS nimeS holen sceal inaeled, yrfe gedaeled Maxims I 79 deades monnes.. Dom bi^) selast.' The lexical association of dom and deac^ was well enough established that the connotative effects of dom, even when not linked to 'death,' must have at least radiated in that direction. Treasure is a comfort to every man, yet with the word dom we are given our first clue of the outcome of the poem. The poet has subtly \mdercut his argtunent of the consolation of possessions right from the beginning of the poem. The first stanza, therefore, although it may at first glance appear even heavyhanded in its didacticism, in its sententicusness, points to virtues both Christian and heroic, and the connection of feoh with dom as glory and dom as death hints at the Impending doom of the final stanza. The feoh -stanza can thus be seen as a paradigm of the structure and meaning of the poem as a whole. But any meaning that the poem may have can emerge only after a consideration of its participation in the traditional modes of Old English poetry; it is only by attempting to see what the poet has done with this common store of metrical devices

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h3 and themes that the poem can be seen as much more than doggerel. Oral and literary traditions A great deal of effort has gone into attempting to discover whether an Old English poem is the product of a live performance by a scop, transcribed in the hall, or whether it is from its beginning a product of the pen of the poet, alone in his closet. Professor Magoun's application to Old English verse of Parry and Lord's researches in oral literature has demonstrated the close connection between formulaic poetry and oral poetry, but as Professor Larry D. Benson has pointed out recently, the use of formulas in an Old English poem does not imply necessarily either oral composition or lettered, and furthermore a high percentage of formulas has been found in poems which are clearly the product of the pen (i.e. Exeter Book Riddle J,S , a Phoenix, Meters of Boethius ) . It is entirely possible that the Rvine Poem was sung, that either the scop performed alone, reciting the rune names as well as the stanzas, thus delighting an audience already familiar with Latin alphabetical hymns and acrostic poems, or that its sententiae were a kind of "philological parlour game," the evidence for which in Hellenic times Ernst Robert Curtius quotes Athenaeus (220 A. D.) in the Deipnosophistai ("Scholars at a Banquet")

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kk Clearchus of Soloi, a nan of the school of Aristotle, also tells us how the ancients went about this. One recited a verse, and another had to go on with the next. One quoted a sentence, and a sentence from some other poet expressing the same idea had to be produced. Verses of such and such a nvroiber of syllables were demanded, or the leaders of the Greeks and of the Trojans had to be enumerated, or cities in Asia and Europe beginning with the same letter to be named in turn. They had to remember lines of Homer which begin and end with the same letter, or the first and last syllable taken together must yield a name or an implement or a food. The winner gained a garland, but anyone who blundered had brine poured into his drink and had to drain the whole cup at a draught. Perhaps in the meadhall it was the custom to recite the poem, each person taking a stanza and therefore being required to know the rune names and their order as well as the sententiae . Anyone who forgot a rune name or recited out of the traditional order woi^Ld pay the penalty. Or perhaps the stanzas were uttered as a riddle: _ic by|> frofur f ira gehwylcum . . . saga hwaet ic hatte ; and of covirse the audience would guess the rune. Any of the riddles in the Exeter Book and more especially the indecent ones, could be adaptable to such entertainment, and perhaps it was at just such a philological game that Gaedmon saw the harp approach: Ond he for i>on oft in gebeorscipe, ^onne Jjaer waes blisse intinga gedemed, i)aet heo ealle sceolden ^jurh endebyrdnesse be hearpan singan, |5onne he geseah ^a hearpan him nealecan, |)onne aras he for scome from paem syrable, ond ham eode to his huse.-^-^ On the other hand, because of its structural similarity

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to the Latin alphabetical poems, because of the pleasure the Anglo-Saxons took in reading runes (cf. the Cynewulfian runic signatures, the runic riddles, and our p by^ frofur . . .) and because of the poet's obvious interest in the letter as well as the spoken v7ord , the poem would seem to belong to a literary tradition. But oral or lettered, like Beowulf (which was probably transmitted orally or at least sung) or the Meters of Boethius (which is clearly a literary production, a translation) , the Rune Poem derives its poetics from Germanic oral traditions, and hence the poem can be discussed as if it were an oral composition. Meter Whether or not the harp was used in the recitation of Beowulf or any other extant Old English poem can never be 12 finally proved. But John C. Pope in The Rhythm of Beowulf no and recently Robert P. Creed -^ have devised a method of scanning Old English poetry which provides, in addition, a means of comparing the techniques of, say, Beowulf and the Rune Poem . According to Creed's adaptation and simplification of Pope's thesis, the first hypothesis is that the measure (quarter-line) rather than the verse (half-line) is the primary prosodic unit, and he sets forth six patterns of stress with but three significant degrees of stress (/ primary, \ secondary, and x minimiom) :

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1+6 / X a. / X frugnon Beowrqf 2 /I / ^ \ p / X \ frofre gebad Beowulf 6 _/V / \ / 1) = / \ X Scield SceafingBeowulf kf/ = / or / (x) ^ah (x) Beowulf 8 X £. X or (/) X {/) hvraet we Beowulf 1 <^ = / \ gear-dagum Beo^^^mlf 1 \ (X\ X Ijaet hine on Beowulf 22 A second hypothesis is that the measure (of which there are two in every verse, four in every line) is a ixnit of time and that OE rhythm is isochronous, in spite of the number of syllables that may inhabit any given measiire. Creed states fxirther a series of rules for determining measure boundaries and lijprimary stresses: I. Alliteration is the best guide to the first (and sometimes the second) primary stress in each verse. That is, the alliterating sovund must be identified in the second half-line and if the first half-line begins with that sound, the first syllable takes the primary stress (unless of course the first syllable is a non-significant alliteration such as preposition, demonstrative, conjunction) . If the first syllable does not alliterate as in Hwaetl we Gar-Dena, Beowulf 1, Rule IV below should be observed. And if such is the case, the second primary stress will fall on the first alliterating syllable wherever it comes in the half-line. II. A primary stress always begins a measure. (There can thus be only one primary stress in each measure), except in those cases in which four or more non-alliterating

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i;7 light-stressed syllables make up the measure. In these measxires, and in these measures only, the first primary stress is replaced by a secondary stress {01" , \ x ), III. Two immediately adjacent primary stresses can occur only at the beginning of a verse. IV. A stroke of the harp (or, in practice, a timed pause) must substitute for the missing first primary stress in a verse, which otherwise contains only a single primary stress. V. Whenever a short syllable bearing primary or secondary stress is followed by another syllable with which it is closely associated (in close juncture) the two syllables together receive resolved stress. No x should be placed over the second of these syllables. Instead, the two should be joined with a curved horizontal bracket and together given the same stress sign, / or \ . On the other hand, when an etymologically short syllable bearing primary or secondary stress is closed , that is, when it ends with a consonant no resolution is possible. In order to handle measvires of five or more syllables when resolution is not possible. Creed devises the theory of rhythmemes, where two or three syllables are linked under one stress. Thus Beovrulf 310a would be scanned / X I / . ^ ^ X receda under \ roderum (or cf. above Beowulf 6, 1). Creed's further discussion of the theoretical problems concerning the resolution of polysyllables into one stress need not be discussed here since he has given the reader, in these rules, all the equipment necessary to read the poetry rhythmically. His own scansion of the first three lines of Beowulf is here reproduced:

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1^8 / X I (/) X , / \ Hwaet, we I Gar-Dena on I gear-dagum,| / (^) I X * I / ^ I / "^ \ ^eodcyninga Jjryinm geI f rugnon, (/) __iL_ I /7N \ < / ^ 1 ^ ^ hu ba aeoelingas ellen I fremedon. If this theory of scansion is correct, a number of stylistic devices in the Rune Poem become apparent. The pause in the third measure, non-alliterative, of a line {a.n€ measure, in which the primary stress is taken by the harp stroke, following Rule IV) serves to bunch up the heavy syllables in the foiirth measure (we always find a final OC , p » or measiore in such cases) . So that rather than the regular CX J Oi sequence ( / x | / x) we have (rest) X I / \ with a possible unstressed syllable occurring just before or after the secondary stress. These lines are nearly always run-on, and the syntax and the sense demand that the reader be thrust into the next line. The effect of the enjambment is complemented by this crowding of stressed syllables into the end of the line, so that the syntax, the meaning, and the thrusting rhythm all seem to complement each other:

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k9 I (/) .zr-^ I / _iL_ X , dam 3e I sitteb omxfan Ik |meare I itiaegenheardTjmj 1^'' and wraecna gehwam | 20 I ar and aotwist M./) 3e can weana lyt| 22 I ^-^ I / 'm C/^ -^ I / ^ \ 1 I sares and sorgeJ ^' ' and him sylfa haef^ I /_ X / ^^ I (/) -^^ I / .JL_ \ I jblaed and | blysse] ^ ' and eac j byrga geniht.j (Compare also lines 25, 27, 32, 51, 56, 67, 72, 8I4., 87, and 88.) In the lines quoted above, this reading marks off the natural syntactic groupings that a sensitive reader would expect: the combination of "stress-thrust" and enjambment produces a linking of words into rhetorical units -vdiich transcend the narrower units of the verse or the alliteration ( Se can weana lyt sares and sorge ; and him sylfa haef^ biaed and blysse ) . The contrasting sense of the phrases sares and sorge and blaed and blysse is further emphasized by the thrusts to sares and to blaed ; the rapid pronunciation of the second half-line acts as an up-beat to sares and similarly to blaed . Another result of Creed's method is that nearly every internal primary rest (necessarily the primary stress of the third measure) serves to introduce either a relative or subordinate clause, prepositional phrase, or a compovmd element. Thus the rest, or the stroke of the harp, comes to signify that these kinds of qualifying or compounding

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50 grammatical structures will follow. Thus: I ^''^ 5niim|mid|resteS I 9 r^ ^ 5e byljjoijra leas | 21 P'^^ SonlGod laetep. 1 32 •e have in each of these verses an additional metrical emphasis of the alliterating word: harp stroke, upbeat, landing on the stressed vjord. And such a stress is appropriate to the particular emphasis or contrast the poet seems to be after, as we shall later see. Another important traditional use of the internal rest is the t^aet is formula, found also 17 in Beowulf , Dream of the Rood , and elsev;here: )(/) 5 — I / X \ , I ' ^aet is I modig wuht.| 6 In almost every case of the primary harp stroke or rest an expectation is set up for something that will corroborate or perhaps punctuate the preceding verse: feohte|) mid hornum, 5 maere morstapa; ]3a.et is modig vmht yr byb ae^elinga and eorla gehwaes 8I|. wyn and -wyrjjmynd hafa]p faegerne eard 88 waetre beworpen Saer he vrvnnurri leofa^ . Or the reader is set up for that which will qualify or even contrast the preceding:

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51 rad by^ on recyde rinca gehwylcum I3 sefte, and swi^hwaet 5atn 3e sltte|3 onufan meare weor|)ei) hi cJeah oft ni^a bearnvun to help and to haele gehwaejpre, glf hi his hlysta^ aeror . If the harp was struck on each primary rest, as Pope and Creed believe, a curious musical phenomenon emerges from a consideration of the relative frequency of such rests. They seem to occur in lines 1-58 at the rate of about one stroke per four half-lines (except in the wynne -stanza discussed above); or to put it another way, in the first 116 half -lines (to line 58) the stroke occurs in 23^ of them. But beginning with line 59 and continuing for some thirty half-lines the rate of strokes doubles. Then there are no rests for the next stanza and a half, and the average rate for lines 71+ to the end of the poem is back to 2hio, Of course, since the rest in Creed's system depends ultimately on the syntax (i.e. relatives and conjunctions are never stressed), what may appear by this scansion as a doubling of musical energy may be a doubling of subordinate and correlative syntactic structures only. But if the poem ever was performed, this middle section would give the scop an opportTonity to modify the tone of his delivery, whether purely rhythmic or musical as well, thus effecting the change of mood which the digressions or the shift of speaker brings about in the longer Old English poems.

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^2 The Rime Poem contains one of the few instances in Old English verse of the hypemetric line, in the haegl and nydstanzas. l1o\-r these lines can be scanned with three primary stresses to the half-time and OL measTores predominating. This would give the same total of primary stresses (12) in each two-line stanza as are found in the threeline stanzas which precede and follow them. Therefore, it would take about the same length of time to utter the hypermetric stanzas as any of the normal three-line stanzas. But if each half -line is given the normal two primary stresses and the rhythmic beat of the primary stresses remains consistent T^rith the normal stanzas, the resvilt is the crowding of the measures and quickening of pace necessary to get all the words into the measures. And such a quickening of pace is perfectly commensurate with the sense of the verses: Kail is throvni from the lofty height of heaven, billows in a shower of wind, turns into water at the end. The increase in the pace of the words thus is paralleled by the hail-storm, and yet the steady fourstress rhythm is maintained. The nyd stanza is cast in the same rhythm, and the hypermetrics here enforce x^rhat is a clear parallelism of sense: As hail turns aften-xard into water, so need, constraint, turns into a help or even a salvation, and the parallelism of meter and sense is further enforced by the repetition of weorbeb , 'hail turns,' 'constraint turns.'

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53 The poet has therefore not shifted into the hypennetric line idly, but has utilized the rapidity of the line to enhance the movement of the hail and to show that like hail, constraint will surely pass away. Of course, the most consistent unifying element in Old English poetry is alliteration, and in the Rune Poem alliteration is quite correct. Only two passages call for special attention. Klaeber has remarked concerning the transverse alliteration in Beowulf that "it was occasionally recognized 1 Q as a special artistic form," and it is found in the Rune Poem: a a b a b nyd by^ nearu on breostan; weor^e^ hi Seah oft ni^a bearnum 27 heard hrusan faest, hyrde fyres 36 wA'-rtrumun underwrej)yd Kvnan on e^ile. 37 Of the four hypermetric lines (25-28) the two of the haegl stanza exemplify what might be called double alliteration: a a b a a c haegl by^ hwitust coma; hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte; 25 wealca^ hit windes _scura; weori)et) hit to waetere _sy55an. 26 Rhetoric and diction A rhetorical device frequent in this poem and in all Old English poetry is variation, the repetition of the same idea in the form of appositive or modifier. Professor Brodeur has commented on the device in his Art of Beowulf:

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51+ Variation . . . the chief characteristic of the poetic mode of expression . . . restrains the pace of Old English poetic narrative, gives to dialogue or monologue its leisurely or stately character, raises into high relief those concepts which the poet wishes to emphasize, and permits him to exhibit the object of his thought in all its aspects. But it could be a dangerous instrvmient in the hands of an inferior poet: it could impart on the one hand an effect of sheer redundancy, on the other an \mpleasing jerkiness of pace; it coxild stiffen the flow of style, and clog the stream of thought. ^9 Perhaps the most traditional use of variation occurs in the ur-stanza, where such a formula as f elafrecne deor 5 or maere morstapa 6 is paralleled by Exeter Maxims !_, ll|.7 f el afaecne deor (wolves) or Beovmlf 103 maere mearcstapa (Grendel) . The fvmction of such repetitions here is to slow down the pace by repeating in other terms the subject of the clause and hence to set the subject in "high relief," to use Brodeur's analogy, by emphasizing its terror to animals and man and its dominion over the moors. Two other instances of appositive variation are halig heofones cyning "^3 and maere Metodes leoht 75 where the effect is to place God clearly at the center of the seasonal cycle, as has been noted, and to reemphasize God's power as the source of light. Other instances of variation such as the repetition in compovmd phrases of modifier or abstract nouns tend to ?0 cloy the verse, although part of the blame for such seeming redundancies must rest on the modern reader, who is simply

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55 unaware of the connotative values of words long since dead. Suffice it to say here that there are two main categories of compounds in the poem, xAiich may be called contrastive and correlative. The contrastive compounds offer less immediate problems of interpretation: sefte , and swi|3hwaet II4., blac (pale?) and beorhtlic 17, beornijm and Searfvim 3l\., eadgvim and earmiim 76. But it is more difficult to see the effect gained by the correlatives, such as sares and sorge 23 or blaed and blysse 2I4., though in this particular instance the two compound phrases do stand in contrastive relationship to each other. In general it can be said that the compo'unds, most of which occur in the first half-line, tend, like rime, to give a kind of stylistic unity to the various parts of the poem within single stanzas and even between stanzas, as do any repeated elements in any poem. Nearly all the techniques discussed above — meter, variation, parallelism, alliteration--converge in the last, and longest, stanza of the poem, as if to s'ummarize in a display of technical fireworks what has gone before: ear byj) egle eorla gehwylcun 90 5onn faestlice flaesc onginnej) hraw colian, hrusan ceosan, blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosa^; wynna gewitaj); wera geswica^. Here we find transverse alliteration in hraw colian , hrusan ceosan , as well as the repetition of the ££-prefix. Also,

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56 hraw colian , hrusan ceosan is linked to bleda gedreosa^, wyima gewita^, wera geswica^ , by blac to gebeddan — linked backward by the suffix rime an to colian and ceosan , and forward by the b-alliteration to bleda . Here too we have the parallel infinitives hraw colian, hrusan ceosan , and the parallel syntax of bleda gedreosab , wynna gewita^ , wera geswica^ . The poem is finally brought to a close by a device rare in Old iCnglish, rime, and here its effect is the kind of tying-up that the final rimes of terza rima or the English sonnet later achieve: we find the suffix rimes an thrice, -a thrice, and-a^ thrice. Such close interplay of parallelisms and alliteration and rime is found' finally elsewhere, in Judith; Jje gesceop wind ond lyfte, 3i).7 roderas ond r-ume grimdas, swylce eac re5e streamas ond swegles dreamas, 5urh his sylfes miltse, and in Beowulf : cwaedon ^aet he waere wyruldcyninga 3180 manna mildust ond monSwaerust, leod\;un liSost ond lofgeomost. Thus the poet of the Rime Poem was, if nothing else, a versifier well acquainted with all of the various devices of the traditional poetry, and one might be tempted to see in the poem, particularly in view of its nature as a catalogue, a kind of Old English Skald skaparmal or Hattatal , a repository of figures and meter. Furthermore, if it is related to late Latin alphabetical traditions, then the poem

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57 may be an Old English inannerist production, with its delight in rune, riddle, and refinement of versification. Theme and Struct\ire The only device for xmifying the Rune Poem as a whole is the by^-formula, which begins nearly every stanza. The formula (illustrated by 1^ byt* frof-ur ) occurs elsewhere in both the Cotton and Exeter gnomic verses much abbreviated (and sometimes with sceal ) : Wyrd by]? swiSost. Winter by^ cealdost, ( AS PR , vi, lencten hrimigost (he by6 lengest ceald) . 55» 1. 5) But, although there is in the Rxme Poem some development of the vvne described, the resultant stanzas are short (two to five lines) and are superficially as discontinuous as the runes themselves. Each stanza can even stand alone as a sort of vignette, each depicting a separate scene from AngloSaxon life, or some plant, or some animal, so that within each stanza we find the same unity as in, say, a stanza from Deor . One might compare Deor ' s Deodric ahte Jsritig wintra 18 Maeringa bvirg; ^aet waes monegum cui>. and, at the first opportunity for a hero-stanza, the Rune Poem' s Ing waes aerest mid East-Denum gesev;en secgun o^ he si55an est ofer waeg gewat, waen aefter ran; 5us heardingas 6one haele nemdun. In Deor the relationship between the stanzas is enforced not

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58 21 only by the similarity of theme but by the refrain as ?? vfell. In the Rvne Poem stanzas are linked by the rxines and by certain parallel syntax, but any vmity the poem may possess is gained only by overcoming the great disparity that the r-une names necessarily exhibit. That is, the poet, setting out to write twenty-nine stanzas on twentynine things as diverse as Possessions, Aurochs, Thorn, or Ing, must handle each of these disparates in such a way within each stpjiza that an overall unity emerges. As has been observed, the first stanza on feoh sets up a paradigm which underlies the structure of the poem. Possessions are a consolation, yet every man must bestow them generously if he wants to obtain glory or judgment in the presence of the Lord. A Christian paradox is implicit: he who xTOuld gain all must first lose all. And from the point of view of Anglo-Saxon heroic values, one must be a bestower of rings — for the strengthening of comitatus . The stanza works in both directions. An implication of the aurochs and thorn stanzas is that one ought not fool around with that fierce animal on the moors — let him well enough alone — and that likewise a thorn thicket is no place to rest. Rather, as the verbal / \ x^ / X / X and rhythmical parallels ( mid rested — inne resta^ ) demonstrate, one would do better to rest within the hall, where the torch flickers blac and beorhtlic . The mouth and journey stanzas, preceded by the fierceness of the wild ox and the

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59 thorn and followed by the joys of the hall may be seen as an axis for this section of the poem, which precedes the hypermetric lines. For it is in the hall that we hear the best talk, that we find wits and wisdom and earls. To such warriors in the hall, journey is easy, and the difficvilties of riding over mile paths, of exile perhaps, are contrasted in the next three stanzas to the hall torch, to the honor and praise that is attendant upon gifts, to the necessity of comitatus , of supporting the needy (with the rhythmical emphasis on ^ e by^ o ^ ra leas ) , and to the "joy one has who has enough prosperity in his burh ." The emphasis in this first section of the poem is, therefore, on the necessity for strengthening the comitatus by the giving of possessions to the rich and the poor alike, and on the danger and possible pain one can bring upon himself if he vent\ares outside the burh , to the moors, among the thorns, or on the meare maegenheardum . In other words, a man has a place in this world and that is with kinfolk or in a community of mutually supporting elements such as the Court of Hrojjgar or Eormanric (cf. Widsith 109 ff.) or the abbey of Hild. The hail stanza shifts into hypermetrics and the poet treats hail, as well as need and ice in the next stanzas, in a way that is quite unusual in Old English poetry. Hail is the whitest of grains as it hurls and billows from

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60 the loft of heaven, and (with a hint of the lif is laene theme to come) afterward it turns into water. Need likewise, as we have observed, can be turned into a help and even a salvation. And so ice, ordinarily a most dreadful of elements, is exceptionally cold and slippery, but glistens glasslike, is gem-like, makes a frosty floor fair to behold. The spring ( ger ) which follows immediately is the manifestation of the benevolence of God: it is God rather than Wyrd or Freyja who permits ( oon God laete^ 32) that bright fruits be given to earth for the rich and the poor— the same halig heofones cynig 33 who caused the hail: hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte 25. Although heofones here is formulaic, it is not fortuitous that the word occur in these contexts. For, whatever association hail, need, ice, or ger may have had with the Germanic world of malevolent natural forces, or fertility cults, it is clear from these four stanzas that the poet considered the natural forces of hail and ice fair to behold, that he was optimistic about the outcome of oppressions (as ^aes of ereode , pisses swa maeg , Deor 7) and he believed God rather than the Germanic deities to be at the center of the seasonal changes.*^ The runes as well as their meanings have been Christianized, like the 2^ heathen fanes \inder Augustine. ^ One of the problems which the poet must have faced was what to do with all those runic trees and plants — the yew, elk-sedge, birch, oak, and ash. No doubt the poet

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61 could have composed a stanza of mere biological description for each plant, and let it stand at that; but he didn't. Rather, he has taken pains to relate the plants to some aspect of their usefulness to man. Moreover, the trees seem to take on almost human qualities; it is as though they are related to man by the bond of comitatus . Thus the yew is the guardian of the fire, a joy on the estate. The oak from vjhich the ship is built must keep its pledge: ' f^arsecg ('ocean") finds whether the oak has a worthy treowe' ('troth,' with a pun on treow, 'tree'?). And so the ash, or spear, dear to men, holds its place in battle 'though many men fight against.' Thus even trees enjoy a place within the community; man depends on the tree to keep its oath, to be true to its nature, stib on sta^ule 82. Another theme touched upon in the plant stanzas is that of the proper "dvxelling" place. Yew is on the estate, wynan on eble 37. 'Elk-sedge has its dwelling ( eard ) most often in the fens,' traditional abodes of monsters and exiles, and that this is no place for any man to be is emphasized by the harm that will come to any man who touches it, just as we have noted in the thorn-stanza. For the thorn is 'evil of touch' ( anf en,";ys 8), and the elk-sedge 'woimds grimly an:/ ^^an who attem.pts seizure' ( onf eng kk) . Mention of dwelling place is extended to the iar-fish stanza, and here the fish 'has a fair dwelling ( eard 88) surrounded by water where he delights in joys.'

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62 A third theme foijnd, in the tree stanzas is that of bled 'fruit,' 'blossoms,' or 'progeny.' And as we have been assured in connection with spring, God laete^ hrusan syllan beorhte bleda . So although the birch (poplar?) is bleda leas , it nevertheless has suckers, has lovely boughs, is laden with leaves. The word blaed, which occurs twice in the poem, is a poetic word meaning 'fame, prosperity.' And as H. C. Wyld pointed out long ago, there is reason to believe that bled and blaed were associated semantically in the poetry. Bled 'flower' or 'progeny' is derived from blowan 'to blow, as a flo;-;er blooms' (cf. ModE fullblown ) , and blaed 'fame' from blawan 'to blow, as a wind, inspire.' The two verbs were derived ultimately from the same root. It is probable that something of the sense of 'prosperity' in the lines blaed and blysse 2I4. (cf. Dream of the Rood , raid bledum & mid blisse k.9) and brucan on bolde bleadvim oftast 73 would be echoed along with bled 'fruit' in the penultimate line: bleda gedreosab 93. The two runes which represent things not on the earth are sigel 'sun' and tir 'some constellation,' yet they are intimately related to the life of the Anglo-Saxon. The sun helps the sailor 'get his ship back to land, and tir keeps its pledge to man as it fares over the darkness of night. And a further point of similarity is that because they are heavenly bodies, they never fail:

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63 Sigel semannviin symble bi^j on hihte J4.5 Tir ... a hip on faerylde I|.8 ofer nihta genipu; naefre swice^. But only two stanzas later we learn that man, every man, must fail the other, 'because the Lord will by his dom (cf. for drihtne domes 3) commit that wretched flesh to the earth.' The poet is bound by the order of the fu^jorc to follow steadfast sigel and tir by beorc and eh, but when he gets to man , the verbal echoes are there: the love of kinsmen, the mirth and laughter of the game of dice where warriors sit in the beer hall, the dom , onc^ as glory, now as judgment, and the juxtaposition of the eternal and the mutable. After this moment of foreboding, however, we are plunged back into vigorous life--to journey by sea where the ship is tilting, "the sea-horse heeds not its bridle." And this is followed up by Ing, the hero who also "made a journey" ( gewat ) over the waves. Yet the word gewat 69 works in two directions, 'departed' and 'died,' as if gently reinforcing the foreboding of the death of man . The poet had said: Man by^ on myrg^e his magan leof 59 but in the stanza following Ing, and contrasting the journey, the exile, the poet says: EJjel by^ overleof aeghwyclum men 71 if he can there with justice and propriety enjoy, oftenest in the hall, prosperity. And it is to display the bounty

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61; of the homeland, man's proper abode, that the poet has continually fashioned his verses. The aurochs has his place on the moors, the elk-sedge in the fens; the thorn is no place for a thane to rest; the journey is hard, better to stay in the hall with the torch, the wisemen, dicing; or if one must travel, go with kinsmen and bandy words about the horses, trust the oak ship that it will fare over the ganget's bath and, with the help of the sun, will return safely to land. The poem up to line 89 is, therefore, essentially hopefvil. The continual emphasis on comitatus , the goodness of creation, of trees, of the sea, the homeland, lends a pervasive prosperity to each of the stanzas. Ae^eling, eorl, rinc, leod, haele, hearding , weleg , wiga — all teiros for the wealthy or princely — occur a total of sixteen times, and the specifically poor ( earm twice) only in the context of a providential society. VJords for prosperity and joy occur in almost every line: wynn itself no less than six times and blaed bled five times. Such a net work of mutually corresponding verbal echoes of comitatus , flourishing estate, and prosperity is fotind in little extant Old English poetry: In fact it is almost a cliche of Old English criticism that pervading its poeti*y is an "elegiac" strain vAiich, as Professor Greenfield has recently shovm, has as its chief characteristics rather the loss of status ( earm an-haga) , deprivation, sadness, and exile, with its concomitant moving

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65 away from homeland, its endurance of hardship, its fruitless 27 searching elsewhere for what has been lost. In the Rime Poem we see the world through the eyes of one who enjoys prosperity of fortresses and hence the usual conventions of the elegy are turned upside down. From the very first stanzaj where the dispensing of treasure is jujctaposed to dom we are set up for an expectation of the loss of treasure, exile and doom. Yet in stanza after stanza, this expectation remains unfulfilled. V/hen the poet is faced with a rune that could naturally fit into the conventional elegiac mode, he does almost the reverse. Journey, for all. the hardship and misery of the Seafarer , the Wanderer , The Fates of Man , is in the Rxine Poem a laughing matter ( sef te and swibhwaet ) . and the heroes on horseback brag about their horses. Even the two sea journeys are hardly the woeful affairs met with in the Seafarer and Wanderer . Rather one might compare the treatment here with that of Elene or the return of Beovrulf (though expanded somewhat) where heroes make joyful journeys, frightful perhaps, but in the company of a band of heroes, in comitatus ( leodum ) . Faced with a rune nyd 'constraint,' the poet turns the expected conventional motif of the misery of the an hag a into a help and even a salvation. Hail and ice throughout Old English poetry bring only distress and affliction: hreo haeglfare , V/anderer 105, hrim hrusa n bond , haegl f eol on eor^an , coma caldast . Seafarer yd.

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66 wintery^e beleac isgebinde , Beowulf 11 32. To emphasize the misery of Andreas' exile, the poet gives a winter to Mermedonia, heardum haegelscurxm 1257» and Paradise is depicted in both Phoenix and Judgement Day II. as devoid of hail and ice, ne forstes fnaest ne fyres bla.est ne haegles hryre ne hrimes dryre (Phoenix iS, cf . Jud;:~ent Day II , 265) . Inthe Rune Poem , as has been noted, hail and ice are harmless, lovely to behold, in striking contrast to their conventional treatment . But as the poem progresses in almost artless praise of the beauty of the ^^^orld and the joys of the hall, tiirning a number of expectations upside down, such as the journey, constraint, ice and hail, the poet at the same time subtly undercuts his argument with the duplicity of dom, the failure of every man to the other, the departure (funeral?) of Ing, and finally, with the last lines, the grave. Ear , in the last stanza, 'the earth' and hence 'the grave' collects in one x-jord all the terms for earth throughout the poem ( hrusan 33, 36, lande lj.6, eor^an 62, 77, foldan 88) as well as eard 'dwelling place' and e^^el 'homeland.' In five lines all the treasures that belong to life are overthrown: that dom which is doom and was only insinuated in the opening lines finally emerges to cover all. The grave is terrible to every earl when quickly begins the flesh, the corpse to cool — the livid one, to choose the earth for bed-companion .... And the poet, reaching back into every stanza of the poem.

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67 draws together the three main strands that have bound them all: bleda gedreosajj; 93 wynna gewita^; wera geswica^. Blossoms fall; joys pass away; treaties fail. The poet has -urged again and again the beauty of the world, flowers, joy, kinship, but finally, having made the very best he could of his runes of hail and constraint and all the rest, when faced with the grave, he is powerless to make it any less terrible than it is. The grave and the final verses of the poem sweep away everything that has gone before. The poet of the Rvine Poem , therefore, was well versed in the traditional devices of Old English poetry. He could employ variation, the formulas, the hypermetric line, variations of the harp perhaps, rime, complex alliteration — all quite cleverly. He knows the Old English poetic vocabulary and is aware of the potentialities in words such as dom, treowe, e^el , bled , brimhengest , glistna\3 glaeshluttor , gewat . And in the poem he has built up a network of correspondences in the use of various terms for nobleman, joy, honor, consolation. But clearly, the most startling fact that emerges from the various themes in the poem is the poet's continual frustration of our expectations. In its self-conscious reversal of the elegiac traditions, when viewed against the background of Ecowulf , Ruin , the Wife's

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68 Lament, the gnomic verse, Andreas and a dozen other poems, the poem becomes almost an anti-elegy — that is, ijntil the final stanza, when, in one terrible moment the corpse choose the earth for a consort and everything is lost. Seen as a catalogue, the Rime Poem is little more than mere doggerel; viewed against the background of a body of poetry with a storehouse of extremely conventional metrics, langioage, and themes, the poem can emerge as a \mified, coherent, and for its length, a forceful poem. In \irging the critical method of considering Old English poetry in terms of its thematic conventions Professor Creed has written: There is no distance between the first occurrence of, for exajnple, the theme of the singer and its second and subsequent occurrences. There is no distance between the many appearances of a given theme within a tradition. That is to say, every time a singer performs the same theme he and his audience hear and appreciate that performance against the music of all other performances of that theme. Whenever the singer pictures someone walking in a hall, let us say, he and his audience superimpose that picture on their trained recollections of every similar picture. Or to vary the metaphor, the audience — singer included — hears each new performance of a theme counterpointed against all the old performances it has heard. 20 Thus the final implication of the Rvne Poem is like that of "That passed away, and so may this" but with a darkening irony in the Rune Poem that forces up an old theme: Wealth and loved ones are a consolation, in this life, yet lif is

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69 laene and these things will pass away. And the runes, remnants of a past both pagan and heroic, like the aniinals, heroes, and trees they conjure up, the runes, too, will pass away. As the pagan priest said, in a passage in the Venerable Bede reminiscent of this same mood of the passing of old ways and the transitoriness of life: The present life of man upon earth, king, seems to me, in comparison with that time which is unknoiim to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the house wherein you sit at supper in winter, with yoixr ealdormen and thegns, ;-;hile the fire blazes in the midst, and the hall is warmed, but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad. The sparrow, flying in at one door and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry tempest; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter into winter again. So this life of man appears for a little while, but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all. 29

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70 NOTES Teutonic Peoples (Cambridge, 1915), p. 6. 2 Charles W. Kennedy, The Earliest English Poetry (New York, 19l;3) , p. 13^Stanley 3. Greenfield, A Critical History of Old English Literature (Nev; York, 19^5) , p. 193. ^Kemp Malone, "The Old English Period (to 1100)" in A Literary History of England (New York, 19ij-8), p. 314.. Randolph Quirk, "Poetic Language and Old English Metre" in Early English and Norse Studies (London, 1963), p. ^Ibid., p. 155. '^Ibid., p. 156-7. o Francis P. Magoun, "The Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry," Sjoeculum, XXVIII (1953), kM-oi|67. 9 ^Larry D. Benson, "The Literary Character of AngloSaxon Formulaic Poetry," PI4LA , l:o:XI (1966), 3314.-314.1. Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages , trans. Hillard R. 'i'rask (Nev; York and Evanston, 1963), p. 58. Samuel Moore and Thomas A. Knott, The Elements of Old English (Ann Arbor, 1962), p. 258. 12 John Collins Pope, The RhA^thm of Beovrulf (New Haven, 191|2) . " 1*^ -"Robert P. Creed, "A New Approach to the Rhythm of Beowulf," PMLA , LXXXI (1966), 23-33. •^^^Creed, p. 25. -'See Appendix for the scansion of the Rune Poem according to Creed's method.

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71 Relative clauses such as oe_ him mid resteo 9^ include liib, 21b, 22b, i+l4.a; subordinate clauses as gif he his hylsta^ aeror include 2a, l8a, 28b, 32b, 39b, l;6a, U-7a, S^b, 60a, 61a, 6ij.a, 68b, 72a, 80a, 83a, 89b, 91a; prepositional phrases as of er milppfaq s l5b include i^-Oa, l4-6b, k9s , 50a, 6l4.b, 67b, 69a, 8la; and various compound elements connected by and include i+b, 20b, 23b, 2l^b,'56a, 6^r, 66a, 8i|b, 87b. Such structures (I4.0 in all) account for all the primary rests except nine: ^get is 6, non-alliterating verbs 27b, l|.8b, 52b, 85b, 88b, non-alliterating objects 59b, 62a, 70b. 17 See line 6, note, for other instances. Fr. Klaeber, Beowulf and the Fight at Finnesburg (Boston, 1950), p. Ixx. ''^Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, The Art of Beowulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1959), p. 39. 20 E.g. the gyfu -stanza where six abstract nouns in variation refer to the same subject: gleng , herenys , wrabu , •wyrbscype , ar, aetwist . 21 Norman E. Eliason, "Two Old English Scop Poems," PMLA, LXXXI (1966), 185. ^^Kemp Malone, Deor (London, 1933), P. 17. ^^See R. W. V. Elliott, Runes (Manchester, 1959), pp. kl, 50, 56, 60. ^^Gf. Bertha S. Phillpotts, "Wyrd and Providence in Anglo-Saxon Thought," Essays and Studies . XIII (1927), 7-27; and B. J. Timmer, "Heathen and Christian Elements in Old English Poetry," NeoPhil . XXIX (19l|.Ij-), l80-l85; "Wyrd in Anglo-Saxon Prose and Poetry," NeoPhil , XXVI (19l|l), 2/4.-33, 213-228. ^The Ruthwell and Bewcastle crosses with their runic inscription from The Dream of the Rood are the most graphic early (first half of the eighth century) illustrations of the Christianizing of the runes. " H. C. Wyld, "Diction and Imagery in Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Essays nnd Studies , XI (1925), 87. 27 "'Stanley 3. Greenfield, "The Formulaic Expression of the Theme of 'Exile' in Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Speculum , XXX (1955), 200-206.

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72 Robert P. Creed, "On the Possibility of Criticizing Old English Poetry," Texas Studies in Langviage and Lit erature , III (1961), 101. 29 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England , trans. A. M. Sellar (London, 1912), Book II, Chapter 13, p. ir6.

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i I Text

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r byl^ frofur fira geh;-jylcum; sceal c5eah manna gehwylc niclun hyt daelan, gif he wile for drihtne domes hleotan. \\ by|) anmod and oferhyrned, 5 felafrecne deor, feohteb mid hornum, maere morstapa; ^aet is modig wuht. P byj3 Searle scearp 5egna gehwylcum, anfengys yfyl, ungemetion re^e manna gehw;\'-lciin Se him mid resteS". 10 p byj3 ordfr-uma aelcre spraece, wisdomes wra]pu and witena frofur and eorla gehwam eadnys and tohiht. R by^ on recyde rinca gehi-rylcijm sefte, and swi|)hT-;aet 3am Je sitte^ onufan 15 meare maegenheardiom ofer milpa|)as. Pi byj) cwicera gehwam cu|) on fyre; blac and beorhtlic byrnelp oftust Saer hi aepelingas inne restaj), /\ gimena byjs gleng and herenys, 20 vjrabu and vryr^scype, and wraecna gehxrram Ih

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75 ar and aetwist c$e by^ o]pra leas. P ne bruce|) 5e can weana lyt sares and sorge, and him sylfa haefj) blaed and blysse and eac byrga getiiht. 25 H by|) hwltust corna; hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte; wealcaj) hit windes scura; weor^e|) hit to waetere syScJan. \ byj) nearu on breostan; weor^e^ hi 5eah oft nlpa beamuni to helpe and to haele gehwae|5re, gif hi his hlystajj aeror. I by^ oferceald, ungemetxain slidor; 30 glisna^) glaeshluttur ginrnum gelicustj flor forste geworioht faeger ansyne. Y ^yi' giimena hiht Son God laete^) — halig heofones cyning — hrusan syllan beorhte bleda beornum and Searfum. 35 2. ^yP utan unsme|)e treow, heard hrusan faest, hyrde fyres, wyrtrumun Tjnderwrejjyd vrynan on e^le, jl by^ symble plega and hlehter wlanciim . . . 5ar wigan sittaj) I4.O on beorsele, bli]pe aetsomne. Y secg eard haef^) oftust on fenne, wexeS on wature, wunda]p grimme.

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76 blode breneS beorna gehwylcne Se him aenlgne onfeng gede5. kS ^ semanmam symble bi^ on hihte Sonn hi hine feriaj) ofer fisces be^ oj) hi brimhengest bringej> to lande. T bi^ tacna svm, healdeS trywa wel wij) ae|>elingas; a bi|) on faerylde So ofer nihta genipu; naefre swicej), [^ byj) bleda leas, berejp efne swa oeah tanas butan tudder; bi^ on telgum wlitig, heah on helme hrysted faegere, geloden leafun, lyfte getenge. ^^ jl t)y$» for eorlun ael^elinga wyn; hors hofum wlanc $aer him haelejj ymb welege on wicgum wrizla^ spraece and bib vmstyllum aefre frofur. PI byj5 on myrg]pe his magan leof ; 60 sceal ^eah anra gehwylc oSrijm swTcan forSam Dryhten x^ryle dome sine Jjaet earme flaesc eorjjan betaecan. I byj) leodurn langSTjm ge|)uht, gif hi sculun nejjun on nacan tealt-um, 65 and hi saey^ja swype bregaj).

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77 and se brimhengest bridles ne gymeS. $ waes aerest mid East-Demjui gesewen secgun, op he siSSan est ofer waeg gewat, waen aefter ran; 70 Sus heardingas f5one haele neitidvin. ^ byj) oferleof aeghwylcum men, gif he mot 5aer rihtes and gerysena on brucan on bolde bleadum oftast. W byj) Drihtnes sond, deore nannuun, 75 maere Met odes leoht, myrgj) and tohiht eadgum and earmum, eall-um brice, pr hjp on eorban elda bearnvim, flaesces fodor; fereb gelome ofer ganotes baej); garsecg fanda^ 8o hwaeber ac haebbe ae^iele treowe, N bi|) oferheah, eldum dyre, stijp on stajjule; stede rihte hylt 5eah him feohtan on firas monige, M byj3 aebelinga aiid eorla gehwaes 85 wyn and vr/rbmynd; byb on wicge faeger, faestlic on faerelde fyrdgeatewa siun. )|C byp eafix a and 5eah a brucej?

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78 fodres on foldan; hafajj faegerne eard waetre beworpen Sabr he wynnum leofaj), 90 y by^ egle eorla gehwylcm c5onn faestlice firesc onginnei) hraw colian, hrusan ceosan, blSc to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaj), wynna gewita]p, wera geswlcais.

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Translation

PAGE 89

Treasure is a comfort for every man Yet must every one give it generously If he wants to obtain honor from the lord. Aurochs is fierce and great-horned, A terrible beast that fights with its horns, 5 A notorious moor-haunter. That is a proud creature I Thorn is severely sharp to any warrior. Its seizure is painfvil and immeasurably fierce To any man who rests among them. Mouth is the source of every lang-uage, 10 Wisdom's support and consolation for the wise; Happiness and hope for every earl. Journey is easy for warriors in the hall. And racking for those who sit up high On the powerful horse, over the mile-roads. 1$ Torch is by the living seen ablaze; Bright and splendid, it burns always Where noble men rest themselves within. Gift of men is an honor and praise. Support and worthiness; and for the miserable 20 Kindness and sustenance when they have nought else. Joy he has, who knows little of woes, -80

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81 Of sorrow and grief, who has for himself 25 Success and bliss, and the siifficiency of castles. Hail is the whitest of grains as it hurls from the loft of the heavens; It is rolled by the showers of wind; to water it turns at the end. Need is oppressive to the heart, but she turns, for the children of men. Into both a help and salvation, if they pay heed to it betimes. Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery; It glistens clear as glass, most like unto gems; 30 Fashions a frosty floor, fair to behold. Spring is the hope of men when God, The holy King of Heaven, suffers to give to earth Bright blossoms for warriors and beggars. Yew is on the outside a rough-barked tree; 35 Firm and fast in the earth, the keeper of fire Is sustained by roots, is the pride of the realm. Dicing is ever a sport and laughter. High-spirited . . . where warriors sit Around the beer-hall, blithely together. I4.O

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82 Elk-sedge has its place most often in the fen; It grows in the water, wounds sharply And burns with blood every man Who dares to touch it at all. Sim is ever the hope of sailors ij.5 V/hen they sail over the fish's bath And the sea-horse brings them back to land. Tir is some kind of token; i-zell keeps its faith With noblemen; remains on its course Over the darkness of nights; it fails never. 50 Birch has no fruit, yet it bears nevertheless Shoots without fruits, is beautiful with branches High in its crown, splendidly adorned And laden with leaves, pressing up loftily. The horse is for earls as a princely pleasure, SS A steed splendid of hoofs, where heroes. The wealthy on horseback, bandy words About him, that is ever a remedy for the restless. Han who is mirthful is dear to his kinsman. Yet must every man fail all others 60 Because the Lord will by his law Commit that wretched flesh to the earth.

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83 Sea is by princes thought long -enduring If they must venture on the tilting ship And they by sea waves are terribly frightened 65 And the sea-horse heeds not its bridle. Ing was at first seen by men Among the East Danes, until he later eastward Over the wave departed; a wagon ran after. Thus, those brave men named that hero. 70 Homeland is cherished by every man If he can make use of his right and customs. At his dwelling, in constant prosperity. Day is the Lord's message, dear unto men, Great light of God, a joy and a comfort 75 To the rich and the wretched, beneficial to all. Oak is on earth for the children of men Bodily food. Oak fares constantly Over the bath of the gannet, and sea will find out Whether oak keeps its oath with earls. 80 Ash is towering, beloved of men. Stiff in its station, holds to it steadfastly Though many men battle against it. Bow is for princes and earls alike Delight and an honor; it is fair on horse, 85 Reliable on the journey, a real piece of war-gear 1

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81; lar is always a river fish and yet ever enjoys Pood from the land; he has a fair dwelling Covered with water where he lives in joy. The grave is grim to every nobleman 90 V/hen quickly begins the flesh. The corpse, to cool — the livid one, to choose The earth for bed-companion; blossoms fall, Joys pass away, and treaties are broken.

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Annotations

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1. r rune, feoh (ON. fe, Go. fe, Gothic 8l;h-cent. 'spellings are from Vienna Codex 795 . Gmc ---fehu) 'goods, cattle, property' with the inscriptional value of the letter f . The rune is also used to represent the letter b (late Latin f% _7) , as in Franks Casket afita tores ( = habitatores ) . On the interchange of f and b spelling see Campbell, Par. 57. The rune occurs in other poetic texts as signifying its name in Fates of the Apostles 98, Christ 807, Elene 1269, and possibly in Juliana 708 (see AS PR , III, 287 and Elliott, E3, XXXIV, i;9ff., 193ff. for interpretations), and as signifying a soiond or letter in the Exeter Riddles , nvimbers 19 and 6k( A3PR , III, l89, 230). frofur, T. Grienberger ( Ang;lia , XLV, 201+) suggests the interpretation ' a\ixilivin ' rather than ' solatium , Trost ' ; Dickins translates as 'comfort.' 2. miclun , a dative plural used adverbially, may be a stage of the change um-^ 22» 2£i (Campbell, Par. 387). Cf. ungemetim 8; geh^-ryclim 9, 90; wyrtrimxm 37; wynan 37; sec gun 68. I).. ^ rvme, ur (ONorvr. ur 'slag,' Olce. ur 'drizzle,' Go. uraz , Gmc. -:: -uruz 'aurochs') probably retains the older meaning 'wild ox' with the inscriptional value u. Although this gigantic wild ox ( bos taurus primigenius ) had been extinct in Britain for centuries before the OE period (fossil remains are abundant in England in '86

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87 the later Plistocene deposits), the aurochs was to be foxmd. in the forests of Poland as late as midsixteenth century. That they were known in Prussia as well at least as late as the twelfth or thirteenth centuries suggests that the Germanic and Scandinavian tribes about the time of the invasion (ij.50) could have had first-hand knowledge of this enormous animal. Cf . Lydekker, Wild Oxen, Sheep , and Goats of all landS ) living and extinct , London (1898), p. llff. Caesar gives evidence that the h-unting and slaying of the aurochs was a sport among young men, the horns being valued as drinking vessels ( Gallic War , VI, 28) : (The Aurochs) are a little below the elephant in size and of the appearance, color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary, and they spare neither man nor beast that has the misfortune to come their way. These the natives capture with much pains in pits and kill them. The youths harden themselves to this exercise and particular kind of hunting. He who has killed the greatest number of them brings the horns to display as evidence of his courage and is highly applauded by his co'untrymen. So savage is the nature of these beasts that no matter how young they are captured, they can never be tamed. The great size, shape, and type of their horns make them quite different from the horns of our oxen. These are much sought after; and it is the custom to bind them with tips of silver and to use them as cups at their most sumptuous feasts. (Burdock's translation) Although no drinking horn could have attained the fabulous proportions of that one by which £• orr was

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88 hoodwinked ( Snorri Edda, Gyl fag inning , 1^6), yet the remains of two large horns iincovered in the Sutton Hoo excavation are 35g feet long and have a capacity of six quarts (cf . Charles Green, Sutton Hpo (New York, 1963), p. 73). and for Hickes' T, so also in 20, Zkt 58, 65, Qk* -where these have been expanded of erhyrned , for Hickes' ofer hyrned , is defined 'having horns above, ' B-T, p. 735; so Grienberger and Dobbie. Dickins translates 'with great horns, ' seeing ofer as an intensifier as in 29 and 71, of erceald and of erleof . The word is a hapax legomenon. 5. felafrecne for Hickes' f ela frecne . 6. maere morstapa , cf . the formula in Beowulf 103, Grendel as maere mearcstapa . morstapa for Hickes' mor stapa . |3aet for Hickes' x ,'and so in line 62. For other instances of the " ^aet is " formula in OE poetry see Beowulf 11, 863, 1075, l8l2, 2390; Dream of the Rood 7k; Panther 7k'; Deor 19, 23; Daniel 7, ^k, 321;. The formula seems to have been used as a kind of punctuation mark for a descriptive passage about a good king, sad woman, or a fearsome wight. 7. y rune, ^orn ' thorn, 'vwith the inscriptional value of ^ and 5. The Scandinavian rune name ^J.rs (Gmc. •" -purisaz ) appears in the OUorw. Rune Poem as "Giant causes anguish to women," and in the Olce. Rune Poem

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89 as "Giant=torture of women and cliff-dweller and husband of giantess" (Diokins' translations). Christian scribes probably substituted the paler ^orn for the older pagan \>jvs 'giant, enchanter' (cf . Beovmlf I|-26), and so in the case of £s and tir . The rune was adopted by the scribes of OE IISS to represent that sound for which the Latin alphabet had no symbol and was used through the ME period. A derivative of ^orn {\)e > ^^>\^ ) appears ultimately in such archaisms as "Ye Olde Choppe Suey Shoppe" (Pyles, Origins and De velopment of the English J^anguage , p. 31). 8. anf eng ys yfyl for Hickes' anf en gys yfyl . So Dickins and Dobbie after the suggestion of Grein ( Germania , X, U28). Grienberger ( Anglia , XLV , 206) reads anfengys yfyl . 2. for vmstressed e, cf . eadnys 12, recyde 13, herenys 19, •underwre^yd 37, faerylde [;9. 10. p rune, os (ONorw. oss 'estuary,' Olce. oss 'god,' Go. aza , Gmc. -"ansuz 'god') 'mouth' with the inscriptional value o. Gmc. nasalized a became in OE o and with loss of n, o became lengthened; thus the rune name -"ansuz > o_s, and its meaning was presumably changed in Christian times to the Latin homophone os_, 'mouth.' The new shape of the rune is generally explained as a ligature of |^ a plus 'in(f^>f^>P >Pl >p ), so Hempl, Dickins, Keller, Schneider, and Guinn (p.

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90 33)' The old rime ^ for Gmc. a developed by regular phonetic change into ae and was renamed aesc 'ash.' The word os does not appear elsewhere in OE except in the personal naj:nes of the Osvariety and in the charm "For a sudden stitch," (ASPR, VI, 122, line 23) Gif hit weare esa gescot o55e hit vraere ylfa gescot , etc. (cf . also Beowulf, 112, eotenas ond ylfe and orcneas, sviylce gigantas ) where in OE times the esa are connected with the realm of pagan divinities. Other glosses of OS are 'speech, language,' and Isidore in discussing orthographia makes the point that "0_s, si vultum aut ossum significat . per o solam scribendum est , si personam , h praeponenda est ." And only a few lines later in the Etymologiae ; " Etymologia est origo vocabulorvun ," which resembles £s hj^ ordfruma aelcre spraece . There may be a connection between the equation of God, the V/ord, and Christ (in St. John's Gospel I, 1: "In principio erat verbum") and the older •" •ansus 'god' becoming os 'mouth-speech-langiiage, ' but this is, of course, highly speculative. If the meaning in the Rime Poem is 'mouth' after the Latin £S, it is the only rune of the original Gmc. fu^ark to take its name from a foreign language . 12. tohiht for Hickes' to hiht; otherwise we would expect dat. sing, to hihte. 13. |\ rune, rad (ONorw. raeiS , 01 ce. reiS, Go. reda, Gmc.

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91 •" •raiSo ) 'riding' with the inscriptional value r, Elliott points out (p. 57) that ^ is perhaps associated with the belief that the soul takes a journey after death (cf . The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial , London, 1963; and the opening passages of Beowulf ) . Concerning this pagan association of the runes, Elliott further asserts: "Thus interpreted the r-rune could conceivably have come to fxmction almost as a journeycharm, whether for the living or for the dead. In the three runic poems the word 'riding' is interpreted quite literally." A nimber of translations have been suggested for rad : 'music' (Grein-Kohler, p. 5^0); 'furniture (of a horse),' 'harness (of a horse)' (B-T, p. 781); 'equipment, tackle' (Chadwick, in Dickins, p. II4.) ; 'saddle' (Kemble, Archaeologia , XXVIII, 3i;0). Even as late as 1965 C. L. V/renn writes "Some Earliest Anglo-Saxon Cult Symbols," Franciplegius , ed. J. B. Bessinger and R. P. Creed, p. I|.7): "It is now generally agreed that RAD of the Runic Poem expresses the rhythmic music of harp (or possibly flute): and in both such music and the distant roll of a wagon may be heard a fractvmi murmur , " Here, rad is taken as 'journey,' as in Elene 98l. on recyde , for Hi ekes' onrecyde . 15. maegenheardum , for Hickes' maegen heardum .

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92 milpa^as , for Hickes' mil pa^as . The word is comparatively rare (cf . Exodus 171, Elene I263) and is perhaps best translated 'road with milestones.' 16. f\ rune, cen (Gmc. -;;-kenaz) 'torch' with the inscriptional value k. For a discussion of the phonemic distinctions between h ,/i\ , j|( t see Guinn, p. hMff. Both Scandinavian R-une ^oems have kaun 'boil, ulcer' (Gmc. -;:-kauna^) , but cen (ken, coen in St. John's College MS 17) is given as the name in all the OE MSS furores. The interpretations of cen in each of the CynewTolfian passages vary, but those given here represent the views of most editors: Elene 1257 cen drusende 'dying torch'; Fates of the Apostles IO3 t^onne [^ ond n 'when torch and bow'(?) ; Christ 797 bonne K cwacaS 'then the torch quaketh' ; Juliana 70]+ geomor hweorfeS / h ftl o^^d Sv 'the race of men ( cyn ) sadly departs. ' 19. A rirae, gyfu (Go. geuua , Gmc. -::get)o ) 'gift, generosity' with the inscriptional value of the velar voiced spirant as in OE fu.^ol . As Dobbie suggests (ASPR, VI, 155), gyfu gumena implies a "double effect on the bestower ( gleng , herenys , wyrbscype ) and on the receiver ( wrapu , ar, aetwist ) ." 21. obra refers to ar ond aetwist (cf. Kock , Anglia, XLIII, 307 f.), or possessions in general, of which the ruined man is deprived.

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93 22. I rime, wyn (Go. uuirme, Gmc. -" -wun.jo ) 'joy' with the inscriptional value w. Hickes' spelling (Kentish?) wen is clearly taken from Domitian A. ix. (see G. L. Wrenn, "Late Old English Rune-rlames, " Medium Aevum, I, 29), since all other spellings in the poem are West Saxon wyn (n) . The case of wynne has been the subject of some controversy. There is no way of knowing whether the MS read P bruce^ or [ ne bruce^ since runes written for words only rarely occur in oblique forms in the poetic texts and never with case endings. Support for the r ne reading may be found in the use of runes in the Durham Ritual gloss where f>^ £s = daeges . We'' daege (cf. Derolez, pp. i;01-2) . I'/hatever the l-B reading, Hickes' P ne should be taken as gen. sing, since bruce^ governs the genitive (so Dobbie) rather than Dickins' dat. sing. Schneider (p. 60ff.) rejects the meaning 'joy' and reconstructs a masc. ja-stem •" -^jynn meaning ' Sippenangehoriger , Gesippe ' on the basis of the apparently masc. se l> ( Christ SOi;) and certain IE cognates with the meaning 'family, race.' Schneider's argument is too lengthy to be treated here, but his connecting etymologically the word with Olrish fine 'Familie, Stamm ' and Olrish vana ' Reibeholtz fur die Feuer bohrung ' and ultimately as a sexual metaphor in' Olrish vana s 'Lust' and Latin Venus all seems farfetched, as does his interpretation of the rvme • s form

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91; as Sippenbanner : K , V/hatever value his etymology may have, it does not alter the fact that wynn translates 'joy, jubilation, emulation' in the Metrical Psalms , and that here it stands with blaed and blysse in juxtaposition to weana, sares and sorge . 23. sorge for Hickes' forge . him sylf a . Sylf (declined strong and weak, Wright, Par. I4.63) is an adjective in OE which is used to emphasize the prono\xn it agrees with. Oftentimes it is preceded by a reflexive dative pronoun, in vxhich case sylf still agrees with its referent, as opposed to agreeing with the preceding dative pronoun used as a reflexive dative object or a dative of interest. Thus sylfa must be construed as a nominative singular masculine of the weak declension: and him sylfa haefb blaed and blysse i and he has, he himself, prosperity and joy.' Compare also Aelfric's Life of St. S within . Bishop (ed. G. I. Needham, London, I966) p. 62 line 32: . . . ^aet he geopenige him sylf mine byrgene ; or Christ 1115: Ball ^is magon him sylf e geseon ^onne . 2k.byrga geniht 'prosperity of cities'; byrga gen. pi. of burg with i-mutation by analogy with n. a. pi. byr (i) £• 25. ^ rune, haegl (ON. ha gall . Go. haal, Gmc. -"hagalaz ) 'hail' with the inscriptional value h. The rune name is spelled out in place of |^ in the Exeter Riddle lj.3 .

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95 line 11 (ASPR, III, 20l|.) hae^elas. hwyrft , syncopated and assimilated from hwyrf e^ . 26. scura has been retained, following most editors, as nom. pi. fem. (of. Go. skura and ON. skur , both feminine), although the word is regularly masculine in OE, The poet here makes effective use of rapid repetition ( hwyrft hit , wealca^ hit, weor^jet? hit) and double alliteration ( aabaac , wealca^ hit windes scura ; weor^e^ hit to waetere sySSan ) , 27. Jv rvine, nyd (ON. nauSr, Go. noicz , Gmc. -::-nau^iz) 'need, constraint' with the inscriptional value n. The rune name is spelled out in place of ^ in the Ezeter Riddle 1;2, line 8 ( ASPR . Ill, 201;) laaer sceal Nyd wesan . For the common use of nyd in gnomic verse cf . Exeter Maxims I, 38 nyde sceal t^rage gebunden or Sol . & Sat . 313 ned biS vryrda heardost . Schneider rejects the meaning 'need' for the Rune Poem , suggests that because hi 27 and his 28 refer to nyd , the gender of nyd must be masculine, and proposes the rune name -is -nau^iz , -::-nau^_is, masc. i.-stem, with the meaning "'Reiber' im Sinne von 'Feuerbohrer ' . . . und woneben ein -"nau^jis , •::nauJS)is fi. der Bedeutung 'Drangsal, Not, Zwang, Schwierigkeit ' ." (Schneider, p. 137.) He further emends Hlckes' breostan to breodan < WS bredum and translates the stanza:

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96 Der Feuerbohrer (Reiber) ist nahe an den Brettern. Es dreht er sich doch oft (=gar oft) den Kindern der Menschen _ zur Hilfe imd zum Heile, zu jedwedem / for gehwae^jre ? 7 wenn sie(die Menschen) zuvor seiner lauschen. (Schneider, p. ll\.0) The first objection to Schneider's reading must be that hi cannot be masculine, but rather is feminine, the referent of which is the feminine nyd . Other editors have not seen such difficulties with the gender of nyd , and have taken nearu to mean 'narrow, oppressive' rather than 'nahe, near. ' 3-T cites no meaning 'near' for nearu. Furthermore, his 28 probably refers to the general statement of line 27. For other examples of the use of the neuter pronoun without regard to gender or number, in contexts where the referent is a statement, fact, or event, see Quirk and V/renn, Par. 125. Thus on grammatical and lexical grounds alone, Schneider's reading must be rejected, along with his vin justifiable emendation breostan > breodan. Dickins translates the last half -line 'to everyone who heeds it betimes'; Dobbie, ' if they anticipate it.' Thus, a literal translation may be: Need is a distress to the heart; she often turns, however, for the children of men into both help and prosperity, if they heed it betimes. breostan , cf. miclun 2n, 28. geh^^^ae^re for Hickes ' £e hwaebre . 29. j rune, is (ON. i_s. Go. iiz, Gmc. -::-isa-) 'ice' with the inscriptional value i.

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97 oferceald, unsemetum for Hickes ' ofer cealdunge metvcm . 30. glaeshluttur for Hickes' glaes hluttur. 31. geworiiht for Hickes' ge worulit . 32. J rune, gar (ON. _ar. Go. £aar, Gmc. ---jera-) 'year, warin part of the year' with the inscriptional value 2* Elliott suggests the meaning 'harvest'; Dickins, 'summer'; and gear in Beowulf probably means 'spring'! winter y^e beleac / isgebinde , o^ §aet o^^er com / gear in geardas . Gear , following the stanzas haegl , is, nyd , makes an effective contrast. Son is usually emended to Sonne , but this is vmnecessary. See Klaeber, MLN. XXXI, [|.29. 35. "Z. rune, eoh (Gmc. -"eihwaz ) 'yew' with several inscriptional values. Dickins ( Leeds Studies in English , 1932, p. 16) suggests an original value hw (Go. Ki) and transliterates 3 (/X / in Ruthwell almej^ttig , /i/ in Dover j^slheard ) . Whatever the original value of the rune may have been, the vocalic value in OE inscriptions is i^. The consonantal value, though rare, is /X /, As in the case of Ing . where the inscriptional value is that of the second phoneme /H /, so with eoh , the rune occasionally took the value of the second phoneme /X/. For a discussion of the problems surrovmding the value of ^ , see Guinn, pp. 59-78. The rune name was applied by Anglo-Saxons learning the Irish script to Irish ^ , £, on the basis of similarity

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98 of form between the Irish ^ and runic Z , and survives in ME as 3 ' yogh . ' See Paues, MLR , VI (1911), 37. wynan is taken by Grienberger ( Anglia , XLV, 211) as adverbial dative. Cf. breostan 27, magan 59. 38. ji rune (usually^ ), peorb (Go. ^:pertra ) 'dicebox' (?) with the inscriptional value £. Several explanations have been suggested for the meaning of this rune: 'pavm, in chess' (W. Grimm, Ueber deutsche Runen, p. 239f.); 'chessman' (Dickins, p. 17); 'throat, gtaiet' (Grienberger, Beitr . XXI (I896) , 212). Other conjectures are noted by Dobbie, p. 156. The most recent discussion of peorb is in Schneider, pp. i4.llil35. After quoting Tacitus ( Germania , Ch. 21+) and several OE passages relating to dicing, Schneider demonstrates the popularity of gaming among other Indo-European peoples, discussing the various vocabularies related to casting the dice ( Wurf elvokabular ) . Schneider, furthermore, reconstructs Gmc . -iiper^ro where the -:;--bro ( < IE -"-tra ) is an instrumental suffix and Gmc. -::per < IE -::ber 'throw, strew' is cognate with Lith. beriu 'strew,' Let. beru 'strew,' Old and Middle Irish dibircuid 'throw,' and L. fritillus ( < -"-fretillus < -iJfret.los < -:: -bhretlolos ' V/erf erchen ' ) 'dice-box.' Schneider's interpretation fits in well with the stanza, but several objections may be raised: The usual etymology given for the Latin 'dicebox' is

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99 fritillus < fritinnio 'twitter' (onomatopoetic, as tintinnio) . The b of Irish dibircuid must be derived from IE £^, not the IE b of -" -ber . Furthermore, accord ing to Prokosch (p. 68), reliable etymologies involving IE b _^ Gmc. £ are extremely rare and in none of those he cites is the b initial. Schneider also finds a similarity between the usual shape of the rune \^ and a dice-box, and, in keeping with his larger thesis of thereligious significations of the runes, asserts a symbolic meaning ' allmachtiges Schicksal . ' But if peor|3 does mean 'dice-box' or 'dicing,' the word must have lost its earlier religious significance by the time of the composition of the poem since dicing is plega and hlehter , bli^e aetsomne . 39. wlancum, a metrically defective half-line for which several additions have been suggested: Ettmuller, wlancum willgesic^um ; Rieger, wlancum on wingedrinc ; Grein and so Kluge and Dickins, wlancum on middum ; Grienberger, wlancum we rum ; Dobbie, wlancum plus and and another adjective, as for example wlancum and wisum . The omission is not noted by Hickes. L|.0. aetsomne for Hickes' aet somne . I4.I. Y rune, eolh secg (ON. jr, Go. ezec , Gmc. -"algiz ) vjith the inscriptional value ks or x, probably given to the rune arbitrarily, by scribes under the influence of the Roman alphabet who felt the need for

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100 a convenient rune for Latin x (Guinn, p. 80) . The meaning of the rune name has been long disputed, and no suggestion has proved definitive. This rune, representing -z (R) in the Germanic fujjark, had become a fossil by OE times, although its name survived because of its fixed position in the series. The various MSS give for example eolhx (Galba A. ii.), iolx (Dom. A. ix.), ilcs (Salz. li+0), and the use of the wne on Cuthbert's Coffin (698 A.D.) indicates its value to be x (IHf YJCr = IHSXPS). Latin-OE glosses (Sweet, Oldest English Texts ) read papiluus : ilugsegg ( Epinal ), papilus : ilugseg ( Erfurt ), papili vus : wiolucscel ( Corpus ) , where papiluus is probably 'papyrus.' And the same vocabularies gloss gladiolum : segg ( Spinal ), secg (Erfurt), and saecg ( Corpus ) . Thus on the basis of the OE glosses eolhsecg would mean some sort of plant growing in the marsh, and this interpretation fits the sense of the poem. Other suggestions are 'seaholly' (Cockayne, Leechdoms III, p. 321).), Latin helix 'willow' (W. J. Redbond, MLR , XXXI (1936), 55), 'swan' (Schneider,, p, 14.09). Hickes' seccard haefb was first emended by Grimm to secgeard '^9-ef'p and editors since then have regarded secc as the second half of the compound rune-name and have further emended (c£ = c£) to secg eard.

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101 I4.3. breneS is taken by Dickins as a form of beerneS, beyrne^ 'covers' and cites Wulfstan (Napier's edition, pp. 182-3) Drihtnes rod bi'S blode beurnen. Grein (p. 70) and Grienberger ( Anglia XLV, 212) would take brene^ as a causative verb from brim , brynan 'makes brown with blood.' Both Dickins and Dobbie r-ule out baernan 'to burn' as nonsensical, yet the thermal properties of the blood are asserted several times in Beot-mlf ; waes ^aet blod to ^aes hat , / aettren ellorgaest ,l6l6; ba ^aet hildebil / forbarn brogdenmael , swa ^aet blod ge sprang , / hatost hea^aoswata , 1666. Likewise Andreas , blod ySi;im we oil / ha ton healfre , 12i;0, and 1276. Another possibility is that the eohlx secg inflicted a poison such as those in the "Nine Herbs Charm" (ASPR, VI, 119), and that it was thought to bum in the blood anyone who touched it . Allowing for the medieval belief in the blood's power to gush hotly and even to melt swords, the translation 'burns with blood' wovild therefore seem to fit the context wunda^ grimme better than 'makes brown with blood.' i;5. *\ rune, sigel (ON. sol . Go. sugil , Gmc. -"-sowulo) 's-un' with the inscriptional value _s. At the end of Exeter Riddle number 6 ( ASPR , III, iQk) stands the rune for sigel , the ansv;er to the riddle. Elliott (p. $6) and Schneider (p. 92ff.) discuss" the connections

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102 between the early Germanic sun-worship and rune lore. kS. semannum for Hickes' _se mannum. i|.6. Som, cf. line 32n. hine is taken by Grienberger ( Anglia , XLV, 212) and Dobbie (p. 157) as the pronoun, referring to brimhen £est in the next line. But the present editor holds with Dickins that hine is a variant of heonan 'hence'; cf. B-T Supplement, p. 53i^, hiona . heona, heone, hena . ^Q^ia^ is, therefore, intransitive. ^7. hi brimhengest for Hickes' hibrim hengest . kQ. t rune, tir (ON. t;^. Go. t^, Gmc. -::-teiwaz 'the god Tiw,tas OS Tiwesdaeg). 'the god Tir with possible Norse influence' (see Grienberger, Arkiv for Nordisk filologi , XV, 15); or, 'some constellation,' with the inscriptional value t. Schneider emends tir to tiw, on the basis of the possible confusion of insular r and w i'^^J^ for Tip ), and asserts the interpretation 'god of war' with the underlying meaning 'spearpoint, weapon,' which the shape of the rune suggests. E£inal, Erfurt, and Corpus Glossaries give tiig for mars, martis (Sweet, Oldest English Texts , pp. 77-78) so the poem's a bi]^ on faerylde . naefre swiceb (thus referring rather to a star than the planet Mars) may simply be the poet's confusion. tacen means 'sign of the zodiac in the computist writings, and the poet's emphasis on its fixedness may indicate that he took

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103 tyr to be the North Star. One treatise explains the North Star and the South Star ('which we never see') as ^one norSran we geseoo ; t?one hatao menn scip steorra (0. Cockayne, Leechdoms, III, London (1866), p. 270). Tir can also be 'glory' or 'honor,' and it may be that the poet understood tacen in the sense of emblem, or symbol: 'Honor is a certain emblem; it well keeps faith among noblemen' (the heroic lof-motif? ) . llS . on faerylde for Hi ekes' onfaerylde . 51. n rune, beorc (ON. b.iarkan . Go. bercna, Gmc . -"berkana ) 'birch, ' with the inscriptional value b. On the symbolism of the birch in European fertility cults, see Elliott, pp. k7. So. Dobbie, following Dickins, suggests that the birch is not the tree described in the poem ( ASPR , VI, 157). Several OE glosses ( Epinal Erfurt, 792; Corpus , 1609) have birch : poplar; and, as Dickins points out, the description in the poem would fit the grey poplar. In view of the glossorial equation poplar : birch, the emphasis in the poem on suckers or root shoots ( tanas butan tuddor ) common to the poplar, the similarity of the leaf of the birch and some poplars, such as the aspen ( Populus tremula) (see L. J. F. Brimble, Trees in Britain , pp. 225, 235) — we might conjecture that 'birch' was used commonly to denote several species of poplar as well as birch

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and that the loan word populus did not come into general use vmtil some time after the Conquest. 53. heah for Hickes' \)eah . hrysted , with r-meta thesis . 55. [^ rune, eh (Go. eyz , Gmc . -::ehwaz ) 'horse.' Although the r\ine-name is sometimes given in MSS in its diphthongized form, eoh, the inscriptional value was probably e. In Elene 1261, the rune stands for eoh ; in Juliana 706, for the letter e (see ASPR , III, 287). Several scholars have discussed the connection between horse and sun in the Germanic religion-cults (Arntz, p. 221; Schneider, p. 378; Elliott, p. 56). 56. Hickes reads haele^e ymb and following Sievers this has been emended by all editors to haeleb ymbe for metrical reasons. However, according to Creed's metrical system the verse is an t-ct'; Hickes 's reading haelebe has been emended to the regular plviral haele^ . 59. p^ rtine, man (ON. ma$r . Go. manna , Gmc. -ismannaz ) 'man' with the inscriptional value m. As Elliott points out, the rune-name may have originally referred to Mannus, the progenitor of the human race (cf. Tacitus, Germania , Ch. 2). Hickes' facsimile here shows in ^^jfl'"*' and for the da eg stanza Q ^"^KA , clear evidence that he merely reproduced the confusions of Cotton

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105 Domitian A. ix, fol. 11^. See Hempl, MP, I, 135iLa. magan, see line 27n. 61* fo^Sam for Hickes' for 5am. 63. p rune, lap:u (ON. Ipgr , Go. laaz , Gmc. -"laguz ) 'water, sea' with the inscriptional value 1. The rune appears with its name-value in Fates of the Apos tles 102, Elene 1268, and Christ 806. Its meaning in Juliana 708 is disputed (see ASPR, III, 287). 6knefaun , usually emended to nepan , is retained here as a possible late spelling of the simple infinitive (cf. M. Callaway, Jr., The Infinitive in Anglo Saxon , p. 2). 65. saey^a for Hickes' sae y|3a . 66. brimhengest for Hickes' brim hengest. gymeS for Hickes' gym , and thus all editors. 67. O rune, Ing (Go. anguz , Gmc. -"inguz ) 'the god (?) Ing' with the inscriptional value ng. Very little is known about Ing. V/e learn from the poem that he was thought of as semi-divine, having first been seen by men among the East Danes, that he departed eastward over the sea (to the Baltic peoples?), and that a car followed him. Ing does not occur in OE elsevxhere except in the compo\md Ingwine ('friends of Ing,' Beoi-rulf lOiji;, 1319) as part of an epithet for Hrojjgar, ^ing of the Danes. Apart from these, there are no other references to Ing in the OE tradition. In Old Norse literature Ing does

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106 not occur, but in Ynglinga Saga (ch. 20) the god Frey is also called Yngvi or Inguni, as well as all his descendants, the Swedish kings (H.. M. Chadv/ick, The Ori gin of the English Nation , pp. 2l6ff ., 270) . Danish tradition knows no Ing, but in Beowulf the equation of the Ingwine with the Scyldingas, the Danish kings, would suggest that Ing vra.s the predecessor of both royal lines. Furthermore, the term Inguaeones , used by Tacitus for the tribes of the Southern Baltic, Swedes and Danes, would indicate a common ancestry going back to the eponymous god or king, Ing. H. m. Chadwlck has conjectured that Ing was husband to Nerthus ('Mother Earth'), who travelled in a consecrated car (cf. Tacitus, ch. i^O) . 68. gesewen for Kickes' £e sewen . est is emended to eft by Grein and Dobbie; for Klaeber's Justification of this reading see Archi v, CXLII, 251. 70. Dickins suggests the possibility of heardingas being a personal name related to ON. Hadding.i'ar (Runic and Heroic Poems , p. 20f.). haele may refer to a man or to a god hero; compare the similar use of haele^ in Dream of the Rood 39: Ongyrede hine ^a geong haelec? , ( |)aet waes God g.elmihtig ) . 71. ^ rune, e\>el (Go. utal, Gmc. -is-o^ila) 'property, land, homeland' with the inscriptional value oe> _e. The rune is foiond in Beoi-mlf 520, 910, 1702, and VJaldhere 31, for ebel.

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107 71. oferleof for Hickes' ofer leof. 72. rihtes for Hickes' rihter. 73. bolde for Hickes' blode. 7k' M rune, daeg (Go. daaz , Gmc . -"dagaz ) 'day' with the inscriptional value d. On iiickes' facsimile of the daeg rune and its value, see line 59n. In the gloss to the Durham Ritual , this rune is used as a grammalogue for daeg some forty-two times, and here we also find the r\me in the oblique cases: j)^ _es ( daeges ) and M _e (daege ) ; see Derolez, p. [|.01f. This rune is the last in the sequence of the common Germanic fui)ark; the last five runes of the poem are Anglo-Saxon extensions of the fu|)ark. 75. tohiht for Hickes' _to hiht . 77. P^ rime, a_c 'oak' and 'acorn' with the inscriptional value a. The new ac rune is usually taken (following Hempl, MLN, XI (I896), 3^7-52) as a ligature of |^ and I representing Gmc. ---ai with the stages ^\ ^ Pi ^ ^ (so Dickins, Leeds Studies in English , I, 16; Keller, Anglia , LXII, 21;; Schneider, p. 292). Guinn (p. 33) cautions that since none of the intermediate stages is attested, the theory of ligatures cannot be held as proven, and suggests (p. 36) that the ac rime may be explained as a "simple diacritical marking of the regular vocalic rune 'a,,'" just as the umlauted form of M came to be written as u\ (ur > yr) . For a

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108 parallel instance of the "wood for ship" metaphor, see G. I. Needham, Aelfric ; Lives of Three English Saints , "Life of St. Edmund," line 29 on Nor^hymbra lande gel end on mid a e s ciim . 79. ganotes baeb, cf. Death of Edgar 26 ( ASPR . VI, 23), Beowulf 1861. 81. [v rune, aesc 'ash' with the inscriptional value ae . Originally the fourth rune in the Germanic fu|)ark, its place in the sequence vra.s taken by the new o_s rune p and its name changed to a common no^xn. incorporating the new sound value (Gmc. -"-a ^ OE a^), aesc . oferheah for Hickes' ofer heah . 83. Seah . , . monige is taken by Dickins as 'though attacked /" hewn?_7 by many a man, • though as Dobbie points out in his note (p. 159), vre probably have here another double reference (cf. a_c stanza) to the ash as tree and as spear. See Grienberger ( Anglia , XLV, 218) for this view. 81;. Ifl rune, ^ (ON. jr, Gmc. ---Tua) 'bow made of yew' with the inscriptional value j_. Several meanings have been proposed for the r-une name: 'horn' (F. Holthausen, Anglia , XXXV, 176); 'saddle' or 'saddlebow' (Grienberger, Anglia , XLV, 219); aexe yr 'axeiron' (Dickins, p. 22, citing from Pl\irnmer's edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , 1012E). Holthausen argues that jl (iii "the Cynewulfian acrostics) cannot

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109 be a Norse loan-word because in Cynewulf 's time (eighth centTxry) the word did not exist in ON.; however, most scholars now would place Gynewulf's poetry in the first half of the ninth century and furthermore Gmc. -"-_z had become North Gmc. R and subsequently caused i-mutation long before the ninth century. Apparently, the rune was created from with an iota subscriptum of one kind or another to represent y ( < u by i-mutation) . The rune appears on the Franks Casket (date 700, Guinn, p. 265), the Ruthwell Cross, and the Thames scramasax, as well as occurring in the Vienna Codex 795 (date of its prototype, eighth century, Derolez, p. 62) where it is named ^. V/hether jr at the time of its inception was merely a variant of ur with no semantic meaning or whether at that early time it was recognized as homophonous with ON. jr and the Norse meaning 'bow' borrowed, is a moot question. But probably the same situation obtains in the case of ][r as with os (cf. line lOn) . At least by the time of Cynewulf, the meaning 'bow' must have been cvirrent, and this period does coincide with that of the first Norse invasions in England, 793 at Lindisfarne, 79i|. at Jarrow, and the more frequent successfiil invasions of 835 and on (see G. Turville-Petre, The Heroic Age _of Scandinavia , pp. 60, 71:£'f. ). Elliott has convincingly argued for the rune name 'bow made of yew' in

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110 the Cynewulfian passages ( Snglish Studies , XXXIV, i|.9-57, 193-201;), and »bow» seems to fit the context of the Rune Poem as well. According to May Lansfield Keller (The Anglo-Saxon Weapon Names , p. I4.9) in the year jQk bows x^rith arrov/s and quivers were ordered as equipment for the Frankish cavalry, in 8I3 for every foot soldier, and references to the bow in the English laws of AeSelbirht and Alfred leave little doubt that the English v;ere likewise equipped. Few bows have survived, but those found near Oberflacht and the Nydam moor are commonly seven to eight feet tall, made of yew, and occasionally highly ornamented. 86. fyrdgeatewa for Hickes' fyrd geacewa . 87. /fC rune, ior , iar 'the sea, some sort of fish,' with the inscriptional value io, ia, j_. This rune (quite unrelated to ON. -"-jar (^ ar), Guinn, pp. 103-1].) is considered by Guinn (p. 106) to have been developed in Northumbria during the first half of the eighth century, but since its name is a hapax legomenon and since the rtme occ^urs on the Dover Stone and Thornhill III with the value /j/, in the MS fujjorcs with the name and value ior / iar , io/ia, its meaning and value are disputed. It may be that because _eo and io fell together in Kentish as io, the _io rune survived in Kent, the other dialects having little or no use for the rune. Hickes' text reads iar by^ ea fixa , and all editors have emended variously, taJcing iar to be some sort

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Ill of river-fish: eafix (Rieger, Dickins, and Dobbie) ; eafisc (Grimm, Ettmuller, and Kluge) ; eafixa sum (Grein, V/ulker) ; eafixa (Grienberger) . Perhaps eafixa is not a genitive at all but rather Hickes ' misreading for eafix a: ' lar is ever a river-fish, and yet it always enjoys its food on land. ' In the stanza, two environments are described, yet the poet insists that iar is a fish. Elliott ( JEGP , LIV, 1-8), however, retains Kickes' reading and translates ' iar is a river of fishes' which becomes the basis for his interpretation of iar . Recognizing that ear , the last rune in the poem, has two meanings: (1) 'ocean, sea, wave' (2) 'earth, soil, gravel,' Elliott says it is highly probable that "in order to overcome the difficulty of the meaningless ior , the maker of the Runic Poem used it for the first of the two meanings of ear , namely 'ocean, sea, vjave,' a step facilitated no doubt and perhaps even prompted by the phonetic closeness of the two names iar (phonologically the earlier form and preserved, if Hickes' transcription is correct, in the poem) and ear" ( JEGP , LIV, k) . And he translates the iar stanza: the ocean is " 'a river of fishes, and yet it alvrays feeds upon the land; it has a fair di-jelling covered V7ith water where it lives happily.' Such a reading makes acceptable sense if we consider the first half to imply the simple contrast

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112 that although the sea is (like a river) full of fish, yet it always eats in upon the shore" ( JEGP , LIV, 5) • This interpretation does not, however, explain why the poet shoiold have switched the usual order of the last two runes and given the more common meaning of ear to iar . Schneider, through an apparatus of IE cognates, reconstructs Gmc. -"euraz > Kentish ior ' schlange , weltschlange , Midgardschlange , ' but although his evidence for such a hypothetical meaning apart from the Rime Poem is vieighty, the rune itself and its name do not spring from the Germanic or Anglo-Frisian fujjark tradition, but rather from the sort of later runic tinkering which produced vr and ear , as well as iar /ior. 87. a bruce|) for Hickes' abruceb . Alliteration requires a stressed vowel. 88. on foldan for Kickes' onfaldan. 90. Y rune, ear 'earth, the grave' with the usual inscriptional value ea. The more usual meaning of the common OE noim ear is 'sea, or ear of corn,' but as Elliott has pointed out (p. Sk) t the meaning 'sea' seems to have been attached to iar and the meaning 'earth, grave' retained for ear . The word is cognate with ON. avirr 'clay, loam.' 92. ^ehwvlcun, cf. line 2n. The final three lines of the poem involve an interplay of time and transverse alliteration that is rare in OE poetry: The only texts which have this sort of pattern

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113 in the final lines are Judith 3i;8r., Beowulf 3l8lf., and the Ruae Poem.

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116 Brandl, Alois. Grundriss der ^ermanischen Philolop;ie (2nd edition), ed. Herman Paul, vol. II. Strassburg, 1901-1909. Brimble, Lionel J. F. Trees in Britain . London, 19i;6. Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist. The Art of Beowulf . Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1959. Brooks, Kerjieth R., ed. Andreas and the Fates of the Apostles . Ozford, 1961. Brionner, Karl. Altena;lische Gramma tik nach der angel sachsischen Grammatik von Sduard Sievers neubearbeitet . Halle, 1951. Biilbring, Karl D. Altenglisches Elementarbuch . Heidelberg, 1902. Burdock, Eugene I. The Gallic VJar of Julius Caesar . New York, 19kO. Callaway, Jr., Morgan. The Infinitive in Anglo Saxon . Washington, 1913Campbell, A. Old English Grammar . Oxford, 1959. Chadwick, H. Monro. The Origin of the English Nation. Cambridge, 192li.. Cockayne, Oswald, ed. Leechdoms , Wort cunning , a.nd Star craft of Early England , 3 vols. London, 1566. Crawford, Samuel John. Byrhtferth 's Manual (EETS, OS 177). London, 1929. Creed, Robert P. "A New Approach to the Rhythm of Beowulf ," PMLA , L.axi (1966), 23-33. . ''On the Possibility of Criticizing Old English Poetry," Texas Studies in Language and Literature , III (1961), 101, Cross, J. E. "The OE Poetic Theme of 'the Gifts of Men,'" NeoPhil, XLIV (1962), 66-70. Curtius, Ernst Robert. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. v;illard Trask. New York and Jvanston, I963.

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117 Daunt, Marjorie, "Old English Soimd-Changes Reconsidered in Relation to Scribal Tradition and Practice," Transactions of the Philological Society, 1939, 108137. Davis, Koman and C. L. l/renn, edd. English and Medieval Studies Presented to J. R. R. Tolkein on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday . London, 195'2. Derolez, R. Runic a Manuscripta : The English Tradition , Brugge, 195i}-. Dickins, Bruce, Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old Teutonic PeoToles , Garabridge, 1915, "A System of Transliteration for Old English Runic Inscriptions," Leeds Studies in English , I (1932), 15-19. and Alan S. C, R::'ss, edd. The Dream of the Rood , London, 1963 Dobbie, Elliott Van Kirk, Beo'.--^Alf and Judith (ASPR, IV), Nevr York, 1953. , ed. The Anglo Saxon Minor Poems (ASPR, VI), Ne^^' York, 19Il2, Dreves, Guido M, , G. Blume, and H, 11. Bannister, edd, Analecta Hymni c a Medii Aevi , SS vols. Leinzig, 1886-1922. Duemmler, Ernest, ed. Poetae Latini Aevi Garolini , \\. vols, Hanover and Berlin, 1551-1923. Duff, J, V/ight and Arnold M. Duff, trans. Minor Latin Poets , London, 193/;. Eliason, Norman E. "Tvo Old English Scon Poems," PMLA, LXXXI (1966), 165-192, Elliott, Raloh \l. V, "Gynewulf's Runes in Christ II and Elene , ' English Studies , :aXIV (1953), II.9-57. . "Gynevrulf's Runes in Juliana and Fates of the Apostles , " English S tudies , XXXIV (1953^ 193-20lt.. . Runes . Manchester, 1959.

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118 . "The Runes in The Husband 's Message ," JEGP, LIV (1955), Frey. L. H. "Exile and Elegy in Anglo-Saxon Christian Epic Poetry," JEGP , LXII (I963) , 293-302. Gordon, Eric V. An Introduction to Old Norse . Oxford, 1962. Gordon, I. L., ed. The Seafarer . London, I960. Gordon, R. K. Anglo Saxon Poetry . London, 1954-. Gradon, P. 0. E., ed. Cynevrulf « s Elene . London, 1958. Green, Charles. Sutton Hoo : The Excavation of a Royal Ship Burial . New York, 1963. Greenfield, Stanley B. A Critical History of Old English Literature . New York, 1965. . "The Formulaic Expression of the Theme of 'Exile' in Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Speculum , XXX (1955), 200-206. . Studies in Old English Literature in Honor of Arthur G. Brodeur . Eugene, Oregon, 1963. Grein, C. VJ . M. "Zur Textkritik der angelsachsischen Dichter," Germania, X (1865), ifl6-l;29. and J. J, Kohler. Sprachschatz der angel sa chs i s chen Dich ter . Heidelberg. 1912. Grienberger, Theodor. "Das ags. Runengedicht, " Anglia, XLV (1921), 201-220. . "Die angelsachsischen runenreihen und die s. g. Hrabanischen alphabete," Arkiv for Nordisk filologi , XV (1899), 1-lj.O. Grimm, VJilhelm. Ueber deutsche Runen . Gottingen, I82I. Guinn, Lawrence E. English Runes and Rimic Writing: The Dev elopment of the Runes and thei r Employment . Ann Arbor; University Microfilms, Inc., 1965. Halverson, John. " Beowulf and the Pitfalls of Piety," University of Toronto Qiiarterly , XXXV (1966), 260-278. Hedberg, Johannes. The Syncope of the Old English Present Endings . Lund, 19l\S'.

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119 Hempl. G. "Hickes' Additions to the Runic Poem," Modern Philology , I (I903-OI4.), 135-Ha. Hickes, George. Lingua rum Veterum Septentrionalium Thes aurus . London, 1705. Hollander, Lee M. The Poetic Edda . Austin, 1962. Holthausen, Ferdinand. "Zu den ae. Ratseln," Anglia , XXXV (1912), 165-177. Hudson-VJilliams, Thomas. A Short Introduction to the Study of Comparative Grammar ( Indo European ) . Cardiff, 1961. Huppe, Bernard F. Doctrine and Poetry , Augustine ' s Influence on Old English Poetry . New York, 1959 . Jansson, Sven B. F. The Rimes of Sweden , trans. Peter G, Poote. London, 1962. Keller, May Lansfield. The Anglo Saxon VJeapon Names . Heidelberg," 1906. Keller, Wolfgang. "Zur Chronologie der altenglischen Runen," Anglia , LXil (1938), 2i+-32. Kennedy, Charles W. The Earliest English Poetry . New York, I9I4.3. Ker, Neil Ripley. A Catalogue of Manus cript s Conteining Anglo Saxon . Oxford, 1957. Kirby, Thomas A., and Henry Bosley Woolf, edd. Philologica : The Ma lone Anniversary Studies . Baltimore, 191^9. Klaeber, pr., ed. . Beo^nilf and the Fight at Finnesburg . Boston, 1950. Kock, Ernst A. "Interpretations and Emendations of Early English Texts," Anglia , XLIII (1919), 298-312. Krapp, George Philip, ed. The Junius Manuscript ( ASPR , I). New York, 1931. , ed. The Paris Psalter and the Meters of Boethius (ASPR, V) . New York, 1932. , ed. The Vercelli Book (ASPR, II). New York, 1932.

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120 , and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, edd. The Exeter Book ( AS PR , III). New York, 1936. Laistner, Max L. V/. The Intellectual Heritage of the Early Middle Ages . Ithaca, New York, 1957. . Thought and Letters in Western Europe , A. D. 500 to 900 . London, 1931. Loyn, Henry Roys ton. Anglo Saxon England and the Norman Con quest . London, 1962. Lydekker, Richard. Wild Oxen , Sheep , and Goats of All Lands, Living and Extinct . London^ 1898. Magoun, Jr., Francis P. "The Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry," Special urn , XXVIII (1953) » UU6-ii67. Halone, Kemp, ed. Deor . London, 1933. . A Literary History of England , see Baugh, Albert C. . Studies in Heroic Legend and in Current Speech . Copenhagen, 195^5. . "liJhen did Middle English begin?," Curme Voliime of Ling uistic Studies , Language Monograph , No. 7, 1930, TTO-117. Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologia Latina . Paris, iQkMff . Miller, Thomas, ed. The Old English Version of Bede ' s Eccles iastical History of the English People (EETS, OS 95T"^ Moore, Samuel, and Thomas A. Knott, rev. James R. H-ulbert. The Elements of Old English . Ann Arbor, 1962. Needham. 0. I., ed. Aelfric : Lives of Three English Saints . London, 1966. Page, R. I. "The Old English R\xae Ear," Medium Aevum , XXX (1969), 65-79. Paues, A. C. "The Nam.e of the Letter 3," 1^, VI (I9II), kklPhillpotts, Bertha S. "v:yrd and Providence in Anglo-Saxon Thought," Essays and Studies . XIII, 7-27. Pitman, James Hall. The Riddles of Aldhelm (Yale Studies in English , LXVII) . New Haven, 192^'.

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121 PL. See Migne, Jacques Paul. Poetae Latinl Aevi Carolini . See Dueinuiler, Ernest. Pope, John Collins. The Rhythm of Beowulf . New Haven, 1914-2. Prokosch, Eduard. A Goinparative Germanic Grammar . Philadelphia, 1939. Pyles, Thomas. The Origins and Development of the English Language . New York, 196l(.. Quirk, Randolph. "Poetic Language and Old English Metre," in Early English and Norse Studies , ed. Arthur Brown and Peter Foote. London, I963. , and C. L. VJrenn. An Old English Grammar . New York, 1957. Raby, Frederic. J. E. A History of Christian Latin Poetry from the beginnings to the close of the Middle Agesi Oxford, __^_^ _ . A History of Secular Latin Poetry in the Middle Ages , 2 vols. Oxford, 1937. Redbond, W. J. "Notes on the word 'Eolhx,'" MLR, XXXI (1936), 55-57. Sandys, John Edwin. A History of Classical Scholarship , 3 vols., third edition. Cambridge, 1921. Schneider, Karl. Die Germanischen Runennamen . Meisenheim, 1956. Sievers-Brunner. See Brunner, Karl. Sisam, Kenneth. Studies in the History of Old English Literature , Oxford, 1953. Smith, Thomas. Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Cottonianae" Oxford, 1696. Stanley, E. G. "Old English Poetic Diction and the Interpretation of The Wanderer, The Seafarer and The Penitent's Prayer ," Anglia , LXXIII"TI955) , i^l3-l|-66. Sweet, Henry. The Oldest English Texts. London, 1885. Tacitus. Dialogus , Agricola , Germania , trans. William Peterson. London, 19lV. Timmer, B. J. "The Elegaic Mood in OE Poetry," English Studies, XXIV {19k2) , 33-kk'

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122 • "Heathen and Christian Elements in Old Enslish Poetrv " NeoPhil, XXIX (19l|i;), 180-185. English i^oetry, . ''^'^7^d in Anglo-Saxon Prose and Poetry," NeoPhil. XXVI (19i|l), 2l;-33, 213-228. Turville-Petre Gabriel. The Heroic Age of Scandi navia. iiondon, 1951. — — — von Erhardt-Siebold, Erika. Die lateinischen Ratsel der Angelsachsen . Heidelberg, 1925. • Wanley, Humphrey Librorum Vett. Septentrionalium Cnt^lr..... Historico Criticus . O?:ford, I705. ^ " Williams, Blanche Colton. Gnomic Poetry in Anglo Saxon . New lorK, ivii-i-. '~~'~~~~ '"''^'^(igkt; 2li.-3r ^^"^ ^""Slish Rune-Names," Medium Aevum, I Wright,^Joseph. Old English Grammar , third edition. London, Wyld, Henry C. "Diction and Imagery in Anglo-Saxon Poetry," Essays and Studies . .:i (1925), 1;9-91.

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Appendix

PAGE 133

Feoh byj)! f rof ur \ fira g^wylcum;] (/) / X ;ceal Seahlmanna geh^'^-ylc \ miclim hytjdaelan,] / X . / X / / gif he wile f orj drihtne | domesj hleotan. | 1 X ,/ \ (/) X / \ X Ur by|) anmod j and] of erhyrned,) ^ \ X y (t) / ^ / X f eiafricnel deor, | feohtep nidi horn-urn, I i A, / X , (/) — ^^— , Z > \ , maerelmorstapa;) Jsaet islmodig vruht.l / < Porn by^j oearle scearp 1 Oegna gdhwylc anfengys yfyl, iingemetunj reijej manna gahwylc-unj oe him mid rested. | -/ ' , / X , / ;< , / * , Os by^jordfruma aelcre] spraece,| wisdomes| wrabu j andjwitena frofurj and eorla gehwamj eadnys ?.r;I| tohiht . / ^ / X Rad byj) onjrecyde I rinca gdhvjylcumj 4, ^ .»C/) sefte, and| swiphwaet I Sam 5e|sittep onufan] mearej maegenheard-umj oferj milpai)as .1 121^

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20 125 a gehwam j cu^ on|fyre;| /^ / i / % / *. blac andjbeorhtllc j byrne|)| of tust ) Cen byi)l cwicera (I) I ^ 5aer hi j ae^elingas | inne| resta^.J i^<>^ J^ ^ / J( / X Gyfu Kiomena by^ j gleng and herenys,J "'I wra^u and wyr^scype, and wraecna gehwam ar and ae twist X / X \ c5e byi5|oi)ra leas.| Wynne] b rue e J) I oe can|weana ly 1 1 / * , / X , (/) — i — , / X \ sares and|sorge,| and him) sylfa haef^j blaed and|blysse( and eac| byrga geniht.) Haegl byjjjhwitust corna; I h\rryrft hit ofjheofones lyfte;] \ X jwealca|5 hitjwindes scura; j vjeor^e^ hit tojwaetere sy55an, \ Nyd byjj nearu on breostan; weor^e^) hi 6^eah oftjni^a bearnumi (/) \ X tolhelpe and tolhaele gehwae^re,! gif hi hisjhlystaj) aeror.l / X /^ \ / > A A <^*^ I Is byi)j oferceald, 1 ungemetumj slidor; ,/'',/ \ ^ , / ^ . / X 30 J glisnaj) glneshluttur J gimmixm geCLicust; , / «. / _i-_ X , A ^^ / \ * Jflor Iforste gewor'ahtj faeger ansyne,

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126 Ger byi)|gumena hiht^ halig heofones cyning5on|God laetejjI / * t / » hrusani syllan beorhte] bleda ) beorniira andj oearfum. j Eoh by^jutan ( unsme^e| treow, | heard jhrusan faest,j hyrdej fyres, | wyrtrumianl undervrre^yd | i-r,man on] e|)le. ) PeorS by^jsyinble| plega andlhlehter| wlancum (/) I. . . 5arlvjigan sittajj' (/) _x on|beorse]?e, I bli|)e aetjsomne.| / \ , / \ I / _i_ , / '< , Eolhx secgjeard haef^) | oftust on fenne,| wexeo on|vrature,j wunda^l grimme, j blodejbreneO j beorna gdhviylcnej ^ 5e himjaenigne j onfeng gddeS. 1 A ^«\ / \ / / y^ Sigel jsemannum J symble bi^ onlhihtej V \ -^ — I A * , (/) A . / ^ \ . Sonnhi hine|feriaj3| oferjfisces bej5| (0^^^-^, / N '^ , / -^^. / < oj) hijbrimhengest j bringeb to lande.

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60 127 jTir bi^|ta.cna sum,| healdeo| trywa welj wi^ [ae^elingas; a bi|5 onj faerylde | (/) / X / X 50 I oferjnihta genipujj naefrej swice^.l jBeorc byj) bleda leas,| bere^) efne swa deah j 1 / — i^^— , / « , (/) _J5 , / " X jtanas butan tudder;j bip on telgum wliti^ jheah on|helme| hrystedj faegere,] gelLoden leafum, j lyfte gejtenge.j 55 jEh by|) for|eorliim| aejjelinga vryn; j jhorsjhofijm wlanc| 3aer himjhaele^ ymb j Iwelege onjwicgutnj wrijxla^ spraece | and bi^j imstyllum j aefrel frofur . j I Man byjj on myrg^je hisjmagan leof; / X can I (') — I-^— \ , / X / I sceal ^eah anra gehviylc I oSrtmi swi foroamlDryhten wyle dome | sine) , //) X , / H \ I / X , / % I ^ ' ^aetj earrne flaesc eori)an bdtaecan. 1 -^ ' I '^ '^ . / ^ , / <«) , jLagu by]^jleodumj langsum gefo\xht, I

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128 U I iO \ gif hi sculun ne^n onjnacan tealtum, (/) / \ / ^. / and hi saey^a svA^je brega^. and se brimhengest bridles nel gymeo. Ing waesjaerest (') mid J Sast-Denum | X / « \ ob he si55an est ^ ofer waeg gewat,| waen aefter ran; ( (O / \ X , (-/) / \ X ous heardingas oone haele nemd\m. E^el by^ oferleof j aeghwylcum men, I / * siO gif he mot Saerjrihtesj and gejrysena onl brucan onjbolde| bleaduinj of tast . | / *|/ * \ I /a, /a, Daeg by^jDrihtnes sond, deorejmannum,) maerej Metodes leoht, | myrg^ and|tohihtI J -"^ , / '^ , / * . ^ ' . eadgum andjearmiim, eallum brice.) / A / X , / ;( Ac byp onj eor^an j elda) bearniam,j / X / '^ , x4 ^ / * flaescesj f odor;| fere^ gdlome I C^) A , X '^ \ , / \ / X ofer ganotes baei>, I garsecg fandaj)

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80 129 ^ hwaei)erjac haebbe | aeijelej treowe, | Aesc bi^l of erheah, eldum dyre,| stlj) onj sta|)ule; j stede jrihte hylt | C^) *-in 5eah him feohtan on f Iras monige . j -/ * , A ^ ' x<^0 « , / -_iL_ \ , Yr by^l aepelingal and) eorla gehwaes wyn andj wyr^mynd;! byj5 on wicge faeger, / \ * , A * faestlic on faerelde fyrdkeatewa sum.] / \ c/> N X lar by^|eafix a | and Seahja brucej? 1 / __ ^ , / ^ 1 (O A , X * \ , fodres on|foldan;j hafa^j faegerne eard | / _iL_ , / »< , (/) w.=-^^— ., / ' X , waetre bejworpen oaer he|-wynn\am leofa^j. Ear byi5|eglel eorla gelhwylc-un oonn faestlice flaesc onkinnej) / (.), / JL , / X / X hraw j colian, I hrusanj ceosan,| i -^v^ * X / ^ , / '^ , blac to gejbeddan; bleda gejdreosa|),| wynna gGf.ota^, j wera gejswica^.j

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Glossary

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GLOSSARY a, adv., always ; I4.9, 87a , 87b , ac , m. astem, oak ; f'^c,! , rune name 77; ns . 80. aefre , adv., ever , always ; 58. aefter , adv., after; 69. aeghwilc , adj., every , all , whosoever ; dpm. a•ghwylcum, 71. aelc , adj., all ; gsf. aelcre, 10. aenig , adj., any ; asm. aenigne, Ijij.' aerest, adj., first ; nsm. 67. 'aeror , adv., formerly , before; 28. /~aesc_7» PI. i-stem, ash tree ; 8I. aetsomne, adv., at once , together ; \\.Q. aetwist , f. i-stem, substance , sustenance , existence ; ns . 21. ae^ole , adj., noble , excellent , glorious ; nsn. 80. aet^eling , m. a-stem, prince , king , hero , man ; np. ae^elingas 15; gp. aei>elinga 55» 84-; ap. ae^elingas k^ and, conj., and; J+, 11, 12a, 12b, ll]., 17, 19, 20a, 20b, 21, 23a, 23b, 2l;a, 2[|.b, 28, 3h, 38, 58, 65, 66, 72, 75, 76, Sij., 85, 87; abbreviated 7 seven times. anfeng , m. a-stem, a taking to one ' s self , touching , seizing ; ns. anfengys 8, onfeng hJT^ anmod , adj., fierce ; nsm. l\., an , num. adj. and subst., one; gp. anra gehwylc ( each one ) 60. ansyn , f. i-stem, face , form , vi_ew; gs. ansyne 31* 131

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132 ar, f. o-stem, honor , respect , kindness ; ns . 21. b.aela , n, a-stem, bath ; as. ganotes baep ( sea ) 79; as. fisces be|> ( sea ) k.6. bearn , n. a-stem, child , son ; gp. beorna k3, dp. bearnvmi 27, 77; dp. beornurn 314.. beon, anom. v., be; 3 sg. pres. ind. is 6, by^, 1, I4., 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, "21, 25, 27, 29, 32, 35, 38, 51, S5s 59, 63, 71, 71|., 77, 81;, 85, 87, 90, bi^j kS, kQ, k9, 52, 58, 81; 3 sg. pret. ind. waes 67. _/~beorc_7, o-stem, birch , aspen (?); ns. 51. beorht, adj., bright , splendid ; apf. beorhte 3k-' beorhtlic , adj., bright , lucid, splendid ; nsra. 17. beorsele , m. i-stem, beer hall , banquet hall ; ds. beorsele kO . beran , sv. IV, _carrv, extend , endure , produce ; 3 sg. pres. berej) 5l. ^ betaecan , wv. I, deliver , commit, send , betake ; inf. 62. be^ , see bae^. beweorpan , sv. Ill, surround; p. p. beworpen 89. blac , adj., bright , shining , livid , pale ; nsm. 17, nsn. 93. blaed, m. i-stem, en jo:>Tnent , prosperity , gift , honor; ns . 2k.; dp. bleadiom 73. bled , f. o-stem (?), fruit , shoot , branch , flower ; np. bleda 93 gp. bleda 51; ap. bleda 3/4.. blTbe, adj., blithe , happy ; npm. blT^e k-0 . blod , n. a-stem, blood ; ds. bl'ode [1.3, blyss , f. jo-stem, bliss ; as, blysse 2k.' bold, n. a-stem, building , house , hall ; ds . bolde 73 . bregan , wv. I, frighten , terrify .; 3 pi. pres. bregaj) 65.

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133 brenan, xrv. I, cause to burn ; 3 sg. pres. brene5 Lj.3. breost , n. a-stem, breast ; dp. breostan 27. brice , adj., useful ;nsm. 76. bridels , m. a-stem, bridle ; gs. bridles 66. brimhengest , m. a-stem, sea horse (" ship " ) ; ns . 66; as. briiT±i.engest Ij.? . bringan, sv. Ill, bring ; 3 sg. pres. bringe^) ij.7. brucan, sv. II, use, en.io-^ ; inf. 73; 3 sg. pres. brucej) 22, burh , f. cons-stem, fortress , castle , city ; gp. byrga 21].. butan,prep, with ace, without ; 52. bjr ga , see burh . byrnan , sv. Ill, burn ; 3 sg. pres. byrne^ 17. /~ cen 37 ^' a-stem, torch ; ns . 16. ceo san , sv. II, choose , elect , select ; inf. 92. CO lion , vjv. II, cool ; inf. 92. corn , n. a-stem, grain , seed ; gp. coma 2$. cunnan , pret, pres. vb . v:. ace, know ; 3 sg. pres. can 22. cub , adj., known , manifest ; nsm. 16. cwic(o), adj., alive , living , quick ; gpm. cwicera 16. caning, m. a-stem, king ; ns. 33' /~daeg _7, m. a-stem, da:/ ; ns. 7k' daelan, vn/-. I, divide , separate , bestow , dole ; inf. 2. d'eor , n. a-stem, wild animal , beant ; ns . 5. d"eore , adj., dear , precious , e>:cellent , noble ; ns . 7l4-« dom , m. a-stem, judgment , honor , doom ; gs . domes 3; ds. dome 61. dryhten , m. a-stem, lord . Lord God; ns. 61; gs . Dryhtnes 7k; ds. drihtne 3*

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1^ dyre , adj., dear, beloved; n^m. 8l. "eac , adv. conj., also; 2L\.. eadig, adj., happy , prosperous , rich ; dpm. eadgum 76. "eadnys , f. Jo-stem, Joy , prosperity ; ns . 12. "eaf ix , m. a-stem, river fish ; ns . 87. eall , pro. adj., all ; dp. eall\am 76. /" 'ear_7, m. a-stem, earth , grave ; ns, 90. eard , m. u-stem, province , dwelling , home ; as. k-l, 88. earm , adj., poor , wretched; asn. earme 62; dpm. earmura 76. East Dene , m. i-sten. East Dane ; dp. Sast-Demjm 67. efne , adv., even. Just , likewise; efne swa 51. egle , adj., hateful , loathsome , horrid ; nsm. 90. /~eh_7, n. a-stem, horse ; ns. 55. elde, m. i-stem pi., men ; gp. elda 77; dp. eldum 8I. — ° — , m. a-stem, yew ; ns . 35. /~eolhx_7, m. a-stem, papyrus {?), gladiolum (?), elk-; gs. I;l, eorl, m. a-stem, nobleman , hero, man ; gp. eorla 12, 8I4., 90; dp. eorlum 55"^ eor^e , f. n-stem, earth ; ds. eor^an 62, 77. est , adj. used adverbially, eastwards; 68. e^el , m. n. a-stem, country , land , one's o-wn property , home ; ns. / ei)el_7, r\m.e name 71; ds. epie 37. faeger , adm., fair , beautiful; nsm. 85; dsm. faeger 3I; asm. faegerne QW. faegere , adv., pleasantly , gently , fairly; $}. faereld, m. n. a-stem, way , course , passage ; ds. faerylde 14-9 , ds. faerelde 86. faest , adj., fast, firm , stiff ; nsn. 36.

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135 faestlTc, adj., fast , firm ; reliable ; nsm. 86. faestlice , adv., firmly , fast , quickly ; 91. fandian , wv. II, explore , seek , search out ; 3 sg. pres. fandai> 79. f elafrecne , adj., savage , very wild , terrible ; nsn. 5,. f enn , n. ja-stem, fen , marsh ; ds. fenne I4.I. /~feoh7, n. a-stem, wealth, possessions ; ns. 1. feohtan, sv. Ill, fight , contend ; inf. 83; 3 sg. pres. feohteb 5* ferian, wv. I, carry , bring , depart ; 3 sg. pres. ferejs 78; 3 pi. pres. feria|) 4.6. flras , m. ja-stem pi., men; np. 83; gp. fira 1. fisc, m. a-stem, fish ; gs. fisces i;6 . flaTesc ^n. i-stem, flesh ; ns. 91; gs. flaesces 78; as. flaesc 62. flor , m. a-stem, floor; as. flor 3I. fodor, n. a-stem, food ; ns . 78; gs. fodres 88 . folde , f . n-stem, earth ; ds. foldan 88. for, prep. w. dat., on account of, because of, according to; 3, 55. "~ forst, m. a-stem, frost ; ds. forste 3I. forSam , adv. conj., for , because ; 61. frofur, f. o-stem, consolation , comfort ; ns . 1, 11, 58. fyr , n. a-stem, fire ; gs. fyres 36; ds . fyre 16. fyrdgeatwe , f. wostem, war accoutrement , equipment ; gp. fyrdgeatewa 86 . ganot , m. a-stem, gannet , large sea fowl ; gs. ganotes 79. garsecg , m. a-stem, ocean , sea ( spear man = Neptvine ? ) ; ns . 79.

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136 gebedda, f. n-stem, bed fellow , consort ; ds. gebeddan 93« gedon , anom. v., do; 3 sg. pres. gede5 kl\.. gedreosan , sv . II, fall , fail ; 3 pi. pres. gedr"eosa^ 93. gehwa , pron. adj., each ( one ) ; gsm. gehwaes 8I4.; dsm. gehwam 12, 16, 20. gehwaejger, pron., both ; ds. gehwa e^re 28. £ehwylc, pron. adj., each , every ( one ) ; nsm. 2, 60; asn. geh^^^ylcne i;3; dsm. gehwylcum 1, 7, 13, gehwyclun 9, 90. geleodan , sv. II, grow , spring ; p. p. geloden 5^. gelic , adj., alike , like unto; nsn. comp. gelTcust 30. gelome , adv., often , continually ; 78. geniht , n. i-stem, sufficiency ; as. geniht 2I4.. genip , n. i-stem, darkness , mist ; ap. genipu 50. /~g'er_7, n. a-stem year , spring ; ns . 32. gerysne , adj., fit , proper , convenient ; gpn. gerysena 72. geseon , sv. V, see ; p. p. gesewen 68 . geswican , sv. I, fail , desert ; 3 pl. pres. geswica^ 9I4-. getenge , adj., near to , pressing upon ; dsm, getenge 5^. gebyncan , wv. I, seem ; p. p. ge^uht 63. gevfitan , sv. I, depart , _go away, die ; 3 pi. pres, gewTtaJ) 9k) 3 sg. pret. gewat 6^. gewyrcan , wv. I, make, form , build; p. p. geworuht 3I . gif , conj., if; 3, 28, 6k, 72. gimm , m. a-stem, gem ; dp. gimmum 30. glaeshluttur , adj., clear as glass ; nsn. 30 . gleng , f. o-stem, ornament , honor; ns . 19. glisnian, wv. II, glisten ; 3 sg. pres. glisnaj) 30 .

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137 God , m. a-stem, God ; ns. 32. griimne , adv., grimly , fiercely , terribly ; i|2. guma, m. n-stem, man ; gp, gvimena 19, 32. /~gyfu_7, f. o-stem, gift , generosity ; ns. 19. gyman , wv. I, care , heed , be intent on ; 3 sg. pres gymeS 66 . habban , wv. Ill, have , hold ; 1 sg. pres. haebbe 80; 3 sg. pres. haefi) 2'37~I]:i,"TTaTa|) 88. /~haegl_7, mia-stem, hail ; ns. ^25. hael , n. cons, stem, safety , salvation ; ds. haele 28, haele (^), m. cons, stem, man , hero ; ds. haele^ ^, as. haele 70. halig , adj., holy ; nsm. 33. he , hit, pers. pron., he; nsm. 3, 68, 72, 89; gsm. his 28, 59; a^m. him 23 (reflex.), 14;, 56, 83; dsn, (instr.) sine 61; npm. hi 18, 27, 28, I4.6, bj^, 6I(., 65; dpiti. him 9; nsn. hit 25 b; asn. hit 26a, hyt 2. heah, adj., lofty , high ; nsf. S3' healdan, sv. VII, guard , preserve , keep , maintain ; 3 sg. pres. healde5 i;8, hylt 82. heard , adj., hard , firm , stubborn ; nsn. 36. hoarding , m. a-stem, warrior , hero ; np. heardingas 70. helm , m. a-stem, cravm, overshadowing foliage of trees ; ds. helme 53. help , f. "o-stem, help , aid , succor ; ds. helpe 28. heofon , m. a-stem; heaven, the heavens; gs. heofones 25»33. herenys , f. jo-stem, praise ; ns. 19. hi , see he. hiht, m. i-stem, hope , solace ; ns. 32; ds. hihte [|.5. hine, adv., hence; kG. (From heonan . )

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138 hlehter, m. a-stem, laughter ; ns. 38. hl'eotan , sv. II, obtain , share in ; inf. 3. hlystan , wv, I, listen , hearken ; 3 pi. pres. hlystaj) 28.^ hof , m. a-stem, hoof ; dp. hofum 56. horn, m. a-stem, horn; dp. horn-um 5. hors , n. a-stem, horse ; ns. $6. hraw , m. n. a-stem, corpse ; ns. 92. hruse, f. n-stem, earth ; ds. hrusan 33, 36; as. hrusan 92. hrystan , wv. I, decorate , adorn , equip ; p. p. hrysted 53* hwae^er , conj., whether ; 80. hweorfan , sv. Ill, turn, go; 3 sg . pres. hwyrft 25. hwit, adj., white ; nsm. comp. hwitust 25. hyrde , m. ja-stem, shepherd , pastor , gioardian , keeper ; ns. 36. /~iar_7, a river fish {?), the sea (?); ns. 8?. _/~Ing_7, m. a-stem, the god or king , Ing ; ns . 6?. inne , prep., within ; I8. /~is_7, n. a-stem, ice ; ns . 29. lae tan , sv. VII, let , allow ; 3 sg. pres. laetej) 32. /~lagu_7, m, u-stem, water, sea ; ns. 63. land, n, a-stem, earth , land, country ; ds. lande i;?. langsum , adj., long enduring ; nsm. 63. leaf, n. a-stem, leaf ; dp. l*eafum 5^. leas , adj., void of , destitute , without ; w. gen. 21, 51. leod, m. a-stem, man , prince ; dp. I'eodum 63. leof , adj., dear , pleasant ; nsm. 59.

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139 leofian, wv. II, be dear , delight ; 3 sg. pres. leofa^ 89. leoht, n. a-stem, light; ns. 75. lyft , m. f. i-stem, air , sky ; ds . lyfte 25,5^. lyt , n. indecl., little ; 22. maegenheard , adj., main hardy , powerf-ul ; ds. maegenheardum maere , adj., great , famous , notorious ; nsm. 6, nsn. 75. maga , m. n-stem, son , relative , man ; dp. magan 59. tnan (n) m. cons, stem, man ; ns. _/~man_7, rune najne 59; ds. men 71; gp. manna 2, 9; dp. mannum 7k' mearh, m. a-stem, horse ; ds. meare 15. Metod , m. a-stem, God ; gs. Metodes 75. micel , adj., much , great ; dp. (adv.) miclun 2. mid , prep., together with, among ; 5» 9, 67. mTlpab , m. a-stem, road with mile stones ; ap. milpa^as l5. modig , adj., bold , proud , headstrong ; nsm. 6. monig , adj., many ;npm. monige 83. morstapa , m. n-stem, raoor stepper ; ns . 6. mot , pret. pres. (VI), must; 3 sg. pres. mot 72. myrg^ , f. o-stem, mirth; ns. 75; ds. mjvgpe 59. naca , m. n-stem, ship ; ds. nacan 6i+. naefre , adv., (ne / aefre), never ; $0 . ne, conj., nor ; 66. nearu , adj., oppressive , strait ; nsf. 27. nemnan, wv. I, name , call ; 3 pl pret. nemdun 70. ne^un , wv. I, venture on ; inf. 61]..

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li;0 niht, f. athen., night ; gp. nihta 50. ni]pas, m. a-stem pi., men ; 91. ni]pa 27. /'"nyd._7 , constraint , need ; ns. 27. of , prep. w. dat., out of , from ; 25. K ofer , prep. w. ace, over ( generally with idea of movement ) 15, 14-6, 50, 69, 79. of erceald , adj., excessively cold ; nsn. 29. of erheah , adj., excessively high ; nsm. 8l . oferhyrned , adj., great horned , high homed ; nsm. Ij.. (From wv . hyman . ) of erXeof , adj., exceedingly dear ; nsm. 71. oft, adv., often ; 27; comp. oftust 17, kl, oftast 73. on, prep., on, in or ajb a place , among , during , by. with ; w. dat. 13, "T6, 27, 37, t^O, klTX^, Kb, hS, 52,"337 57, 59, 61;, 73, 77, 82, 83, 85, 86, 88; postpos. w. gen. 72. onfeng , see anfeng . onginnan , sv. Ill, begin , undertake ; 3 sg. pres . onginne^) 91. onufan , prep. w. dat., upon , on ; II4.. ordfruma, m. n-stem, source , origin; ns. 10. /" OS 7 mouth , language ; ns. 10. f op , conj., until; kit 68. o^er , indef. pron., something else ; gp. o^ra 21; dp. o^rum 60. _/~peor5_7, dice-box (?), che s sman (?); ns. 38. plega , m. n-stem, play , sport , game ; ns . 38. /~ rad_7, journey ; ns . I3. recyd , ,n. a-stem, hall ; ds. recyde I3 .

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restan, wv. I, rest ; 3 sg. pres. resteS 9; 3 pi. pres. restaj) l8. re^e , adj., fierce , cruel , savage ; nsm. 8. riht , n. a-stem, right, law , judgment ; gs . rihtes 72 . rihte , adv., rightly ; 82. rinc, m. a-stem, man , warrior ; gp. rinca 13. rinnan , sv. Ill, run , course ; 3 sg. pret. ran 69. saej^, f . jo-stem, sea wave; gp. saey^a 65. sar, n. a-stem, soreness , pain , grief , sorrow ; gs. sares 23. scearp , adj., sharp ; nsm. 7. sculan, pret. pres. (IV), shall , must ; 3 sg. pres. sceal 2, ^; 3 pl. pres. sculun 6ij.. scur , f. o-stem, shower , storm ; np. scura 26. se , dem. pron. and def . art, the , that , that one ; who ; nsm. se 66; asm. 'Sone 70; ds. 6am ll|.; nsn"! Crel. } asn. (dem.) Jjaet 62; nsm. rel. indecl. part, ^e 9, 21, 22; indecl. part. w. dat. 5am 5e li]., 5e him I4J4.; i)aet always abbrevia ted 'i^. secg , m. n. a-stem, sedge , grasslike plant ( genus Carex ) ; ns. 1|1 . secg , m. a-stem, man ( poetic ) ; dp. secgun 68. sefte , adj., comfortable , without pain , pleasant ; nsf. li|. semann , m. a-stem, seaman ; dp. semannum i;5 . /'"sigel_7, n. (?), sun; ns. I4.5. sine , see he . sittan, sv. V, sit ; 3 sg. pres. sitte)D Ik; 3 pl . pres. sitta^ 39. siSSan , adv., since , afterwards ; 68; sySSan 26. slidor , adj., slipper^,^ ; nsn. 29.

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111-2 sond, f. i-stem, sending , message ; nsf. 7i|. sorg , f. o-stem, anxiety , grief ; gs. sorge 23 . spraec , f. jo-stem, speech ; gs. spraece 10; as. spraece 57. sta^ul , m. a-stem, fixed position , station ; ds. stai>\ile 82. stede , m. i-stem, place ; ns. 82. stib , adj., solid , rigid , stiff , nsm. 82. sum , pron. adj., a certain ( one ) ; I4.Q, 86. swa, adv., so, thus ; efne swa Seah (nevertheless) 51. swican, sv. I, fail , fail in one ' s duty to another ; inf. w. dat. 60; 3 sg. pres. sx^^lce3p 50. swibhwaet . adj., ver^r quick , active , very bold ; nsf. lk» swybe , adv., very , much , exceedingly (w. verbs, as intensifiers); 6^7 sylf , pron., self ; nsm. reflex, w. dat. sylfa 23. syllan , wv. I, give to , deliver , commit ; inf. 33. symble , adv., always ; 38, l\.$. sySoan , see siS^an . tacn, n. a-stem, token , sign ; gp. tacna i;8. tan , m. a-stem, twig , shoot ; ap. tanas 52. tea.lt , adj., tilting , unsteady ; dsm. tealtijiu 6I4.. telga , m. n-stem, branch , bough ; dp. telgum 52. /"^^^-"^^ I"., the ^od Tiw, constellation ; glory (?) ns . ij.8. to, prep. w. dat.; to, w. motion or direction , to lande [(.7; t'urn into, become , _ weorbeb to waetere 26; to, for , as, to helpe 28a, to haele 28a, vo gebeddan 93. — tohiht , m. i-stem, hope , consolation , solace ; ns. 12, 75. treow , n. a-stem, tree , wood ; ns. 35.

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111-3 tr"eow, f. xTO-stem, f aith , truth ; as. tr'eowe 80, ap. trywa Hd. tuddor, n. a-stem, progeny , fruit ; as. tudder 52. STer , adv., there , where ; l8, 56, 72, 89; 3ar 39. 5eah , adv., yet, still , however ; 2, 27, 51, i^eah 60, 87; con.]., yet , however , when; 6eah 83. Searf , f. o-stem, need ; dp. 5earfum 3k' Searle , adv., severely ; 7. Segn , m. a-stem, thane , servant , retainer ; gp. 5egna 7. 5onn , con j . , when ; 5on 32, 5onn [|-6, 91. /~3orn_7, vn. a-stem, thorn; ns . 7. Sus , adv., thus , 70. vmderT^ebijan , wv. I, support ; p. p. underwre^yd 37. ungemet, adj., used adverbially, immeasurably , immensely ; dp. ungemetun 8, ungemetum 29 . unsm'e^e , adj., rough , uri smooth ; nsn. 35. vmstylle , adj., restless , moving ; dpm. unstyllum 58. /"" ur_7, m. a-stem, vjild ox ; ns. k Titan , prep., on the outside ; 35. wsTeg , m. a-stem, wave ; as wsTeg 69. waTen , m. a-stem, wagon , carriage ; ns . 69. waet (_e) re, n. a-stem, water; ds . waetere 26, wature i|.2, waetre 89. w'ea , m. n-stem, woe , misery , evil , affliction ; gp . weana 22, wealcan , sv. VII, roll , toss , 3 pi. pres. wealcajj 26. wel , adv., well , rightly ; I4.8. weleg , adj., wealthy , rich ; npm. welege 57.

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ikh weor^an, sv.' Ill, become ; 3 sg. pres. weor]^e]p 26; 3 pi. pres. weorpejp 27. wer, f. o-stem, treaty ; np. wera 9l|-. wexan, sv. VII, grow , increase , wax; 3 sg. pres. wexeS I4.2. wicg , n. ja-stem, horse ; ds. xiricge 85; dp. wicg-um 57. wiga , m. n-stem, warrior , man ; np. wigan 39. willan , anom. v., wish , want , desire ; 3 sg. pres. wile 3; 3 sg. pres. wyle 61 . wind , m. a-stem, wind ; gs. windes 26. wisdom , m. a-stem, wisdom; gs . wTsdomes 11. wita , m. n-stem, wise man , coxmsellor ; gp. witena 11. wi^ , prep. w. ace, towards, with, near; I|.9. wlanc, adj., proud , high spirited , bold ; ns . 56; ds. wlancuni 39. wlitig , adj., beautiful ; nsf. 52. wraecu , f. o-stem, pain , misery ; gp. wraecna 20. wrabu, f. o-stem, prop , stay , support ; ns . 11, 20. ^rrtrlan, wv. I, exchange , bandy ; 3 pi. pres. wrixla^ 57. wuht , n. i-stem, wight , creature ; ns. 6. wundian , wv. II, wound; 3 sg. pres. wundaj) i].2. \r^ ( n ) , f. jo-stem, joy , delight ; ns. wyn SS, 85; gs. /yjn/ne, rune name 22; gp. wynna 9i|; dp. wynan 37; dp. wynnum "59. wyrtrum , m. a-stem, root ; dp. wyrtrumun 37. Tjy rbmynd , f. o-stem, dignity , honor; ns. 85. w^rrbscype , m. i-stem, worth, honor; ns. 20. yfyl , adj., evil : nsm. 8. ymb , prep. w. dat., about, concerning ; 56. /~ yr_7, bow made of yew ; ns. QU..

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3I0GIUPHICAL SKETCH Frederick George Jones, Jr., was born on October 5, 1938, in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Dimcan U. Fletcher High School, Jacksonville Beach, and was granted the Bachelor of Arts Degree ctjitl laude from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in June, I960. After teaching a year at Fletcher High School and two years at St. John's County Day School, Orange Park, Florida, he entered the Graduate School of the University of Florida. Since 1963» he has taught English at the University of Florida and has worked toward the completion of the doco toral degree. He is married to the former Adel Hansen, and they have two children, Siri and Lisa, IkS

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This dissertation was prepared under the direction of the chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been approved by all members of that committee. It was submitted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was approved as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. J\me 20, 1967 Dean, Graduate School Supervisory Committee: Dllalrman Q^ ^^^^^^-^t-»-^^-

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