A Salute to Brave Beowulf

Verily, this Beowulf is a warrior for the Lord of Mankind! It must be true, as the story says, that righteous Jesus has sent Beowulf and his warriors upon their holy quest to cleanse the world of the evil Grendel. It seems clear that, Christ, having pity for the poor souls dwelling in fear of Grendel’s violence, sought to ensure their safety by enlisting the support of the Beowulf, a warrior blessed by God with many gifts.

Would that I could have joined them, in fulfilling the work of our lord. But I am but an old knight, and it has been many a year since I fought, spear in hand. Even with my sight restored to what is was in my youth, through the blood of Christ, I fear I would not qualify for such a illustrious party as sailed with Beowulf.

But Beowulf was strong, and brave, and needed no such help. I praise his valiant battle with the creature Grendel. The Lord was with him, and lent him strength. All is possible with God on one’s side. For it was not through wyrd, but through the will of God that mighty Beowulf was victorious. Truly the noble hero is a tribute to the Geats, for he has done both his father on Earth, Ecgtheow, and his father in heaven proud.

Revenge Unrealized

Wretched and alone, but now truly alone! Son no more, a mother’s tears have no place ‘til vengeance be sought. Rage and sorrow mix, and only bloodbath could quell. For treasure and glory are only good with those to share. Now share in pain for missing kinsmen. Share in the sorrow and return me remains! You rip my child’s life and trophy you shall not keep. My remains is all that is left. You think I gloat, but only rage and pain arise. More misery you shall suffer. Understand the despair my waters suffer now. Without company, alone I suffer. Though pain extends, revenge feels unfulfilled. Stuck down so quick, such a person could not have torn my son from life. You who dare to come here, something tells me it is you. Your boasts are to fail! Strength means nothing under rage, for mine is greater.

True vengeance will be made. Just die and meet the same end. Die, so I and son may rest in peace of your demise! With vengeance in sight, that too grasped from me! Can death take my woe and rage? In my last moments, I curse you! May your luck dry and life follow swift. Feel the pain I suffer before you die. Revenge no more, I also no more. My son made a mockery and so sorrow follows even after death.

Beowulf & Grendel

I saw in night, inside, those men. The shiny metal the shiny metal, so good for me. I want to eat, while they sleep, so they won’t bother me. If I don’t eat I will die, I need to eat to survive. But I won’t take too much, not too many. Just a little and I will stop. The first one was quiet I rip fast, no noise with him. No fight, I was glad. I ate and ate, the bones, and drink the blood, but I am hungry, I need eat. My anger, my anger is strong in me, and when angry I cannot not see. I NEED eat…NOW. I see more shiny and I am hungry, but they do not listen, they do not care. they care, I can eat, but they no care. I will eat them ALL! They no care, I will eat them…every one, I need eat.  But he come, and AHHHHHHHH he take my arm, no arm, BLOOD, BLOOD, BLOOD, MY BLOOD?! I run, fast away, into the dark, where they leave me, where no one see me. I hurt inside, when blood come out, I feel hurt, outside. I run and run, I hurt, and I run. He come again? I fall,I go to run, I fall. I make to my home, the place of dark. The place of always night. I fall, and no get up. Sleep, inside pain, need sleep, but inside pain. I no need food, no no no. No arm, blood big blood big. No sleep, blood too big, no sleep for me. No one, no one, no one, but me. No care for me. No care, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.. . Blood is more, big blood  no good, I sleep.

The Warrior’s Weapon

I believe that the answer to this riddle is the curious Rood I met recently. The Rood refers to his master as a Warrior and a Knight. After I spoke the likeness of the Rood and his knight to my King and the sword he pulled from the stone in his youth it became clear that this “Warrior’s Weapon” was the Rood.

“Wound me in twisted wires of gold and silver” is near identical to to Rood’s own words “adorned me with gold and silver”.

“Sometimes men kiss me” as I have seen priests kiss the base of the Rood in reverence.

“I summon willing companions to battle” did not the great King Constantine use the image of the Rood as his heraldry?

“Sometimes I hang shining on a wall, decorated and adorned where men drink.” Another rite of those who call the Knight of the Rood King. As is “Sometimes my song summons proud warriors to share wine”

“I breath in the breath of a soldier’s breast.” Many knights clutch symbols of the Rood to their breasts when mortally wounded and others place the sign there for them when they are too weak from their wounds.



Exeter Riddler

I write words on paper. I work hard to make you think. I can be religious. I can be sexual. The more I write the more confusing I can be. My riddles can be long. They can be short and to the point. I love to make you think. I love to make you wonder. When I speak of the bible I know of its use to the “sons of men”. I know it will make them safer, but I ask it to make sure that you know of its worth. What else do I speak of? Things that “rise up strong and savage.” Things that are of nature’s doing? If you are unsure of what this is I will tell you. Even if normally you should come to this conclusion on your own. The riddle one is about a storm. Now as I speak of God and nature, I also discuss more intimate things. Things that swell, rise and stand. Things that “[hang] between a mans thigh” are you embarrassed by these things? The world we live in is grand and full of wonder. I shall always make you think, make you wonder. Who am I? I am the Exeter Riddler and I am here to entertain.

I am the Rood

Lo! It is not through illegal substance abuse that I, the Rood, have been given sentience. I was there with our Lord when he was brutally slain. I was there when he took unimaginable pain for all of humanity. I, the Rood, and our Lord became one, standing together stained with blood, carrying the sins of mankind. From a tree of life to a Rood of death, I am a Rood like none other. I was pierced by the same nails. I felt His flesh tear and his body shake against mine, but we didn’t waver. I tasted the salt in the tears of all of our Lord’s sons and daughters for eternity to come. I stood by our Lord in his most dire moment. Though I was used to torture and mock Him, displaying his death for all to see, I stood by him strongly, and He stood by me. So gracious he was, to me, the Rood.

Now, just as our Lord is honored above all men, I, the Rood, am honored above all tree. I was cut and contorted, forced against my will to be used against our Lord. But despite that, I was there for him. I supported him the best I could, and now, I am adorned with gold and silver. I am garnished with lavish beauty to symbolize my noble efforts for our Lord. However, beneath my glistening shine will always lay the sacred bloodshed. Thus, never forget: beneath my beautiful sparkle is a struggle experienced by no other rood. I am not just any rood. I am the Rood. Thank you.

On The Wanderer and Wife’s Lament

I must say, I can not think of a more fitting elegy to be read alongside mine as The Wanderer. I have not been made acquainted with this “wanderer” but he seems a noble, if somewhat melancholy, fellow. I do so appreciate a traditional, godly sort of man in light of these rapidly changing times. He demonstrates a clear mastery of our humble English tongue, so much so that the depth of his sorrow pierces my very soul. Yet he also offers words of wisdom to console we dreary wanderers cursed to roam about the Earth waiting for Heaven beyond. He states that, “A wise man must be patient, neither too hot-hearted nor too hasty with words, nor too weak in war nor too unwise in thoughts, neither fretting nor fawning nor greedy for wealth, never eager for boasting before he truly understands” (42). He is indeed right that a true man should aspire to encompass all of these qualities and have an ultimate goal of wisdom rather than a more narrow goal of pure brawn or pure intellect. If one can not tell the difference between strength, intelligence, and wisdom, than he must certainly begin his journey there.

As for my lament, seeing the care with which it has been translated is truly moving to me and the thought of my small tale being read by so many over the years near brings me to tears. How fitting it is that the sorrow my lord brought me has been usurped by my joy at knowing so many have found solace in my song. Though this translation is lovingly done, it does allow for some confusion, or at the least interpretation, particularly in the second and third stanzas. Though to me this tale shall ever be painfully branded in my memory with every excruciating detail, me thinks an outsider may have difficulty understanding the chain of events. It seems a tad unclear whether my love wanted to leave me, if his kinsman pushed him to it, or if he wanted to leave the land out of a sense of duty but still longs for me across the sea, as I pine for him. Still, the passage on my time beneath that accursed Oak, rings bitterly true. I may always wish torment on my long lost love, but to the readers of my life’s journey, I wish only that you may never feel the pain of a broken heart. May your elegies not be such as mine, but if you must lament, then may you experience the joy of knowing that your story has weathered the waves of time and found home once more among a stranger’s breast. Praise unto you and God go with you all!