Years ago I tried to teach myself Old English. I came across this translation I did of a riddle from Exeter.
I have since found better translations, offering far clearer clues, and basically making me look bad. Oh well…
I am widely found, by worthy men,
And brought from grove, mountain, dale, and glen.
By day I’m carried upon airy feather,
And wrought by skill under roofed shelter.
Later, I am both warriour and goon
Whom men, young and old, wrestles down.
Shortly after I am found,
a man is trapped in struggling round;
His back will have to seek the field,
who lacks the wisdom when to yield.
Strength of speech, strength be stole,
hands, feet, spirit lose control.
What on earth could I be,
that binds battered, foolish men, when first light seen?
— Exeter, Riddle 25, Translation: Jeff Cave 2007
Scroll down for the answer:
The answer is “mead”.