ᚱ byþ onrecyde. rinca gehwylcum.
sefte and swiþhwæt. ðam ðe sitteþ on ufan
meare mægen heardum ofer mil paþas ᛬᛫
To those who sit in a house
It feels soft. It is strenuous for those who sit high
On a hard bodied horse over mile paths.
Rad means riding on horseback, the ride itself. Sometimes it will mean the road, especially when found in a compound word. This stanza specifies it’s going to be a long ride ofer milpaþas. Mile paths. Long distances. These aren’t the paths between local settlements, this is a ride on the Roman roads built to take you somewhere far. The Roman roads had cylindrical mile stones set out every 1000 paces (mille in Latin means thousand, Roman numeral M). At these points the mile stones would tell the traveler how far to the next place, who’s the local boss, and sometimes the name of a person in charge of road repair. The Romans took their roads seriously.
You galloped into town on Wednesday
On Wednesday you did depart
Three nights and no more you did stay
How did you achieve such an art?
You’ve been discussing it forever, but here it is, the Rad rune telling you it is time to get back in the saddle and get the show on the road. Big talk is one thing, now is the time for you to be going places so get going. It’s a long trip and a bumpy ride, but you’ll get there.
Probably the R in Old English was trilled or rolled. They’d travel along with the R for an extra beat before moving on to the next letter. Put your tongue near the roof of your mouth and vibrate the air. For a trilled or rolled sound, touch the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth and do it again. Drumroll please. Faster!
Carve a straight path up. Now send a crooked road traveling back down the side.