8th Century Anglo Saxon Riddle

An enemy ended my life,
Deprived me of physical strength;
Then he dipped me in water
And drew me out again,
And put me in the sun
Where I soon shed all my hair.
After that
The knife’s sharp edge bit into me
And all my blemishes were scraped away.
Fingers folded me
And the birds’ feathers
Often moved over my brown surface,
Sprinkling meaningful marks;
It swallowed more wood-dye
(part of the stream)
And again travelled over me
Adorned me with gold;
Thus I am enriched
By the wondrous works of Smiths,
Wound about with shining metal.
Now my clasp and red dye
And these glorious adornments
Bring fame far and wide
To the Protector of Men
And not to the pains of hell.
If only the sons of men
Would make use of me
They would be safer
And the more victorious
Their hearts would be bolder,
Their minds more at ease
Their thoughts wiser,
And they would have more friends
Companions and kinsmen
(Courageous, honourable, trusty and kind)
Who would gladly
Increase their honour and prosperity,
And heap benefits upon them,
Ever hold them most dear.
Ask what I am called,
Of such service to men.
My name is famous,
Of service to men
And sacred in itself.

I am a book.

Dusty book

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