|Lairich Rig / The Ruthwell Cross|
Frineð he for þære mænige hwær se man sie,
se ðe for dryhtnes naman deaðes wolde
biteres onbyrigan, swa he ær on ðam beame dyde.
He will ask before the multitude where the man is,
Who for the Lord's name's sake would taste
Of bitter death, just he already did on the tree.
The Dream of the Rood ll. 112-14
The verb onbýrigan in line 114 means 'to taste of'. It is a compound of býrigan, 'to taste'. What I find cool here is the echo of a different, but very similar sounding verb, byrigan, which means 'to bury'. It differs only in the length of the 'y'. But I like the distant suggestion that those who taste of death, as Christ has already done on the cross, also bury it.
Scholars have likely noted this ten thousand times already. Nevertheless....