Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 57’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 336-7.
|Vindr þagði; vötn stöðvaði;
þá heyrða ek grimligan gný;
| svipvísar konur|
moluðu mold til matar.
Vindr þagði; vötn stöðvaði; þá heyrða ek grimligan gný; svipvísar konur moluðu mold til matar mönnum sínum.
The wind fell silent; the waters stood still; then I heard a terrible din; treacherous women were crushing earth into food for their men.
Mss: 166bˣ(47v), papp15ˣ(5v-6r), 738ˣ(82v), 167b 6ˣ(3r), 214ˣ(151v), 1441ˣ(586), 10575ˣ(8r-v), 2797ˣ(235)
Readings:  þagði: þagnaði 10575ˣ  vötn: víti papp15ˣ; stöðvaði: stöðvaðiz 10575ˣ  heyrða: so papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, heyrði 166bˣ, 2797ˣ  moluðu: ‘moto’ 10575ˣ, mólu 2797ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 57: AI, 636, BI, 644, Skald I, 314; Bugge 1867, 366, Falk 1914, 38, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 18, Fidjestøl 1979, 68, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 88-9, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 63, 135.
Notes:  svipvísar konur ‘treacherous women’: Falk (1914, 39-40) argues that these women have been practising magic and that the rýgjar blóði ‘ogress’s blood’ of 59/6 connects these women to the men who must walk on red-hot paths in that st., but there is no clear evidence of what the women’s sin is. —  moluðu mold til matar ‘they were crushing earth into food’: Cf. Grott where the giantesses Fenja and Menja are condemned to grind out gold from a magic mill. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 88-9) notes that earth does not need grinding (though it may need crushing!), and that this is therefore an unending task. A similar punishment appears in the ‘Vision of the Monk of Wenlock’ (Tangl 1916, 13). —  moluðu ‘they were crushing’: The reading of the majority of mss, 3rd pers. pret. pl. of mola (weak verb) ‘to crush, break into small pieces’. 2797ˣ has mólu, 3rd pers. pret, pl. of mala (strong verb, class 6) ‘to grind’, and this probable emendation (reportedly first suggested by Jón Olafsson of Grunnavík – so Bugge and Skj A) has been adopted by almost all eds. It reduces the syllable count of the l., even though it still has too many alliterating staves.