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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 76 [Vol. 7, 349-50]

[4-5] járnadreyri fellr ór nösum þeim ‘iron blood falls from their nostrils’: The ll. lack alliteration in their present form, as vocalic alliteration cannot be carried by ór. (Skald deals with this problem by placing ór first in l. 5.) 166bˣ’s reading járn- is also unmetrical. The element járna- in járnadreyri may be understood as adjectival, ‘iron blood’ (lit. gen. pl. ‘of weapons’), as here and in Skj B (jærn-væske ‘iron-snot’), or as nominal, as Fidjestøl interprets it (våpen-væska ‘weapon-snot’), i.e. ‘snot produced by weapons’, and dreyri may be understood in its normal sense of ‘blood’ or more narrowly to refer to nasal discharge. Björn M. Ólsen 1915, following Rask, suggests norna ‘of Norns’ rather than járna-, as in 51/1 norna stóli ‘the seat of the Norns’. The idea of blood rousing hostility can be paralleled in Anon DarrV, as Falk (1914a, 49) points out.


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