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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gestumblindi (Gestumbl)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Heiðreks gátur (Heiðr) - 37

not in Skj

Heiðreks gátur (‘Riddles of Heiðrekr’) — Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr)

Not published: do not cite (Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr))

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur, Gestumblindes gåder (AII, 221-8, BII, 240-7); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38

SkP info: VIII, 442

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

28 — Gestumbl Heiðr 28VIII (Heiðr 75)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 75 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 28)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 442.

Nær var forðum
nösgás vaxin,
barngjörn, er bar
bútimbr saman.
Hlífðu henni
hálms bitskálmir;
þó drykkjar
drynhraun yfir.
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu.

 

Long ago, {a nostrils-goose} [DUCK] was nearly grown, child-eager, who brought house-timber together. {Biting-swords of straw} [OX TEETH] protected her; yet {the bellowing lava-field of drink} [OX SKULL] lay over. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.

notes: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 41): Þar hafði ǫnd búit hreiðr sitt í milli nautskjálka, ok lá haussinn ofan yfir ‘There a duck had built its nest between the jaw-bones of an ox, and the skull lay over above’. The H redaction gives (Heiðr 1924, 76): Þá lá ǫnd á eggjum millum nautzkjálka, er þú hálmbitz skálmir kallar, en drynhraun hausinn, en bútimbr hreiðrit ‘There a duck lay on eggs between the jaw-bones of an ox, which you call ‘biting-swords of straw’, and the skull ‘bellowing lava-field’, and the nest ‘house-timber’. — The solution is reminiscent of Judges XIV.8-14, where Samson eats from a honeycomb produced by a swarm of bees inside the skull of a lion, and later propounds the riddle de comedente exivit cibus et de forte est egressa dulcedo ‘Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness’. Life-from-death symbolism could be said to be present in this riddle, although there is no overt Christian context.

texts: Heiðr 75 (62/57)

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 22 (AII, 225; BII, 244); Skald II, 127, NN §2360, 2594; Heiðr 1672, 150, FSN 1, 479-80, Heiðr 1873, 256, 341, Heiðr 1924, 76-7, 138, FSGJ 2, 47, Heiðr 1960, 41; Edd. Min. 116-17.

sources

GKS 2845 4° (2845) 72r, 7 - 72r, 8 [1-8] (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 281 4°x (281x) 100v, 4 - 100v, 6 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
AM 597 b 4°x (597bx) 50v, 23 - 50v, 25 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
UppsUB R 715x (R715x) 29r, 16 - 29r, 19 [1-8] (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
AM 203 folx (203x) 105v, 18 - 105v, 24 (Heiðr)  image  
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