Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 80 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 33)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 447.
|Sá ek á sumri sólbjörgum í
verðung vaka, vilgi teita.
|Drukku jarlar öl þegjandi, |
en æpanda ölker stóð.
Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
Ek sá verðung vaka, vilgi teita, á sumri í sólbjörgum. Jarlar drukku öl þegjandi, en ölker stóð æpanda. Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
I saw a retinue be wakeful, not at all happy, in summer at sunset. The jarls drank ale in silence, but the ale-keg stood squealing. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Mss: 2845(72r), 281ˣ(100v), 597bˣ(51r), R715ˣ(29v) (ll. 1-8) (Heiðr)
Readings:  Sá ek á: ‘sá ek ur’ corrected from ‘sa̋kur’ in the hand of JR R715ˣ; sumri: ‘suerr’ R715ˣ  sólbjörgum: so 281ˣ, 597bˣ, sól björg of 2845, ‘selbiorgum’ R715ˣ; í: so 281ˣ, 597bˣ, á 2845, R715ˣ  verðung: so all others, bað ek vel 2845; vaka: lífa 2845  vilgi: vígi 281ˣ, 597bˣ; teita: so 281ˣ, 597bˣ, teiti 2845, ‘slito’ R715ˣ  æpanda: æpandi 281ˣ, 597bˣ, ‘leipanda’ R715ˣ  stóð: stóðu 281ˣ, 597bˣ, R715ˣ [9-10] abbrev. as ‘h k’ 2845, abbrev. as ‘heidr: kr’ 281ˣ, abbrev. as ‘h: K:’ 597bˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 25: AII, 226, BII, 245, Skald II, 127; Heiðr 1672, 151, FSN 1, 482, Heiðr 1873, 259-60, 342, Heiðr 1924, 79-80, 138-9, FSGJ 2, 48, Heiðr 1960, 42; Edd. Min. 118-19.
Notes: [All]: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 42): Þar drukku grísir gylti, en hon hrein við ‘There piglets drank from a sow, and she squealed at that’. The H redaction has rather more prose (Heiðr 1924, 80): ‘þat er grísasýr; þá er grísir sjúga hana, þá hrínn hón, en þeir þegja; en eigi veit ek, hvat manna þú ert, er þvílíka hluti gerir svá mjúklega af lítlum efnum.’ Ok nú biðr konungr í hljóði at byrgja skuli hallardyrrnar ‘“that is a sow with piglets; when the piglets suck her, then she squeals, but they are silent; but I don’t know what kind of man you are, when you make such things so adroitly from little material.” And now the king orders in secret that the hall-doors should be closed’. —  ek sá ‘I saw’: See Note to Heiðr 48/2 above. —  sólbjörgum ‘sunset’: Lit.
‘sun-saving’. Hap. leg. —  verðung ‘a retinue’: This
word is attested only in poetry. —  vilgi ‘not at all’: Vilgi can mean, depending on the context, either ‘not at all’ or the opposite, ‘very much’, and was likely chosen for its ambiguity. The former meaning has been chosen for the translation here since, in a nice juxtaposition of opposites and subversion of expectations, the silence of the drinking jarls (cf. Akv 2/1-4) and the squealing of the ‘keg’ imply unhappiness. On the other hand, suckling piglets are likely to be content, and so the word can be reinterpreted once the solution is known. —  stóð ‘stood’: This is the reading of 2845, while the other mss have the 3rd pers. pl. pret. indic. stóðu. The subject of the verb, ölker ‘the ale-keg’, being n., could be either sg. or pl. Ms. 2845’s 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. variant has been preferred here, even though it renders the line hypometrical, while stóðu would make it a metrical fornyrðislag line, like the rest of the stanza. However, a pl. subject and verb here make awkward sense, and go against the understanding of both prose explanations of the riddle’s meaning. Skj B and Skald emend to of stóð to give a metrical line.