Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 76 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 29)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 443.
|Fjórir hanga, fjórir ganga,
tveir veg vísa, tveir hundum varða,
|einn eptir drallar ok jafnan heldr saurugr. |
Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
Fjórir hanga, fjórir ganga, tveir vísa veg, tveir varða hundum, einn drallar eptir ok jafnan heldr saurugr. Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
Four hang, four go, two point the way, two ward off dogs, one trails after and [is] always rather dirty. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Mss: 2845(72r-v), 281ˣ(100v), 597bˣ(50v) (Heiðr)
Readings:  hanga: ganga 281ˣ, 597bˣ  fjórir: fjórir added in the margin in another hand 597bˣ; ganga: hanga 281ˣ, hanga added in the margin in another hand 597bˣ  varða: verjast 281ˣ, 597bˣ  einn: ‘eirn’ 281ˣ, ‘eirn eirn’ 597bˣ  jafnan: optast 281ˣ, 597bˣ; heldr: om. 281ˣ, 597bˣ; saurugr: óhreinn 281ˣ, 597bˣ [7-8] abbrev. as ‘h k̄’ 2845, abbrev. as ‘heidr: kr’ 281ˣ, abbrev. as ‘hc: Kongr hygg ad gätu min̄e’ 597bˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 27: AII, 226, BII, 245, Skald II, 127, NN §§2362, 3397C; FSN 1, 484, Heiðr 1873, 257, 343, Heiðr 1924, 77, 81, FSGJ 2, 49, Heiðr 1960, 43; Edd. Min. 117.
Notes: [All]: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 43): þat er kýr ‘That is a cow’. The H redaction expands (Heiðr 1924, 77): hón hefir fjóra fœtr ok fjóra spena, tvau horn ok tvau augu, enn halinn drallar eptir ‘she has four legs and four teats, two horns and two eyes, but the tail trails after’. — [All]: Versions of this riddle are found across European tradition; Tomasek (1999, 261-2) claims that the Old Norse is the earliest recorded instance in the vernacular. A cosmological variation, in which heaven and earth, day and night, and sun and moon are the referents, can be found in classical tradition. For parallels and further references see Taylor (1951, 610-21). — [All]: In this stanza ll. 1-3 are fornyrðislag and ll. 4-6 málaháttr. Kock, however, presents the stanza as ljóðaháttr by emending the word order in l. 3 to tveir vísa veg (Skald, NN §3397) and in l. 5 substituting hinstr ‘hindmost’ for eptir (cf. NN §2362). —  drallar eptir ‘trails after’: Dralla is a hap. leg. in poetry and the only occurrence in prose appears to be in the solution to this riddle in the H redaction. Cf. NO: 1 dralla. Kock emends eptir to hinstr ‘hindmost’, to alliterate with hundum ‘dogs’ in l. 4 (NN §2362). — : The H redaction has the variant line ok optast óhreinn ‘most often unclean’. Skald gives ok óhreinn opt ‘and often unclean’, with rearranged word order for more regular ljóðaháttr (NN §3397; cf. Notes to ll. 3 and 5 above), though in NN §2362 Kock retains the H redaction’s reading unemended.