Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 78 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 31)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 445.
|Hest sá ek standa; hýddi meri,
dúði dyndil, drap hlaun und kvið.
|Ór skal draga ok †gjöpta† at góða stund. |
Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
Ek sá hest standa; hýddi meri, dúði dyndil, hlaun drap und kvið. Ór skal draga ok †gjöpta† at góða stund. Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.
I saw a stallion stand; it flogged a mare, shook the penis, buttock beat under belly. [It] shall draw out and … a good while. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Mss: 281ˣ(100v), 597bˣ(51r) (Heiðr)
Readings:  meri: meri corrected from manni in the margin in another hand 597bˣ  dúði: ‘daudt’ 281ˣ, dauðr corrected from dúði in the margin in another hand after correction from ‘dr[…]e’ in the scribal hand 597bˣ  hlaun: laun all; und: undir 597bˣ  draga: ‘draga
skal draga’ 597bˣ [7-8] abbrev. as ‘heidr: kr’ 281ˣ, abbrev. as ‘h K:’ 597bˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 36: AII, 228, BII, 247, Skald II, 128, NN §3284; Heiðr 1873, 258, Heiðr 1924, 78, Heiðr 1960, 81-2; Edd. Min. 118.
Notes: [All]: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 82): Hest þann kallar þú línvef, en skeið meri hans, en upp ok ofan skal hrista vefinn ‘You call that stallion linen cloth, and the weaver’s rod his mare, and up and down the web shall be shaken’. Tolkien (Heiðr 1960, 82 n.) points out that the solution ‘is obviously wrong: the “mare” is the web on the loom, which is alternately raised up and pressed down by the rod or slay’. In the prose following the riddle, before giving the solution Heiðrekr invites his courtiers to solve it, but they are unable to. The riddle’s obvious sexual overtones perhaps explain its omission in the R and U redactions and its textual problems in the H-redaction mss. —  ek sá ‘I saw’: See Note to Heiðr 48/2 above. —  dúði ‘shook’: This reading is in the scribal hand in 597bˣ, but is a correction to a now illegible original. —  dyndil ‘penis’: Cf. Fritzner: dindill; LP: dyndill. A hap. leg. in poetry and found in prose only as a nickname in three instances in the Flat version of Hák (the form dyntill is found in the versions of F and 81a). Perhaps cf. ONP: dyrðill, dyðrill ‘short tail, stump of a tail’ and Anon Ól 6/6I and Note. —  hlaun ‘buttock’: A hap. leg. in poetry. The emendation is
made by all eds. — [5-6]: ‘Gjöpta’ l. 6 is not a known Old Norse word. Neither Skj B nor Heiðr 1960 attempt reconstruction, and the suggestions of Kock (Skald; NN §3284), Bugge (Heiðr 1873) and Edd. Min. are conjectural and not particularly satisfactory.