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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Øxarflokkr — ESk ØxflIII

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Øxarflokkr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 140.

 

Þars Mardallar milli
(meginhurðar) liggr skurða
(Gauts berum galla þrútinn)
grátr (dalreyðar látra).
 
‘Where the tears of Mardǫll <= Freyja> [GOLD] lie between the grooves; we [I] carry the destroyer of Gautr’s <= Óðinn’s> mighty door [SHIELD > AXE/SWORD], swollen with lairs of the valley-char [SNAKE > GOLD].
Eigi þverr fyr augna
Óðs beðvinu Róða
ræfrs (eignisk sá) regni
ramsvell (konungr elli).
 
‘The strong ice-sheet of Róði’s <sea-king’s> roof [SHIELD > AXE/SWORD] does not diminish because of the rain of the eyes [TEARS] of Óðr’s <mythical person’s> bedmate [= Freyja > GOLD]; may that king reach old age.
Hróðrbarni knák Hǫrnar
— hlutum dýran grip — stýra
(brandr þrymr gjalfrs á grandi)
gollvífiðu (hlífar).
Sáðs (berr sínar móður)
svans unni mér gunnar
fóstrgœðandi Fróða
(Freys nipt bráa driptir).
 
‘I possess the gold-wrapped glory-child of Hǫrn <= Freyja> [= Hnoss (hnoss ‘treasure’)]; we [I] received a precious treasure; fire of the surge [GOLD] rests on the harm of the shield [AXE/SWORD]. The provisions-increaser of the swan of battle [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] gave me Fróði’s <legendary king’s> seed [GOLD]; Freyr’s <god’s> niece [= Hnoss (hnoss ‘treasure’)] bears the rain of eyelashes [TEARS] of her mother <= Freyja> [GOLD].
Nýt buðumk (Njarðar dóttur)
(nálægt vas þat -skála)
(vel of hrósak því) vísa
vǫrn (sævar ǫl-) (barni).
 
‘The useful one offered me secure protection; that was close to the ale-hall by the sea; I truly praise that child of Njǫrðr’s <god’s> daughter [= Freyja > = Hnoss (hnoss ‘treasure’)].
Gaf, sás erring ofrar,
ógnprúðr Vana brúðar
þing- Váfaðar -þrøngvir
þróttǫflga mér dóttur.
Ríkr leiddi mey mækis
mótvaldr á beð skaldi
Gefnar glóðum drifna
Gautreks svana brautar.
 
‘The battle-proud compeller of the assembly of Váfuðr <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘Váfuðr’s assembly-compeller’) BATTLE > WARRIOR], who displays courage, gave me the mightily strong daughter of the Vanir’s consort [= Freyja > = Hnoss (hnoss ‘treasure’)]. The powerful controller of the meeting of the sword [(lit. ‘meeting-controller of the sword’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] led the girl of Gefn <= Freyja> [= Hnoss (hnoss ‘treasure’)], covered with embers of the road of Gautrekr’s <sea-king’s> swans [SHIPS > SEA > GOLD], to the poet’s bed.
Frák, at Fróða meyjar
fullgóliga mólu
(lætr stillir grið golli)
Grafvitnis beð (slitna).
Mjúks (bera mínar øxar
meldr þann við hlyn feldrar)
konungs dýrkar fé (Fenju
fǫgr hlýr) bragar stýri.
 
‘I heard that Fróði’s <legendary king’s> girls [= Fenja and Menja] very splendidly ground Grafvitnir’s <serpent’s> bed [GOLD]; the ruler lets the truce for the gold be broken. The wealth of the kind king celebrates the controller of praise [POET]; the fair cheeks of my axe, attached to the shaft, bear that flour of Fenja <giantess> [GOLD].
Blóðeisu liggr bæði
bjargs tveim megin geima
sjóðs (ák søkkva stríði)
snær ok eldr (at mæra).
 
‘Both snow of the purse [SILVER] and fire of the sea [GOLD] lie on the two sides of the crag of the blood-ember [AXE]; I must praise the fighter of enemies [WARRIOR].
Dœgr þrymr hvert, en hjarta
hlýrskildir ræðr mildu
Heita blakks, of hvítum
hafleygr digulskafli.
Aldri má fyr eldi
áls hrynbrautar skála
— ǫll viðr folka fellir
framræði — snæ bræða.
 
‘Every day the sea-flame [GOLD] rests on the white crucible-snowdrift [SILVER], and the shield-provider of the prow of Heiti’s <sea-king’s> horse [(lit. ‘prow-shield-provider of Heiti’s horse’) SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR] has a generous heart. Never can snow of scales [SILVER] be melted by fire of the eel’s resounding road [SEA > GOLD]; the feller of armies [WARRIOR] performs all glorious deeds.
Ráðvǫndum þák rauðra
randa ís at vísa;
grand berum hjalms í hendi
hvarmþey drifin Freyju.
 
‘I received an icicle of red shields [SWORD] from the righteous ruler; we [I] carry the harm of the helmet [AXE/SWORD], covered with the eyelid-thaw [TEARS] of Freyja <goddess> [GOLD], in my hand.
Sjá megu rétt, hvé, Ræfils
ríðendr, við brô Gríðar
fjǫrnis fagrt of skornir,
foldviggs, drekar liggja.
 
‘They can rightly see how dragons, beautifully engraved, lie near the eyelash of the Gríðr <giantess> of the helmet [AXE > AXE-BLADE], riders of the horse of Ræfill’s <sea-king’s> land [(lit. ‘riders of Ræfill’s land-horse’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARERS].
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