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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gyðingsvísur — Anon GyðVII

Anonymous Poems

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gyðingsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 515-26.

 

Aldýran biðk óra
orðfæri guð stæra,
en hyrmeiðar hlýði
haukstiettar brag sliettan.
Ágæta vilk ítrum
ulfsfæðendum ræðu
— víst og vífs inssta
vegr guðs er það — segja.
 
‘I ask altogether precious God to strengthen our [my] eloquence and that the trees of the fire of the hawk’s path [(lit. ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’) ARM > GOLD > MEN] may listen to the smooth poem. I want to tell noble wolf-feeders [WARRIORS] an excellent tale; that is certainly God’s glory and that of the highest woman [i.e. Virgin Mary].
Út var einn, sá er veita
unnleyg* firum kunni,
beitir bráðra sóta
barðs í Miklagarði.
Fúrbrigðir vann frægðar
fjölmætr og ágætis
Hlies við hirðiásu
hafleygjar sier aflað.
 
‘Out in Constantinople there was a certain steerer of the swift steeds of the prow [SHIPS > SEAFARER], one who knew how to grant men wave-flame [GOLD]. The very distinguished spreader of the fire of Hlér <sea-god> [(lit. ‘fire-spreader of Hlér’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] succeeded in earning fame and glory for himself from the guardian-gods of the wave-flame [GOLD > GENEROUS MEN].
Hvarf er þeim, er þurfa,
þingnárungum, váru,
branda rjóðr í bráðar
brynflagð*a nauðsynjar.
Fekk strandloga stökkvir
stígverjanda hverjum
fráns af fjárhlut sínum
fullar hendr, meðan endiz.
 
‘The reddener of swords [WARRIOR] is a support for those beings of the assembly of the trolls of the mailcoat [(lit. ‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’) AXES > BATTLE > WARRIORS] who were poor, in cases of sudden need. The flinger of shore-flame [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] gave every defender of the path of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s path-defender’) GOLD > MAN] hands full of his wealth, while it lasted.
Ófs fekk orðstír hæfan
auðar mildr, sem vildi,
gráns fyr gjöfli sína
grafþveings boði veingis.
Átti vin, því að veitti
vell …dr ímu svellir,
hann und hverjum runni
Hamdis bríkr af slíku.
 
‘The offerer of the land of the grey grave-thong [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], generous with wealth, secured a fitting reputation, as he wanted, for his excessive munificence. He had a friend in every bush of Hamðir’s <hero> board [SHIELD > MAN] on account of such [generosity], because the … sweller of battle [WARRIOR] gave out gold.
Fyrr þraut aura errins
ielmeiðs fetilþielar
óðs en örleik gæðis
odda regns við þegna.
Alsnauður varð eyðir
örvi mestr á lesti
lýsibliks til lykta
lands skævaðar branda.
 
‘The money of the brave tree of the storm of the strap-file [(lit. ‘of the strap-file’s brave storm-tree’) SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIOR] came to an end sooner than the generosity of the strengthener of the furious rain of sword-points [BATTLE > WARRIOR] towards men. The destroyer of the bright flash of the land of the high-strider <horse> of planks [SHIP > SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], excelling in generosity, eventually became in the end completely impoverished.
Nær f…z jafnt og aurar
æskibjóðr frá þjóðum
virðing …
valstafna … jafnan.
Allr þóttiz þá Ullar
ielherðandi verða
skýrr af skreytiárum
skorðu mars fyr borði.
 
‘The wishing-offerer of the … of the falcon’s perches [ARMS > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] … always almost equal … money and reputation from men. The pure strengthener of the storm of Ullr <god> [(lit. ‘storm-strengthener of Ullr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] then considerered that he would be completely thrown over by the decorous envoys of the horse of the boat-prop [SHIP > SEAFARERS].
Vellauðgan fór vallar
viggbeitir þá Meita
einráð var það eyðis
armlinns — gyðing finna.
Beiddi blára odda......
brak-Njörðr …
hodda láns af hánum
hugprúðr og fiesnúðar.
 
‘The steerer of the horse of Meiti’s <sea-king> plain [(lit. ‘horse-steerer of Meiti’s plain’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] then went to find a Jew rich in gold; that was the resolution of the destroyer of the arm-serpent [RING > GENEROUS MAN]. The noble Njǫrðr <god> of the crash of dark spear-points [(lit. ‘crash-Njǫrðr of dark spear-points’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] asked for a loan of gold and for the favour of money from him.
Fljótr erað flagðs að veita
fáknistanda kristnum
auð, þóað allmjög bæði,
ættingi gyðinga.
Svör veitti þau sliettrar
sólmeiðr skipa leiðar
órlausn … ára
jóríðanda of …
 
‘The kinsman of the Jews [JEW] is not quick to grant money to the Christian feeder of the horse of the trollwoman [(lit. ‘horse-feeder of the trollwoman’) WOLF > WARRIOR] though he had asked most earnestly. The tree of the sun of the smooth path of ships [(lit. ‘sun-tree of the smooth path of ships’) SEA > GOLD > MAN] gave those answers; … solution for the rider of the horse of oars [(lit. ‘horse-rider of oars’) SHIP > SEAFARER].
‘Seldu mier í veð valdan
veðrbjóðandi, og, góðan
… — þú gull of hreppir —
geira, einn eða fleiri’.
 
‘‘Give me as a pledge one select and good … or more, offerer of the storm of spears [BATTLE > MAN]; you will obtain gold’.
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