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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Heiðreks gátur — Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr)

Gestumblindi

Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur — Hannah Burrows

Not published: do not cite (Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr))

 

Hafa vildak þat,         er ek hafða í gær;
        vittu, hvat þat var:
lýða lemill,         orða tefill,
        ok orða upphefill.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘I would wish to have what I had yesterday; find out what that was: crippler of people, hinderer of words, and instigator of words. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Heiman ek fór,         heiman ek för gerðak,
        sá ek á veg vega;
vegr var undir         ok vegr yfir,
        ok vegr á alla vega.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘I went from home, I made a journey from home, I saw ways on the way; a way was under and a way over, and a way on all ways. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat drykkja,         er ek drakk í gær?
        Var þat ei vín né vatn,
mjǫðr né mungát,         né matar ekki;
        þó gekk ek þorstalauss þaðan.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What kind of drink is that which I drank yesterday? It was not wine or water, mead or ale, or any kind of food; yet I went thirstless from there. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverr er sá inn hvelli,         er gengr harðar götur,
        ok hefir hann þær fyrr um farit?
Mjök fast kyssir,         sá er hefr munna tvá
        ok á gulli einu gengr.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who is that shrill one who walks on hard paths and he has travelled on them before? Very firmly [he] kisses, the one who has two mouths, and walks on gold alone. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverr er sá inn mikli,         er líðr mold yfir?
        Svelgr hann vötn ok við;
glygg hann óaz,         en gumna eigi,
        ok yrkir á sól til saka.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who is that, the great one, who moves over the earth? He swallows lakes and wood; he fears the wind, but not men, and sets upon the sun to harm [it]. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverr er sá inn mikli,         er mörgu ræðr,
        ok horfir til heljar hálfr?
*Öldum bergr         en við jörð sakaz,
        ef hann hefir sér vel traustan vin.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who is that, the great one, who governs much, and half [of him] turns to Hel? He protects men but contends with the earth, if he has for himself a well-trusted friend. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverr byggir há fjöll?         Hverr fellr í djúpa dali?
Hverr andalauss lifir?         Hverr æva þegir?
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who lives on high mountains? Who falls in the deep dales? Who lives without breath? Who is never silent? King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Höfði sínu         vísar á helvega,
        en fótum til sólar snýr.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It points its head towards the roads to Hel, but with its feet turns towards the sun. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Ókyrrir tveir         andalausir
        sára lauk suðu.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? Two unquiet things, without breath, cooked a leek of wounds [SWORD]. Kings Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Hvítir fljúgendr         hellu ljósta,
        en svartir í sand grafaz.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? White flying ones strike the rock-slab, but black ones bury themselves in the sand. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Svartan gölt ek sá         í sauri vaða,
        ok reis honum eigi burst á baki.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? I saw a black boar wade in muck, but bristles did not rise on his back. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Tíu hefir tungur,         tuttugu augu,
fjóra tigu fóta;         fram líðr sú vættr.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It has ten tongues, twenty eyes, forty feet; that creature moves forward. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Ofarliga flýgr,         †armlod gellr,
        harðar eru hillm†.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It flies high up … King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Fætr hefir átta         en fjögur augu,
        ok berr ofar kné en kvið.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It has eight feet and four eyes, and bears its knees higher than its belly. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Lýðum lýsir,         en loga gleypir
        ok keppaz um þat vargar ávalt.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It gives light to men, but swallows flame, and wolves always compete for it. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat undra,         er ek úti sá
        fyrir Dellings durum?
Horni harðara,         hrafni svartara,
skjalli hvítara,         skapti réttara.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? [It is] harder than horn, blacker than the raven, whiter than the membrane of an egg, straighter than a shaft. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Báru brúðir         bleikhaddaðar,
ambáttir tvær,         öl til skemmu.
Vara þat höndum horfit         né hamri klappat;
þó var fyrir eyjar útan         örðigr, sá er ker gerði.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Pale-haired brides, two handmaids, bore ale to the storehouse. It was not turned by hand nor struck by hammer; yet outside the islands was that upright one who made the keg. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær rýgjar         á reginfjalli,
        elr við kván kona?
Mær við meyju         mög um getr,
        ok eigut þær varðir vera.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those women on the mighty mountain, woman begets with woman? A girl begets a son with a girl, and those women do not have husbands. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær drósir,         er um dróttin sinn
        vápnlausar vega?
Inar jarpari         hlífa um alla daga,
        en inar fegri fara.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those girls, who fight weaponless around their lord? The darker ones protect [him] during all the days, but the fairer ones go forth [to attack]. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær leikur,         er líða lönd yfir
        at forvitni föður?
Hvítan skjöld         þær um vetr bera,
        en svartan um sumar.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those playmates, who move over lands to the curiosity of their father? They bear a white shield in winter, but a black one in summer. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær snótir,         er ganga syrgjandi
        at forvitni föður?
Hadda bleika         hafa þær inar hvítföldnu,
        ok eigut þær varðir vera.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those ladies, who go sorrowing, to the curiosity of their father? They have pale hair, the white-hooded ones, and those women do not have husbands. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær meyjar,         er ganga margar saman
        at forvitni föður?
Mörgum mönnum         hafa þær at meini orðit;
        við þat munu þær sinn aldr ala.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those girls, who go many together to the curiosity of their father? They have caused harm to many men; with that they must spend their lives. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær ekkjur,         er ganga allar saman
        at forvitni föður?
Sjaldan blíðar eru þær         við seggja lið,
        ok eigu í vindi vaka.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those women, who go all together to the curiosity of their father? They are seldom gentle with the host of men, and have to stay awake in the wind. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þær brúðir,         er ganga í brimskerjum,
        ok eiga eptir firði för?
Harðan beð         hafa þær inar hvítföldnu,
        ok leika í logni fátt.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those brides, who walk in surf-skerries, and have a journey along the fjord? They have a hard bed, the white-hooded ones, and play little in the calm. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Fara ek sá         foldar moldbúa;
        á sat nár á nái;
blindr reið blindum         brimleiðar til;
        jór var andar vanr.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘ I saw a soil-dweller <snake> of the earth travelling; a corpse sat on a corpse; a blind thing rode on a blind thing to the surf-way [SEA]; the steed was lacking in breath. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat dýra,         er drepr fé manna,
        ok er jarni kringt útan?
Horn hefir átta,         en höfuð ekki,
        ok fylgja því margir mjök.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is the creature who slays men’s flocks and is surrounded outside with iron? It has eight horns, but no head, and a great many follow it. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat er þat dýra,         er Dönum hlífir,
berr blóðugt bak,         en bergr firum,
geirum mætir,         gefr líf sumum,
leggr við lófa         lík sitt guma?
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘What is that creature, that protects Danes, bears a bloody back, but saves men, meets spears, gives life to some, lays its body against the palm of a man? King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Nær var forðum         nösgás vaxin,
barngjörn, sú er bar         bútimbr saman.
Hlífðu henni         hálms bitskálmir;
þó lá drykkjar         drynhraun yfir.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Long ago, a nostrils-goose [DUCK] was nearly grown, child-eager, who brought house-timber together. Biting-swords of straw [OX TEETH] protected her; yet the bellowing lava-field of drink [OX SKULL] lay over. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Fjórir hanga,         fjórir ganga,
tveir veg vísa,         tveir hundum varða,
einn eptir drallar         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.
Hverr er sá inn eini,         er sefr í ösgrúa,
        ok af grjóti einu görr?
Föður né móður         áat sá inn fagrgjarni;
        þar mun hann sinn aldr ala.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who is that, the lone one, who sleeps in the ash-grate, and is struck from stone alone? That bright-eager one has neither father nor mother; there he must spend his life. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
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.
 
‘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.
Hverjar eru þeir þegnar,         er ríða þingi at
        sáttir allir saman?
Lýða sína         senda þeir lönd yfir
        at byggja bólstaði.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘Who are those thanes, who all ride together reconciled to the assembly? They send their men over lands to settle homesteads. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Sá ek á sumri         sólbjörgum í
verðung vaka,         vilgi teita.
Drukku jarlar         öl þegjandi,
en æpanda         ölker stóð.
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.
Meyjar ek sá         moldu líkar,
        váru þeim at beðjum björg,
svartar ok sámar         í sólviðri,
        en þess at fegri, er færra um sér.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘I saw girls like dust, rocks were beds to them. [They are] black and swarthy in sunny weather, but the brighter, the less is seen of them. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Sat ek á segli,         sá ek dauða menn
blóðshol* bera         í börk viðar.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.
 
‘I sat on a sail, I saw dead men carry a blood vessel into the bark of a tree. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hverjar eru þeir tveir,         er tíu hafa fætr,
        augu þrjú, ok einn hala?
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu
 
‘Who are those two, who have ten feet, three eyes, and one tail? King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.
Hvat mælti Óðinn         í eyra Baldri,
áðr hann væri á bál hafðr?
 
‘What did Óðinn say into the ear of Baldr, before he was brought to the pyre?
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