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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Fragments — Bragi FragIII

Bragi inn gamli Boddason

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 53.


Gefjun dró frá Gylfa
glǫð djúprǫðul ǫðla,
svát af rennirauknum
rauk, Danmarkar auka.
Bôru øxn ok átta
ennitungl, þars gingu
fyr vinjeyjar víðri
valrauf, fjǫgur haufuð.
‘Gefjun drew from Gylfi, glad, a deep disk of inherited land [ISLAND = Sjælland], Denmark’s addition [= Sjælland], so that steam rose from the swift-moving draught animals. The oxen bore eight forehead-moons [EYES] and four heads, where they went before the wide plunder-rift of the meadow-island [= Sjælland].
Hinn, es varp á víða
vinda ǫndurdísar
of manna sjǫt margra
munnlaug fǫður augum.
‘The one who threw the eyes of the father of the ski-dís <minor female deity> [= Skaði > = Þjazi] into the wide hand-basin of winds [SKY/HEAVEN] above the dwellings of many men.
Vel hafið yðrum eykjum
aptr, Þrívalda, haldit
simbli sumbls of mærum,
sundrkljúfr níu hǫfða.
‘You have well driven back your draught animals, cleaver asunder of the nine heads of Þrívaldi <giant> [= Þórr], above the famous drink-provider of the drinking party [= Ægir (ægir ‘ocean’)].
Þars, sem lofðar líta
lung váfaðar Gungnis.
‘It is there as men see the longship of the swinger of Gungnir <Óðinn’s spear> [= Óðinn > HORSE = Sleipnir].
Eld of þák af jǫfri
ǫlna bekks við drykkju
(þat gaf) Fjǫlnis fjalla
(með fulli mér stillir).
‘I received from the prince fire of the bench of mackerels [SEA > GOLD] for the drink of the Fjǫlnir <= Óðinn> of the mountains [GIANT = Suttungr > POETRY]; the ruler gave me that with a toast.
Þann áttak vin verstan
vazt- rǫdd en mér baztan
Ála -undirkúlu
óniðraðan þriðja.
‘I had that friend, the third one, blameless, worst to the voice of the Áli <sea-king> of the fishing ground-under-knob [ROCK > GIANT > GOLD], but best to me.

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