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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þórr’s fishing — Bragi ÞórrIII

Bragi inn gamli Boddason

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Þórr’s fishing’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 46.


Þat erumk sent, at snemma
sonr Aldafǫðrs vildi
afls við úri þafðan
jarðar reist of freista.
‘It is conveyed to me that the son of mankind’s father [= Óðinn > = Þórr] soon wanted to try his strength against the twisted thing of the earth [= Miðgarðsormr], pounded by water.
Vaðr lá Viðris arfa
vilgi slakr, es rakðisk,
á Eynæfis ǫndri,
Jǫrmungandr at sandi.
‘The fishing line of Viðrir’s <= Óðinn’s> heir [= Þórr] lay not at all slack on the ski of Eynæfir <sea-king> [SHIP], when Jǫrmungandr <= Miðgarðsormr> unwound himself on the sand.
Hamri fórsk í hœgri
hǫnd, þás allra landa,
œgir Ǫflugbarða,
endiseiðs of kenndi.
‘The terrifier of Ǫflugbarði <giant> [= Þórr] lifted the hammer in his right hand, when he recognised the boundary-saithe of all lands [= Miðgarðsormr].
Ok borðróins barða
brautar hringr inn ljóti
á haussprengi Hrungnis
harðgeðr neðan starði.
‘And the ugly ring of the road of the side-rowed ship [SEA > = Miðgarðsormr] glared from below, defiant, at the skull-splitter of Hrungnir <giant> [= Þórr].
Þás forns Litar flotna
á fangboða ǫngli
hrøkkviáll of hrokkinn
hekk Vǫlsunga drekku.
‘When the coiling eel of the drink of the Vǫlsungar [POISON > = Miðgarðsormr] hung coiled up on the fishing hook of the wrestling-challenger of the followers of ancient Litr <giant> [GIANTS > = Þórr].
Vildit vrǫngum ofra
vágs byrsendir œgi,
hinns mjótygil máva
mœrar skar fyr Þóri.
‘The wind-sender of the sea [GIANT = Hymir] did not want to raise up the twisted terrifier, he who cut the slender string of the marshland of seagulls [SEA > FISHING LINE] for Þórr.

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