Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 2I/7 — húms ‘of the sea’

Létk til Eiðs, þvít óðumk
aptrhvarf, dreginn karfa
(vér stiltum svá) valtan
vátr (til glœps á báti).
Taki hlœgiskip hauga
herr; sákat far verra;
létk til húms á hrúti
hætt; fór betr an vættak.

Vátr létk valtan karfa dreginn til Eiðs, þvít óðumk aptrhvarf; vér stiltum svá til glœps á báti. Herr hauga taki hlœgiskip; sákat verra far; létk hætt til á hrúti húms; fór betr an vættak.

Wet, I had the unsteady vessel dragged to Eið, because I dreaded turning back; we had managed so badly in the boat. May the host of burial mounds [TROLLS] take the laughable ship; I never saw a worse craft; I courted danger on the ram of the sea [SHIP]; it went better than I had expected.


[7] húms: heims Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 68, Holm4, 75c, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, , Bb, hafs 61


[7] húms ‘of the sea’: The mss almost all have heims ‘world’s’, though 61 has hafs ‘ocean’s’ (the reading adopted in Fms). Plainly the meaning ‘sea’s’ is required, and the assumption of húms (first adopted in Hkr 1777-1826, II, 124, and accepted in most critical eds, excluding ÍF 27, Hkr 1991) best explains how heims entered the textual tradition of the poem. Turville-Petre (1976, 81), retaining heims, takes it to be a half-kenning for ‘sea’, comparing Bragi Rdr 4/7III lǫnd Leifa ‘lands of Leifi <sea-king>’, though this seems unlikely.




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