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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (HSig) 6II/7 — stillis ‘of the leader’s’

Vísts, at allvaldr austan
eggjask vestr at leggja
mót við marga knútu
— minn snúðr es þat — prúða.
Kná valþiðurr velja
— veit œrna sér beitu —
steik af stillis haukum
stafns; fylgik því jafnan.

Vísts, at allvaldr eggjask austan at leggja mót við marga prúða knútu vestr; þat es snúðr minn. Valþiðurr kná velja steik af haukum stafns stillis; veit sér œrna beitu; fylgik jafnan því.

It is certain that the mighty ruler is being urged from the east to arrange a meeting with many splendid knuckles in the west; that is my good fortune. The carnage-grouse [RAVEN/EAGLE] can choose steak from the hawks of the leader’s prow; it knows it has ample food; I always support that.


[7] stillis haukum: stóði Gjúka E, Hb


[7, 8] af haukum stafns stillis ‘from the hawks of the leader’s prow’: I.e. from the champions of the leader’s prow, from the leader’s forecastle-men (stafnbúar). Haukr ‘hawk’ was a term for a brave young man (see LP: 1. haukr 2 and Anon (MErl) l. 7) Skj B takes it as a base-word in a kenning for ‘ship’ (so also ÍF 28), which is also possible: af stillis haukum stafns ‘from the leader’s hawks of the prow’, i.e. ‘from the leader’s ships’. The variant in Hb and E, af stóði stafns Gjúka ‘from the stud-horses of the prow of Gjúki <sea-king>’, is hyperdetermined (stóð Gjúka ‘stud-horses of Gjúki’ and stóð stafns ‘stud-horses of the prow’ both mean ‘ship’) and is of little help.



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