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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Óldr 4I/6 — kera ‘kerar’

Hfr Óldr 4I

Hilmir lét at Holmi
hræskóð roðin blóði
— hvat of dylði þess hǫlðar? —
hǫrð ok austr í Gǫrðum.
Rógs brá rekka lægir
ríkr Valkera líki;
herstefnir lét hrǫfnum
hold Flæmingja goldit.

Hilmir lét hǫrð hræskóð roðin blóði at Holmi ok austr í Gǫrðum; hvat of dylði þess hǫlðar? Ríkr lægir rógs rekka brá líki Valkera; herstefnir lét hold Flæmingja goldit hrǫfnum.

The prince caused hard corpse-harmers [SWORDS] to be reddened in blood at Hólmr and east in Russia; why should men conceal that? The powerful subduer of the strife of men [JUST RULER] spoiled the bodies of the Valkerar; the army-commander [RULER] caused the flesh of the Flemings to be doled out to ravens.

readings

[6] ‑kera: so 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 310, ‘‑køra’ , ‑skera 62, ‑skerjar Flat

notes

[6] Valkera ‘of the Valkerar’: This appears to be a gen. pl. referring to the owners of the líki ‘body/bodies’ spoiled by the victorious Óláfr, and the most promising suggestion is that of Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 53-4), generally accepted by eds, that it is an otherwise unattested ON term for the people of Walcheren, the Netherlands, which would fit well with the Flemings in l. 8. Alternatively, val- might be interpreted as ‘battle, slaughter, the slain’ and ‑kera as gen. pl. of ker ‘(drinking) vessel, chest’, which seems to appear in an unusual sword-kenning in Hfr Lv 5/6V (Hallfr 8); but there is no clear way for this to fit the sense or syntax of the couplet. Valkeri ‘the prober of the slain [SWORD]’, is suggested in LP (1860): valkeri 2.

grammar

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