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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Har 1II/6 — frôn ‘The gleaming’

Skeið sák framm at flœði,
fagrt sprund, ór ô hrundit;
kennd, hvar liggr fyr landi
lǫng súð dreka ins prúða.
Orms glóa fǫx of farmi
frôn, sízt ýtt vas hônum
— bôru búnir svírar
brunnit goll — af hlunni.

Sák skeið, fagrt sprund, hrundit ór ô framm at flœði; kennd, hvar lǫng súð ins prúða dreka liggr fyr landi. Frôn fǫx orms glóa of farmi, sízt ýtt vas hônum af hlunni; búnir svírar bôru brunnit goll.

I saw the warship, beautiful lady, propelled out of the river onto the ocean; look where the long side-planking of the splendid dragon-ship lies offshore. The gleaming manes of the serpent [dragon-ship] shine out above the cargo, since it was launched from the rollers; the decorated necks bore burnished gold.


[6] frôn (‘fran’): so F, E, H, Hr, fráns , J2ˣ, fram 570a


[5, 6] frôn fǫx orms glóa ‘the gleaming manes of the serpent [dragon-ship] shine’: The reference must be to gold decoration, but it is uncertain whether it applies to the prow and stern of the ship, or only to the prow. (a) The version adopted above, that of E, H and probably Hr, has pl. fǫx glóa ‘manes glow’, and n. nom. pl. frn (ms. ‘fran’) ‘gleaming’ qualifying fǫx. The fact that frn is also found in F although it does not fit grammatically may add support to this reading, as does the praise of the ship’s pl. svírar ‘necks, stems’ in ll. 7-8. (b) The sg. fax glóar is found in and F (J2ˣ has ‘fag gloar’), and in and J2ˣ the adj. fráns qualifies orms, hence fax fráns orms glóar ‘the mane of the gleaming serpent glows’. This reading has logic on its side insofar as the ship is conceived as a dragon or serpent, and is adopted by most eds.



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