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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 11II/8 — vífs ‘of the wife’

Svá hlóð siklingr hôvan
snarr af ulfa barri
(hrósak hugfulls vísa)
hrækǫst (fira* ævi),
at áleggjar Yggjar
allnôttfǫrull máttit,
— ǫld lá vítt — þótt vildi,
vífs marr yfir klífa.

Snarr siklingr hlóð svá hôvan hrækǫst af barri ulfa—hrósak ævi hugfulls vísa fira*—, at allnôttfǫrull marr vífs Yggjar áleggjar máttit klífa yfir, þótt vildi; ǫld lá vítt.

The keen sovereign heaped up so high a corpse-mound of wolves’ barley [CORPSES]—I praise the life of the mettlesome leader of men—that, ever prowling by night, the steed of the wife of the Yggr <= Óðinn> of the river-limb [ROCK > GIANT > GIANTESS > WOLF] could not scale it, though he longed to; men were strewn widely.

readings

[8] vífs: so Flat, víf H, Hr

notes

[5, 8] marr vífs Yggjar áleggjar ‘the steed of the wife of the Yggr <= Óðinn> of the river-limb [ROCK > GIANT > GIANTESS > WOLF]’: Yggjar is probably the original reading underlying mss ‘yggia’ and ‘hyggiar’. The Óðinn-heiti Yggr (‘Terrible’) is a satisfactory base-word to a kenning for ‘giant’ since although it is not precisely paralleled, other giant-kennings contain the names of gods: fjall-Gautr ‘mountain-Gautr <= Óðinn>’, ÚlfrU Húsdr 6/2III, and grjót-Móði ‘stone-Móði <= Þórr’s son>’, Ólhv Frag 7/2III.

kennings

grammar

case: gen.

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