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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 15II/2 — meldrs ‘the meal’

Vísts, at frá berr flestu
Fróða meldrs at góðu
vel skúfaðra vífa
vǫxtr þinn, konan svinna.
Skorð lætr hár á herðar
haukvallar sér falla
— átgjǫrnum rauðk erni
ilka — gult sem silki.

Konan svinna, vísts, at vǫxtr þinn berr at góðu frá vel flestu vífa skúfaðra meldrs Fróða. Skorð haukvallar lætr hár, gult sem silki, falla á herðar sér; rauðk ilka átgjǫrnum erni.

Wise woman, it is certain that your [hair-]growth surpasses in beauty [that of] pretty much most women with locks [like] the meal of Fróði <legendary king> [GOLD]. The prop of the hawk-field [ARM > WOMAN] lets her hair, yellow like silk, fall onto her shoulders; I reddened the claws of the food-hungry eagle.


[2] Fróða meldrs at góðu: fegurð þín konan svinna R702ˣ;    meldrs: so Flat, meldr 325I


[2] meldrs Fróða ‘the meal of Fróði <legendary king> [GOLD]’: This refers to the story of the magic quern Grotti, which grinds out gold for the legendary Dan. king Fróði (SnE 1998, I, 51-8). Here, meldr refers to the product of grinding (‘meal, flour’), but more commonly means ‘the act of grinding’ in OIcel. (cf. SnSt Ht 43III; SnE 1998, I, 53, 57) and indeed the kenning often includes the name of one of the slave-women who did the grinding (e.g. meldr Fenju ‘Fenja’s flour’ in ESk Øxfl 6/6, 7III). Since the whole point of the story is that King Fróði had slaves to do his grinding, meldr must have the meaning ‘meal, flour’ here. This meaning is also found in the dialects of Faroe, Shetland and Orkney and it may be evidence of non-Icel. usage here. The more usual form of this kenning is mjǫl Fróða  ‘Fróði’s meal’ (e.g. Egill Hfl 17/8V).



case: gen.


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