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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 10I/4 — megin ‘of the mighty’

Sukku niðr af Naðri
naddfárs í bǫð sárir
baugs — gerðut við vægjask —
verkendr meginserkjar.
Vanr mun Ormr, þótt Ormi
alldýrr konungr stýri,
hvars skríðr með lið lýða,
lengi slíkra drengja.

Sárir verkendr meginserkjar baugs naddfárs sukku niðr af Naðri í bǫð; gerðut vægjask við. Ormr mun lengi vanr slíkra drengja, hvars skríðr með lið lýða, þótt alldýrr konungr stýri Ormi.

Wounded workers of the mighty shirt of the ring of point-harm [BATTLE > SHIELD > MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS] sank down off Naðr (‘Adder’) in battle; they did not yield. Ormr (‘Serpent’) will long lack such warriors, wherever it glides with a company of men, though a very eminent king may command Ormr.


[4] megin: so , F, 325VIII 1, Heðins FskAˣ, Holm18, 310, 4‑7, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, Flat, ‘hendiss’ 54, Bb


[4] megin- ‘mighty’: (a) This, the reading of some Hkr mss, provides the best solution to the helmingr’s excess of nominal elements and is adopted here, although, since Heðins is shared by all other ms. groupings, megin may be suspected to be a post-compositional lectio facilior. (b) Another interpretation involving megin yields verkendr meginserkjar baugs ‘workers of the mighty shirt of the ring [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, but this leaves naddfárs to be accounted for, and the solutions mentioned in the Note to l. 2. are not wholly satisfactory. (c) The majority reading Heðins may be influenced by the occurrence of the name in sts 12/4 (see Note) and 24/3, 4. If correct, it could be accommodated by reading verkendr baugs serkjar Heðins ‘workers of the snake of the shirt of Heðinn <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRT > SWORD > WARRIORS]’, following a tentative suggestion by Ólafur Halldórsson in ÍF 25. Baugr m., normally ‘ring’, could be taken to mean ‘snake, coiling creature’ on the basis of its appearance in snake-kennings of the pattern ‘baugr of the earth’ (LP: baugr 1). (d) See SHI for a different interpretation.




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