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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 18I/4 — bliks ‘of the gleam’

Veitkat hitt, hvárt Heita
hungrdeyfi skalk leyfa
dynsæðinga dauðan
dýrbliks eða þó kvikvan,
alls sannliga segja
— sárr mun gramr at hvôru —
— hætts til hans at frétta —
hvárrtveggja mér seggir.

Veitkat hitt, hvárt skalk leyfa Heita dýrbliks dynsæðinga hungrdeyfi dauðan eða þó kvikvan, alls seggir segja mér hvárrtveggja sannliga; gramr mun sárr at hvôru; hætts at frétta til hans.

I do not know whether I am to praise the hunger-soother of the gulls of the din of the gleam of the beast of Heiti <sea-king> [(lit. ‘hunger-soother of the din-gulls of the beast-gleam of Heiti’) SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE > RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR] dead or, after all, alive, since men tell me both as the truth; the lord must be wounded either way; it is risky to enquire about him.

readings

[4] dýrbliks: dagbliks 22ˣmarg, F, dýrðlíks 61, 53, dýrligs 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb

notes

[1, 4] Heita dýrbliks ‘of the gleam of the beast of Heiti <sea-king> [(lit. ‘of the beast-gleam of Heiti’) SHIP > SHIELD]’: Alternatives (excluding FskAˣ’s ‘hætta’, which makes no sense in context) are the following. (a) Hreyti, dat. of hreytir ‘strewer’, could possibly form a man-kenning (hreyti dýrbliks ‘strewer of the precious gleam [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’), but the determinant, bliks, is only a half-kenning, and the other elements are left hanging. (b) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI 3) and Kock (NN §1085) suggest dýr- is the intensifying adj. ‘precious, splendid’, so ‘the splendid gleam of Heiti [SWORD/SHIELD]’, but this kenning lacks parallels. — [1, 2, 3, 4] Heita dýrbliks dynsæðinga hungrdeyfi ‘the hunger-soother of the gulls of the din of the gleam of the beast of Heiti <sea-king> [(lit. ‘hunger-soother of the din-gulls of the beast-gleam of Heiti’) SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE > RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR]’: This splendid, complex rekit ‘extended’ kenning is all the more striking in contrast to the formal simplicity of much of ErfÓl. Although it is structurally complex, its components are clearly linked by alliteration, enjambment and vertical placement (see Gade 1995a, 202-8, 216-17) and it conforms to well-established patterns. For comment on the constituent parts and variant readings, see following Notes. — [4] dýrbliks ‘of the gleam of the beast (lit. ‘of the beast-gleam’)’: The variants dýrðlíks/dýrligs ‘of the glorious’ attempt to simplify the main kenning by substituting an adj. for one of its elements. While both are syntactically possible, they are clearly secondary; dýrligs is also unmetrical. F’s dagbliks ‘of the day-gleam’ is difficult to make sense of.

kennings

grammar

case: gen.

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