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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞHjalt Lv 1I/5 — drauga ‘the logs’

Fari* til Fýrisvallar,
folka tungls, hverrs hungrar,
vǫrðr, at virkis garði
vestr kveldriðu hesta.
Þar hefr hreggdrauga hǫggvit
— hóll*aust es þat — sólar
elfar skíðs fyr ulfa
Eirekr í dyn geira.

Vǫrðr tungls folka, fari* hverr hesta kveldriðu, [e]s hungrar, vestr til Fýrisvallar at garði virkis. Þar hefr Eirekr hǫggvit elfar skíðs sólar hreggdrauga fyr ulfa í dyn geira; þat es hóll*aust.

Guardian of the sun of battles [SWORD > WARRIOR], let every one of the horses of the evening-rider [TROLL-WOMAN > WOLVES] who is hungry go west to Fýrisvǫllr, to the enclosure of the stronghold. There Eiríkr has cut down the logs of the storm of the sun of the ski of the river [(lit. ‘storm-logs of the sun of the ski of the river’) SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIORS] before wolves in the tumult of spears [BATTLE]; that is without exaggeration.


[5] ‑drauga: dǫggvar Flat


[5] hreggdrauga ‘the logs of the storm’: (a) The solution adopted here (that of Skj B) involves two emendations, but a postulated original drauga could have been corrupted to dǫggvar under the influence of hǫggvit, and a postulated skíðs corrupted to skins ‘shining’ under the (semantic) influence of sól ‘sun’; and the other options are not unproblematic. Emended drauga forms the base of a warrior-kenning, as commonly, though the meaning of draugr has been disputed. It is either a log, tree-stump (so Orms Eddu-Brot, in SnE 1848-87, II, 497; LP: 2. draugr) or else a supernatural being, a revenant of a very palpable kind (so Meissner 264-5, following Neckel; LP: 1. draugr). ‘Log’ is preferred here, since it fits well with hǫggvit ‘cut down’ (l. 5); the verb hǫggva is also used of felling timber. (b) Ms. hreggdǫggvar ‘storm-dews’ could be retained (as by Kock in Skald and NN §3102), yielding a clause in which Eiríkr has cut down blood (hreggdǫggvar sólar skins elfar ‘the dew of the storm (lit. storm-dew) of the sun of the gleam of the river [GOLD > SHIELD > BATTLE > BLOOD]’. But the idea of blood being ‘cut down’ or ‘hewn’ (hǫggvit) is unconvincing, as is Kock’s ‘sun of gold’ (jyllene solen) for ‘shield’.



case: acc.
number: pl.


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