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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 32III/3 — allvaldr ‘the mighty ruler’

Bragningr réð í branda regni
benja linn* til sára spenja;
allvaldr rauð, þars ýtar fellu,
unda naðr í hræva sundi.
Bitran spurðak bǫðvar Njǫrðum
brynju snák í hausum dynja;
reiða tóku ríkar þjóðir
randar orm at svarðar strǫndu.

Bragningr réð spenja linn* benja til sára í regni branda; allvaldr rauð naðr unda í sundi hræva, þars ýtar fellu. Spurðak bitran snák brynju dynja í hausum Njǫrðum bǫðvar; ríkar þjóðir tóku reiða orm randar at strǫndu svarðar.

The lord enticed the serpent of wounds [SWORD] to injuries in the rain of blades [BATTLE]; the mighty ruler reddened the adder of wounds [SWORD] in the sea of carrion [BLOOD] where men fell. I heard that the bitter snake of the byrnie [SWORD] crashed against the skulls of the Nirðir <gods> of battle [WARRIORS]; powerful people began to swing the reptile of the shield-rim [SWORD] towards the beach of the scalp [HEAD].


[3] allvaldr: ‘avalldur’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ


[3] allvaldr ‘the mighty ruler’: The mss read avalldur’, which cannot be construed to make any sense. The emendation, which follows all earlier eds, is secured by internal rhyme (all- : -ell-).



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