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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 12VIII/8 — Svölnis ‘of Svǫlnir’

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Hrunði dögg af sverðum
brún í Barðafirði
bleika* ná- fyrir -hauka.
Umði álmr, þá er oddar
allhratt slitu skyrtur
at slíðrloga sennu
Svölnis hamri þæfðar.
Rendi ormr til unda
eitrhvass drifinn sveita.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Brún dögg hrunði af sverðum fyrir bleika* náhauka í Barðafirði. Álmr umði, þá er oddar slitu allhratt hamri þæfðar skyrtur Svölnis at sennu slíðrloga. Eitrhvass ormr, drifinn sveita, rendi til unda.

We hewed with the sword. Brown dew <blood> splashed down from swords before pale corpse-hawks [RAVENS/EAGLES] in Barðafjǫrðr. The bow twanged when arrow-points tore very swiftly the hammer-struck shirts of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [MAIL-COATS] in the quarrel of sheath-flames [SWORDS > BATTLE]. The poison-sharp serpent <spear>, soaked in blood, forced its way into wounds.


[8] Svölnis hamri þæfðar (‘svelnís hamre þefdar’): ‘[…] þ[…]f(d)[…]’(?) 147, ‘Svelnis hanye þęfdar’ with ‘Svolnis hatti þæfdar W.’ in margin , ‘svolniz hatti þofdar’ R702ˣ, ‘svolnis hatte thoefdar’ LR, ‘Suolnis hatte þæfdar’ R693ˣ


[6, 8] hamri þæfðar skyrtur Svölnis ‘the hammer-struck shirts of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [MAIL-COATS]’: The parallel phrase hamri þœfðar ‘hammer-struck’ lit. ‘beaten with a hammer’ occurs in Hfr ErfÓl 9/9-10I, where it qualifies the kenning skyrtur hrings ‘shirts of the ring [MAIL-SHIRTS]’, while the kenning skyrtur Svölnis is paralleled in Hfr Hákdr 2/3III, where the kenning skyrtur Hamðis ‘Hamðir’s <legendary hero’s> shirts [MAIL-SHIRTS]’ occurs; cf. de Vries (1964-7, II, 40 n. 68). On the legendary figure of Hamðir, see Note to st. 17/9 below.




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