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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 16VIII/9 — Veðrar ‘Water’

Anon Krm 16VIII

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Hverr lá þverr um annan;
glaðr varð geira hríðar
gaukr at sverða leiki.
Lét ei örn né ylgi,
sá er Írlandi stýrði,
— mót varð málms ok rítar —
Marstan konungr fasta.
Varð í Veðrarfirði
valtafn gefit hrafni.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Hverr lá þverr um annan; gaukr hríðar geira varð glaðr at leiki sverða. Marstan konungr, sá er stýrði Írlandi, lét ei ǫrn né ylgi fasta; varð mót málms ok rítar. Valtafn varð gefit hrafni í Veðrarfirði.

We hewed with the sword. Each man lay athwart another; the cuckoo of the storm of spears [BATTLE > RAVEN/EAGLE] became happy in the game of swords [BATTLE]. King Marstan, who ruled over Ireland, did not allow eagle or she-wolf to fast; a meeting of metal and shield came about. Corpse-prey was given to the raven in Waterford.


[9] Veðrar‑ (‘vedrar’): Veðra LR, R693ˣ,


[9] í Veðrarfirði ‘in Waterford’: The reference is to the Norse town, now the city of Waterford, that developed from a mid-C9th fortified landing place (OIr. longphort) near the mouth of the river Suir in south-east Ireland (cf. Haywood 2000, 204). Oftedal (1976, 133) explains the name Waterford as originally either ON Veðra(r)fjǫrðr ‘ram fjord’, with its first element understood as either gen. sg. (veðrar) or gen. pl. (veðra) of veðr ‘wether, ram’, or ON Veðrafjǫrðr ‘windy fjord’ with its first element understood as gen. pl. (veðra) of veðr ‘weather, wind’. The ms. readings above seem to allow for either possibility; previous eds, from Rafn (1826) to Finnur Jónsson (1893b) inclusive, read Veðra-; the present ed. follows Finnur Jónsson (1905; Skj B), as well as Skald, in reading Veðrar-. Rǫgnvaldr/Rægnald, possibly a grandson of Imhar of Dublin (the latter a likely prototype of Ragnarr loðbrók’s son Ívarr), took Waterford in 917 before departing for England the following year and establishing himself as king in York in 919 (see Note to st. 15/6 above, and Downham 2007, 31-2, 91-5).



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