Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhelg Lv 4I/2 — varr ‘of the wake’

Vandfœrra es várrar
varrbliks fyr Stað miklu
— þreyk of aldr — til eyjar
aurborðs, an vas forðum.
Nús fyr hǫfn, þás hafna
hlyn* sævar mák æva,
Gunnr hvítinga, grjóti
geirþorps boða orpit.

Es miklu vandfœrra aurborðs fyr Stað til várrar eyjar varrbliks, an vas forðum; þreyk of aldr. Nús grjóti orpit fyr hǫfn boða geirþorps, þás mák æva hafna hlyn* sævar, Gunnr hvítinga.

It is much harder for the plank [ship] to pass in front of Stad to our [my] island of the wake-glitter [GOLD > WOMAN] than it was formerly; I yearn through my lifetime. Now rock is dumped in front of the harbour against the messenger of the spear-settlement [SHIELD > WARRIOR = Óláfr], when I can never beach the maple of the sea [SHIP], Gunnr <valkyrie> of drinking-horns [WOMAN].


[2] varr‑: ‘var‑’ Flat


[2, 3] eyjar varrbliks ‘island of the wake-glitter [GOLD > WOMAN]’: (a) Adopted here, following Kock (NN §597), is the minor emendation or normalisation of ms. ‘var’ to varr-, the combination form of vǫrr ‘wake of a ship, oar-stroke’, which is quite common in kennings (see LP: 2. vǫrr). (b) Finnur Jónsson appears to take the word as vǫr ‘landing-place, land’, forming a sea-kenning with aurborðs ‘ship’s plank’ (LP: 1. aurborð, ey, varblik), though this stanza is not cited in LP: 2. vǫr f. ‘landing-place’; see further Note to l. 4. 




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