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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 10I/8 — Hôars ‘of Hárr’

Rignði hjǫrs á hersa
hríðremmis fjǫr víða
— þrimlundr of jók Þundi
þegns gnótt — méilregni.
Ok hald-Viðurr haulda
haffaxa lét vaxa
Laufa veðr at lífi
lífkǫld Hôars drífu.

Méilregni hjǫrs hríðremmis rignði víða á fjǫr hersa; þrimlundr of jók Þundi gnótt þegns. Ok hald-Viðurr haffaxa lét lífkǫld veðr Laufa vaxa at lífi haulda drífu Hôars.

The arrow-rain [BATTLE] of the strengthener of the storm of the sword [(lit. ‘storm-strengthener of the sword’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] rained widely on the life of the hersar; the battle-minded one increased the abundance of retainers for Þundr <= Óðinn>. And the steering Viðurr <= Óðinn> of sea-horses [SHIPS > SEAFARER] let the life-cold storms of Laufi <sword> [BATTLES] grow against the life of men in the snow-storm of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE].


[8] Hôars: ‘harlldz’ 325IX 1 a, Haralds Bb


[8] drífu Hôars ‘in the snow-storm of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: Drífu can be acc., gen. or dat., and previous eds have construed the phrase in various ways. (a) It is understood here and in most eds as being a dat. of location, with the sense ‘in battle’. (b) If the battle is thought of as an equivalent to a period of time, drífu could be a temporal acc., hence ‘at/throughout the battle’ (cf. NS §98). (c) Fms 12 combined hǫlða and drífu Hôars into a kenning, ‘the men of the snow-storm of Hárr [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but hǫlðar cannot form a kenning with drífu Hôars because it is an independent term (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 112). (d) Konráð’s own suggestion of combining drífu Hôars with haffaxa ‘of sea-horses [SHIPS]’ to form a kenning for ‘battle at sea’ is unconvincing. (e) Kock (NN §2241) takes drífu Hôars in apposition to veðr Laufa ‘the weather of Laufi <sword> [BATTLE]’, but apposition involving kennings is rare at best.




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