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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 2I/5 — hreina ‘the reindeer’

Eyna fór ok einu
(unnviggs) konungr sunnan
(sverð rauð mætr at morði
meiðr) sjau tøgum skeiða,
þás húnlagar hreina
hafði jarl of krafða
— sætt gekk seggja ættar
sundr — Skônunga fundar.

Konungr Eyna fór sunnan sjau tøgum skeiða ok einu — mætr meiðr unnviggs rauð sverð at morði —, þás jarl hafði of krafða hreina húnlagar fundar Skônunga; sætt ættar seggja gekk sundr.

The king of the Eynir [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] went from the south with seventy-one warships — the splendid tree of the wave-steed [SHIP > SEAFARER] reddened the sword at the battle —, when the jarl [Eiríkr] had summoned the reindeer of the mast-top-liquid [SEA > SHIPS] to a meeting with the Skánungar; the peace of the kin of men was sundered.


[5] hreina: hônum FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ, FskAˣ, 310


[5] hreina húnlagar ‘the reindeer of the mast-top-liquid [SEA > SHIPS]’: (a) The sea-kenning húnlagar ‘of the mast-top-liquid’ is somewhat awkward, because lǫgr (gen. lagar) in itself means ‘sea’, but it can also mean ‘liquid, fluid’ (see NN §556 and Heggstad et al. 2008: lǫgr 3) and is taken in that sense here. For húnn ‘mast-top’, see Note to Þul Skipa 7/1III and Jesch (2001a, 160). (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) splits up the compound húnlagar and renders the full kenning as lagar húnhreina (i.e. húnhreina lagar ‘mast-top-reindeer of the sea [SHIPS]’). Such a tmesis is unprecedented in the corpus of Old Norse poetry.



case: acc.
number: pl.


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