skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 3I/2 — dreyra ‘of gore’

Fjǫrð kom heldr í harða
— hnitu reyr saman dreyra;
tungl skôrusk þá tingla
tangar — Ormr inn langi,
þás borðmikinn Barða
brynflagðs Reginn lagði
— jarl vann hjalms at holmi
hríð — við Fáfnis síðu.

Fjǫrð kom Ormr inn langi í heldr harða — reyr dreyra hnitu saman; tungl tangar tingla skôrusk þá —, þás Reginn brynflagðs lagði borðmikinn Barða við síðu Fáfnis; jarl vann hríð hjalms at holmi.

Last year Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’) underwent a rather harsh [trial] — reeds of gore [SWORDS] crashed together; moons of the tongs of prow-boards [SHIELDS] were cut then —, when the Reginn <dwarf> of the byrnie-troll-woman [AXE > WARRIOR = Eiríkr] brought the high-sided Barði (‘Prow’) alongside Fáfnir; the jarl fought a storm of the helmet [BATTLE] near the island.

notes

[2] reyr dreyra ‘reeds of gore [SWORDS]’: Taken here as a kenning for ‘swords’ with reyr (n. nom. pl.) ‘reeds’ as the base-word (so also LP: 1. reyr and ÍF 29, and cf. KormǪ Lv 50/6V (Korm 71); ÍF 26 translates it as vopn ‘weapons’). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) gives the referent pilene ‘the arrows’, which is also possible, but the prose of Hkr specifies that the battle was a hǫggorrosta lit. ‘blow-battle’, i.e. hand to hand fighting with swords, axes and halberds.

kennings

grammar

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