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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 3I/4 — tangar ‘of the tongs’

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.

readings

[4] tangar: ‘tangri’ 54, tangi Bb

notes

[3-4] tungl tangar tingla ‘moons of the tongs of prow-boards [SHIELDS]’: This is clearly a shield-kenning, but the exact meaning of tǫng tingla ‘the tongs of prow-boards’ is debated. Tingl ‘prow-boards’ were two boards at the prow of a ship, which could be engraved or decorated (see Gsind Hákdr 2/3, Jór Send 4/3, Note to Þhorn Harkv 7/8 and Jesch 2001a, 148-9). The ‘tongs’ of these plates could have been the wooden pieces that surrounded the prow-boards (see Falk 1912, 43-4; Jesch 2001a, 148). The rhyming and alliterating words tungl and tingl are also found in Jór Send 4/3.

kennings

grammar

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