skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Lv 1I/7 — benja ‘wounds’

Vel hefr hefnt, en hafna
hjǫrs berdraugar fjǫrvi,
— folkrakkr, of vannt, fylkir,
framligt — Haraldr Gamla,
es dǫkkvalir drekka
dolgbands fyr ver handan
— roðin frák rauðra benja
reyr — Hôkunar dreyra.

Haraldr hefr vel hefnt Gamla, en berdraugar hjǫrs hafna fjǫrvi — folkrakkr fylkir, of vannt framligt —, es dǫkkvalir dolgbands drekka dreyra Hôkunar fyr handan ver; frák reyr rauðra benja roðin.

Haraldr has avenged Gamli well, and the bare logs of the sword [WARRIORS] give up life — battle-bold leader, you fought outstandingly —, when the dark falcons of the battle-god [= Óðinn > RAVENS] drink Hákon’s blood across the sea; I have heard that reeds of red wounds [SPEARS] were reddened.

readings

[7] benja: beina Bb

notes

[7] rauðra benja ‘of red wounds’: Rauðra benja is the order in all mss, and it is retained here, as in ÍF 26 and ÍF 29, but it produces a metrical fault since rauð-, forming the skothending with roð-, should fall on the penultimate syllable. Skj B and Skald reverse the two words, but as well as being an emendation this goes against the expected placing of alliteration on the first element in the noun phrase. — [7-8] reyr rauðra benja ‘reeds of red wounds [SPEARS]’: Reyr(r) ‘reed’ can also occur as the base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152). Both reyr n. ‘reed’ and reyrr m. ‘reed’ exist. The word is qualified by the adjectival p. p. roðin(n) ‘reddened’, and the n. nom. pl. form roðin in most mss points to n. pl. reyr here, while m. nom. sg. roðinn in J2ˣ and FskAˣ would point to m. sg. reyrr.

kennings

grammar

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