Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þhorn Gldr 6I/4 — varðr ‘protected’

Grennir þrǫng at gunni
gunnmôs fyr haf sunnan
(sá vas gramr) ok gumnum
(goðvarðr) und sik jǫrðu.
Ok hjalmtamiðr hilmir
holmreyðar lét olman
lindihjǫrt fyr landi
lundprúðr við stik bundinn.

Grennir gunnmôs þrǫng jǫrðu ok gumnum und sik at gunni fyr sunnan haf; sá gramr vas goðvarðr. Ok lundprúðr holmreyðar hjalmtamiðr hilmir lét olman lindihjǫrt bundinn við stik fyr landi.

The feeder of the battle-gull [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] forced the land and people under himself in battle south across the sea; that ruler was god-protected. And the splendid-minded ruler, used to the helmet of the island-salmon [SNAKE], had the fierce mast-hart [SHIP] moored to a stake before the shore.


[4] ‑varðr: ‑vǫrðr F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ


[4] goðvarðr ‘god-protected’: (a) This edn follows the main ms. , as do Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 42-3), Kock (NN §3204 and Skald), ÍF 26, and Hkr 1991; see also Fidjestøl (1991, 117). Protection and determination of a ruler’s fate by the gods are common themes in connection with the house of the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade): see Eskál Vell 8/2, 14/7, 31/5-8, and Note to Edáð Banddr 9/1, and the same adj. occurs in Edáð Banddr 5/8, 8/8 goðvǫrðu hjarli ‘god-defended land’. The present passage is unique in ascribing a religious dimension to the rule of the Yngling dynasty to which Haraldr hárfagri belonged (Marold 1987, 70; Fidjestøl 1991, 117). (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 75-6; Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) emends to geðharðr ‘harsh-minded’ here, followed by Eggert Ó. Brím (ÓT 1892, 347) and Holtsmark (1927, 37). Only the first element has any ms. support (in F’s geðvǫrðr), however, and emendation is unjustified.



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