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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gestumbl Heiðr 19VIII (Heiðr 66)/3 — vápnlausar ‘weaponless’

Hverjar eru þær drósir,         er um dróttin sinn
        vápnlausar vega?
Inar jarpari         hlífa um alla daga,
        en inar fegri fara.
Heiðrekr konungr,         hyggðu at gátu.

Hverjar eru þær drósir, er vega vápnlausar um dróttin sinn? Inar jarpari hlífa um alla daga, en inar fegri fara. Heiðrekr konungr, hyggðu at gátu.

Who are those girls, who fight weaponless around their lord? The darker ones protect [him] during all the days, but the fairer ones go forth [to attack]. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.


[3] vápnlausar: so 281ˣ, 597bˣ, R715ˣ, vápnlausan 2845


[3] vápnlausar ‘weaponless’: The main ms., 2845, reads vápnlausan m. acc. sg., agreeing with dróttin, meaning it is the lord who is weaponless. The other mss agree on the f. nom. pl. form, however, supported by the solution in the H redaction, and this is also culturally more plausible, since women did not normally carry weapons while a lord normally would.



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