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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÚlfrU Húsdr 7III/4 — byrsta ‘bristled’

Ríðr á bǫrg til borgar
bǫðfróðr sonar Óðins
Freyr ok folkum stýrir
fyrst inum golli byrsta.

Bǫðfróðr Freyr ríðr fyrst til borgar sonar Óðins á inum golli byrsta bǫrg ok stýrir folkum.

Battle-skilled Freyr <god> rides first to the funeral pyre of the son of Óðinn <god> [= Baldr] on the boar bristled with gold and leads the troops.


[4] byrsta (‘bysta’): so U, byrstum all others


[1, 4] ríðr … á inum golli byrsta bǫrg ‘rides … on the boar bristled with gold’: A boar called Gullinbusti (Gullinbursti in W) ‘Gold-bristle’ or Slíðrugtanni ‘Ugly-tooth’ is mentioned in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 18-19) as an attribute of the god Freyr; cf. Hyndl 5, 7 and 45 where Freyr’s sister Freyja rides on a boar. In Gylf’s (SnE 2005, 47) description of Baldr’s funeral, however, Freyr rides in a chariot pulled by a boar: Freyr ók í kerru með gelti þeim er Gullinbursti heitir eða Slíðrugtanni ‘Freyr drove in a chariot with the boar called Gullinbursti or Slíðrugtanni’. — [4] inum golli byrsta ‘bristled with gold’: Mss R, , W have ok golli byrstum, whereas U has inum golli bysta (‘bysta’ is the result of assimilation of -rst to -st, ANG §270.3). Since ok golli byrstum cannot be integrated in the syntax of the helmingr, the version of U has been adopted here.



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