Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heildr 13VII/3 — hægri ‘of the right’

Þinn er, salkonungs sólar,
sjauskiptr frami gipta,
(vandask) hægri handar
hreinn fingr (bragar greinir).
Prýðir rausnar ræður,
ríkr andi, þér líkaz;
fyrirtígnari, fegra*,
föður, kverkr meginverkum.

Hreinn fingr hægri handar sólar salkonungs, þinn frami gipta er sjauskiptr; bragar greinir vandask. Ríkr andi, prýðir ræður rausnar; fyrirtígnari föður, líkaz þér fegra* kverkr meginverkum.

Pure finger of the right hand of the king of the hall of the sun [(lit. ‘the sun’s hall-king’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God], your distinction of grace [lit. good fortunes] is sevenfold; the poem’s branches are elaborately crafted. Powerful spirit, you adorn speeches of magnificence; proclaiming messenger of the Father, it pleases you to beautify throats with mighty works.


[1, 3, 4] hreinn fingr hægri handar sólar salkonungs ‘pure finger of the right hand of the king of the hall of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to salkonungr ‘hall-king’ (nom. sg.) (l. 1), taking the st. as an apostrophe to the first person of the Trinity. He construes Sólar salkonungr, þinn hreinn fingr hægri handar er frami gipta sjauskiptr ‘King of the hall of the sun, the pure finger of your right hand is the sevenfold distinction of good fortunes’. The Lat. here, as elsewhere, is vocative, and B’s text can be retained as a straightforward calque on dextrae Dei tu digitus. The God-kenning salkonungr sólar ‘king of the hall of the sun’ recurs in Leið 25/7, and is probably modelled on salkonungr himna ‘king of the hall of the heavens’ in Geisl 66/6 (see Note on Leið 13/5-8).



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