skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 16VII/4 — látrs ‘of the lair’

Ok hagliga hugðisk
hrøkkviseiðs ins døkkva
lyngs í lopt upp ganga
látrs stríðandi síðan.
Lét, sás landfolks gætir,
líknframr himinríki
umgeypnandi opnask
alls heims fyr gram snjǫllum.

Ok stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs hugðisk síðan ganga hagliga upp í lopt. Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims, sás gætir landfolks, lét himinríki opnask fyr snjǫllum gram.

And the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] thought then that he went easily up into the air. The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world [= God], who watches over the people of the country, caused the kingdom of heaven to open before the clever king.

readings

[4] látrs: látr Bb

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

kennings

grammar

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