Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 56VII/7 — dǫglings ‘ruler’

Ruddu gumnar gladdir
— gǫfugr þengill barg drengjum —
vagna borg, þars vargar
vápnsundrat hræ fundu.
Nennir ǫll at inna
øngr brimloga sløngvir
dǫglings verk, þess’s dýrkar,
dáðsnjalls, alla.

Gladdir gumnar ruddu borg vagna, þars vargar fundu vápnsundrat hræ; gǫfugr þengill barg drengjum. Øngr sløngvir brimloga nennir at inna ǫll verk dáðsnjalls dǫglings, þess’s dýrkar alla

The happy warriors cleared the fortress of wagons, where wolves found the weapon-torn carrion; the noble king saved men. No slinger of sea-fire [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] is minded to tell all the deeds of the quick-acting ruler, the one who glorifies the whole


[7, 8, 6] verk dáðsnjalls dǫglings slungins brimloga ‘the works of the quick-acting ruler of scattered sea-fire’: There are two reasons to be suspicious of this kenning; the first is that dǫglingr is never used as the base-word of a kenning for a secular ruler, only for God or Christ, and this is borne out by one other example in st. 5/7, and the second is that dǫglingr is not the right sort of base-word in a kenning for a generous ruler, which should belong to a category such as ‘distributor’, ‘spender’, ‘waster’ or similar.



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