skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Lv 6II/7 — breiðr ‘the broad’

Hola bôru rístr hlýrum
hreystisprund at sundi
(blæss élreki of ási)
Útsteins (vefi þrútna).
Varla heldr und vildra
víkmarr á jarðríki
breiðr viðr brimsgang súðum
barmr — lyptingar farmi.

Hreystisprund rístr hola bôru hlýrum at sundi Útsteins; élreki blæss þrútna vefi of ási. Varla heldr víkmarr á jarðríki und vildra farmi lyptingar; breiðr barmr viðr brimsgang súðum.

The spirited woman carves the hollow billow with the bow toward the straits of Utsteinen; the storm-chaser [WIND] fills the swollen sails above the sprit. There is hardly another bay-steed [SHIP] on earth that sails beneath a more precious burden of the deck; the broad rim gains surf-speed for the ship-boards.

notes

[7, 8] breiðr barmr ‘the broad rim’: I.e. the upper strakes in the ship-side, but cf. ModIcel. barmur ‘bosom’, ModNorw. barm ‘breast’ (see AEW: barmr 1). It is tempting to take this wording as an intended pun on the physical attributes of the ‘precious burden’ of the ship. See such fem. nicknames as knarrarbringaknǫrr-breasted’, i.e. ‘with breasts like the prow of a ship’ (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 214-15). However, barmr is not attested in the meaning ‘bosom, breast’ until after the Reformation (see Jesch 2001a, 141 n. 43). See also Note to Bǫlv Hardr 2/8.

grammar

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