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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 8I/3 — valla ‘vellir’

Bôrum, Ullr, of alla,
ímunlauks, á hauka
fjǫllum Fýrisvalla
fræ Hôkunar ævi.
Nú hefr folkstríðir Fróða
fáglýjaðra þýja
meldr í móður holdi
mellu dolgs of folginn.

Bôrum fræ Fýrisvalla á fjǫllum hauka of alla ævi Hôkunar, Ullr ímunlauks. Nú hefr folkstríðir of folginn meldr fáglýjaðra þýja Fróða í holdi móður dolgs mellu.

We bore the seed of Fýrisvellir [GOLD] on the mountains of hawks [HANDS] during the whole of Hákon’s lifetime, Ullr <god> of the battle-leek [SWORD > WARRIOR]. Now the afflicter of the people [= Haraldr] has hidden the flour of the little-satisfied bondswomen of Fróði <legendary king> [= Fenja and Menja > GOLD] in the flesh of the mother of the enemy of the giantess [= Þórr > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)].


[3] ‑valla: vallar F, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, U(43v)


[3-4] fræ Fýrisvalla ‘the seed of Fýrisvellir [GOLD]’: The legendary Hrólfr kraki, king of Denmark, is said to have scattered gold rings and treasure on the plains of Fýrisvellir in order to distract the Swedish king Aðils (cf. Þjóð Yt 16/2) and his army, and delay their pursuit of him (SnE 1998, I, 59; Yng, ÍF 26, 57; Hrólfs saga kraka, Hrólf 1960, 105). For this reason he is spoken of as ‘sowing gold’. See Meissner 228 for further kennings alluding to this legend. Concomitantly, the base-word ‘seed’ may hint at an underlying theme of the fertility of the land and at the traditional connection of fertility with good rule. The theme of the land is maintained by the choice of the (contrasting) kenning base-words in l. 3: valla, from vellir ‘plains’, and fjǫllum, from fjǫll ‘mountains’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV).




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