skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gsind Hákdr 1I/4 — vífs ‘of the woman’

Bifrauknum trað bekkjar
blárǫst konungr ôrum;
mætr hlóð mildingr Jótum
Mistar vífs í drífu.
Svangœðir rak síðan
sótt Jalfaðar flótta
— hrót Giljaðar hylja —
hrafnvíns at mun sínum.

Konungr trað blárǫst bifrauknum bekkjar ôrum; mætr mildingr hlóð Jótum í drífu vífs Mistar. Hrafnvíns svangœðir rak síðan flótta sótt Jalfaðar at mun sínum; hrót Giljaðar hylja.

The king trod the blue trail [sea] in shuddering draught animals of the rowing-bench [SHIPS] with oars; the excellent generous one heaped up the Jótar in the snow-storm of the woman of Mist <valkyrie> [VALKYRIE > BATTLE]. The benefactor of the swan of raven-wine [(lit. ‘swan-benefactor of raven-wine’) BLOOD > RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] then pursued those who fled with the illness of Jǫlfuðr <= Óðinn> [SPEAR] at his pleasure; the roofs of Giljaðr <= Óðinn> [SHIELDS] conceal [them].

notes

[4] drífu vífs Mistar ‘the snow-storm of the woman of Mist <valkyrie> [VALKYRIE > BATTLE]’: (a) The majority of eds interpret the phrase in this way. Here is it assumed that a ‘woman of Mist’ is one of this valkyrie’s entourage; cf. HHund II 7/4 systir Gunnar ‘sisters of Gunnr [VALKYRIES]’ (NK 152), and other redundant relationship terms in kennings, e.g. Anon Liðs 5/1, 4 hlýri ara ‘eagle’s brother [EAGLE]’. (b) Alternatively, mist could be a noun for ‘battle’ (as in Tindr Lv 2/7V (Heið 15)), its ‘woman’ a ‘valkyrie’ and the ‘snow-storm’ of the valkyrie again ‘battle’ (so Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: Mist; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). (c) Kock (NN §1929) emends vífs to knífs, to obtain a kenning drífu knífs Mistar ‘snow-storm of the knife of Mist <valkyrie> [SWORD > BATTLE]’, but emendation is not necessary.

kennings

grammar

case: gen.
number: sg.

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