Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kolb Jónv 4VII/3 — meðan ‘as long as’

Kœnn, lé*zt þú hag hreinnar
hǫfðingi, drótningar,
hafs meðan hyrþǫll lifði,
hugat blíðliga síðan.
Þér var hón, sem hárar
hildingr skipa vildi
(ykr lofar) éla þekju,
(ǫll þjóð) í stað móður.

Kœnn hǫfðingi, þú lé*zt hag hreinnar drótningar hugat blíðliga síðan, meðan hafs hyrþǫll lifði. Hón var í stað móður þér, sem hildingr hárar þekju éla vildi skipa; ǫll þjóð lofar ykr.

Wise chieftain, you let the circumstances of the pure queen be attended to kindly thereafter, as long as the fir sapling of the fire of the sea [(lit. ‘sea’s fire-fir sapling’) GOLD > WOMAN = Mary] lived. She was in the position of a mother to you, as the warlord of the high thatch of snowstorms [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] wanted it arranged; all people praise you.


[3] meðan hafs hyr þǫll lifði ‘as long as the fir-sapling of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN = Mary] lived’: The first element of the cpd hyrþǫll (hyrr ‘fire’) is the base-word of a kenning for GOLD: hyrr ... hafs ‘fire of the sea’; this kenning for GOLD is the determinant of a kenning for WOMAN whose base-word is þǫllr ‘fir-sapling, young fir’, the second element of the cpd hyrþǫll: hafs hyrþǫll ‘fir-sapling of the sea’, ‘one who distributes gold’ [GOLD > WOMAN], the whole of this inverted kenning referring to the Virgin Mary.



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