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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 56 [Vol. 7, 335-6]

[6] brunni Baugreyris ‘from the well of Baugreyrir’: Falk (1914a, 36) and Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 53-4) connect the well with the well of Mímir in Vsp 28, but for Falk, as also for Paasche (1914b, 61 and 1948, 189-90), the well is the vitae fontes aquarum ‘the fountains of the waters of life’ of Rev. VII.17 and XXII.1, the fons misericordiae ‘the fountain of mercy’ of HómÍsl (1872, 76). Here the ring (baugr) symbolises God’s mercy. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 87) compares the heavenly brunnr lifanda vatns ‘the well of living water’ in Dugg (Cahill 1983, 85-7). 166bˣ’s baugreirs is understood here as the name Baugreyrir; 167b 6ˣ shows a similar form as do c. 18 other mss. Baugreyrir ‘ring-stirrer’, perhaps ‘generous lord’, parallels Óðre(y)rir ‘mind-stirrer’ in Hávm 140 and SnE (1998, I, 3-4), the name of the vat where the mead of poetry is stored. Alternatively, the original form may have been Baugrerir (cf. LP: Óðrørir). Thus the poet makes allusion to poetry, like the mead of Baugreyrir’s well, as a potent drink, which, though pagan in origin, is capable of being used for Christian purposes. Papp15ˣ’s equally plausible Baugrein, and 738ˣ’s Baugreyin, probably to be normalised to Baugreginn ‘ring-god, divine power’ (LP: baugreginn), is shared by 23 other mss and is adopted by Skj B, Skald, and most other eds. It may or may not be a pers. n.

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