Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 10I/2 — Fáfnir ‘Fáfnir’

Loftungu gaft lengi
látr, þats Fáfnir átti;
þú lézt mér, inn mæri,
merkr fránǫluns vánir.
Verðr emk, varga myrðir
víðlendr, frá þér (síðan
eða heldr of sæ sjaldan)
slíks réttar (skalk vætta).

Lengi gaft Loftungu látr, þats Fáfnir átti; þú, inn mæri, lézt mér vánir merkr fránǫluns. Emk verðr slíks réttar frá þér, víðlendr myrðir varga, eða heldr skalk sjaldan síðan vætta of sæ.

For long you gave Loftunga (‘Praise-tongue’) the lair that Fáfnir owned [gold]; you, famous one, have granted me hopes of the forest of the flashing fish [SERPENT > GOLD]. I am worthy of the same due from you, broad-landed destroyer of outlaws [RULER = Knútr], or instead I shall seldom afterwards hope [to come] over the sea.


[2] Fáfnir: ‘faðneri’ DG8


[2] látr, þats Fáfnir átti ‘the lair that Fáfnir owned [gold]’: The rel. clause functions like the determinant in a kenning, and the expression is semantically comparable to gold-kennings such as látr sváfnis ‘serpent’s lair’ (Grett Lv 31/7V (Gr 63)). The reference is to the dragon Fáfnir in the legend of Sigurðr, with resonances of broader superstitions about gold-hoards guarded by dragons; for Fáfnir see Þorf Lv 1 and Note to [All] ad loc.



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