Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 3II/7 — hagl ‘the hail’

Dolgljóss, hefir dási
darrlatr staðit fjarri
endr, þás elju Rindar
ómynda tók skyndir.
Vasat Afríka jǫfri
Ánars mey fyr hônum
haglfaldinni at halda
hlýðisamt né lýðum.

Darrlatr dási hefir endr staðit fjarri, þás skyndir dolgljóss tók ómynda elju Rindar. Vasat hlýðisamt jǫfri Afríka né lýðum at halda haglfaldinni mey Ánars fyr hônum.

The spear-lazy sluggard stood far away at that time, when the speeder of battle-light [SWORD > WARRIOR] seized the rival of Rindr <giantess> lacking bride-payment [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]. It was not possible for the prince of Africans or his people to hold the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr <dwarf> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] against him.


[7] hagl‑: hag‑ H, Hr


[7] haglfaldinni ‘the hail-coifed’: The personification of ‘earth, territory’ is reinforced by the idea that she wears a headdress, but the reference to territory is strengthened by the idea that the headdress is of hail. Most eds have adopted this reading. The variant hag-, giving ‘neatly coifed’, is also possible; compare Loki disguised as a bride by having a headdress set hagliga ‘neatly, deftly’ on his head (Þry 16, 19, NK 113). Kock preferred this reading on grounds that hagl- ‘hail’ is less appropriate in (what he took as) a reference to Africa (Skald; Kock and Meissner 1931, II, 64). There is no satisfactory Engl. equivalent for faldr m., a high headdress worn by women, and the derived verb falda, p. p. faldinn.




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