Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjsk Hák 1I/5 — Óðni ‘to Óðinn’

Hôkun, vitum hvergi
(hafizk hefr runnr af gunni)
fremra jarl und ferli
(folk-Ránar) þér mána.
Þú hefr ǫðlinga Óðni
— etr hrafn af ná getnum —
— vesa mátt af því, vísi,
víðlendr — níu senda.

Hôkun, vitum hvergi jarl fremra þér und ferli mána; runnr folk-Ránar hefr hafizk af gunni. Þú hefr senda Óðni níu ǫðlinga; hrafn etr af getnum ná; vísi, mátt af því vesa víðlendr.

Hákon, we [I] do not know of a jarl anywhere more outstanding than you beneath the track of the moon [SKY]; the tree of the battle-Rán <goddess> [VALKYRIE > WARRIOR = Hákon] has made himself eminent by warfare. You have sent nine nobles to Óðinn; the raven eats from provided corpses; prince, because of that you can spread your dominion widely.


[5, 8] hefr senda Óðni ‘have sent to Óðinn’: That is, killed. It has been suggested (Falk 1889a; Liberman 1978), based on a reading of Hávm 144-5, that the verb senda ‘to send’ originally meant ‘to make a (human) sacrifice’. However, ‘to send to Óðinn’ is a common skaldic expression referring to the death of warriors in battle (cf. Glúmr Gráf 2/7-8, Tindr Hákdr 11/1-2 and the poems Anon Eirm and Eyv Hákm). It is difficult in this instance to gauge whether sending to Óðinn is to be taken literally or figuratively.



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