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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 7I/3 — vápn ‘weapon’

Varð Hôkun
Hǫgna meyjar
viðr vápnberr,
es vega skyldi,
ok sinn aldr
í odda gný
Freys ôttungr
á Fjǫlum lagði.

Hôkun, viðr meyjar Hǫgna, varð vápnberr, es skyldi vega, ok ôttungr Freys lagði aldr sinn í gný odda á Fjǫlum.

Hákon, tree of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > WARRIOR], became weapon-bare when he had to fight, and the kinsman of Freyr <god> [= Hákon] laid down his life in the din of points [BATTLE] at Fjaler.

notes

[3] vápnberr ‘weapon-bare’: Presumably this means ‘bare of, i.e. lacking, a weapon’, though an alternative might be ‘bare/exposed before the weapons [of his enemies]’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: vápnberr; ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991). Finnur Jónsson interprets this as våbnbidt ‘weapon-bitten’ in Skj B, but without justification. The cpd is a hap. leg., which together with the reference to Freyr in l. 7 makes it conceivable that there is an allusion to Freyr’s lacking his sword in the fight against Beli (cf. Note to st. 3/3) and at Ragnarǫk, caused by his lending it to Skírnir to assist in the wooing of Gerðr (SnE 2005, 31-2; Simek 1993, 91). Hákon’s lack of a weapon is not explained in the stanza or the prose.

grammar

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