Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 7I/1 — hræs ‘of the corpse’

Gullu hræs haukar;
hvassir benlaukar
skýfðu liðs leggi;
lamði grjót seggi.
Gnustu gráir malmar
— gengu í sundr hjalmar —
— hauks vasat friðr fjǫllum —
í fjǫrnis stǫllum.

Haukar hræs gullu; hvassir benlaukar skýfðu leggi liðs; grjót lamði seggi. Gráir malmar gnustu í stǫllum fjǫrnis; hjalmar gengu í sundr; friðr vasat fjǫllum hauks.

The hawks of the corpse [RAVENS/EAGLES] screamed; sharp wound-leeks [SWORDS] slashed the limbs of the troop; stones beat men. Grey metal weapons crashed on the supports of the helmet [HEADS]; helmets burst apart; there was no peace for the mountains of the hawk [ARMS].


[1] hræs: hregg‑ 53, 54, Bb


[1] haukar hræs ‘the hawks of the corpse [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: This is a common pattern of kenning for a bird of battle. The cpd hregghaukar ‘storm-hawks’ in 53, 54, Bb could stand if hregg ‘storm’ is taken, unusually, as a heiti for ‘battle’ (cf. Note to Jǫk Lv 1/3) and the referent thereby as ravens or eagles.




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