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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 56VII/6 — brunni ‘the well’

Norðan sá ek ríða        niðja sonu
        ok váru sjau saman;
hornum fullum        drukku þeir inn hreina mjöð
        ór brunni Baugreyris.

Ek sá sonu niðja ríða norðan ok váru sjau saman; þeir drukku inn hreina mjöð ór brunni Baugreyris fullum hornum.

I saw the sons of the dark phases of the moon riding from the north, and they were seven together; they drank the pure mead from the well of Baugreyrir out of full horns.

readings

[6] brunni: brunn 214ˣ

notes

[6] brunni Baugreyris ‘from the well of Baugreyrir’: Falk (1914a, 36) and Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 53-4) connect the well with the well of Mímir in Vsp 28, but for Falk, as also for Paasche (1914b, 61 and 1948, 189-90), the well is the vitae fontes aquarum ‘the fountains of the waters of life’ of Rev. VII.17 and XXII.1, the fons misericordiae ‘the fountain of mercy’ of HómÍsl (1872, 76). Here the ring (baugr) symbolises God’s mercy. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 87) compares the heavenly brunnr lifanda vatns ‘the well of living water’ in Dugg (Cahill 1983, 85-7). 166bˣ’s baugreirs is understood here as the name Baugreyrir; 167b 6ˣ shows a similar form as do c. 18 other mss. Baugreyrir ‘ring-stirrer’, perhaps ‘generous lord’, parallels Óðre(y)rir ‘mind-stirrer’ in Hávm 140 and SnE (1998, I, 3-4), the name of the vat where the mead of poetry is stored. Alternatively, the original form may have been Baugrerir (cf. LP: Óðrørir). Thus the poet makes allusion to poetry, like the mead of Baugreyrir’s well, as a potent drink, which, though pagan in origin, is capable of being used for Christian purposes. Papp15ˣ’s equally plausible Baugrein, and 738ˣ’s Baugreyin, probably to be normalised to Baugreginn ‘ring-god, divine power’ (LP: baugreginn), is shared by 23 other mss and is adopted by Skj B, Skald, and most other eds. It may or may not be a pers. n.

grammar

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