Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 71VII/7 — hôs ‘of the high’

Bœn hefk, þengill, þína,
þrekrammr, stoðat framla;
iflaust hǫfum jǫfri
unnit mærð, sem kunnum.
Ágætr, segið, ítran,
Eysteinn, hvé brag leystak
hôs elskið veg vísa
vagnræfrs — en ek þagna.

Þrekrammr þengill, hefk framla stoðat bœn þína; iflaust hǫfum unnit jǫfri mærð, sem kunnum. Ágætr Eysteinn, segið, hvé leystak ítran brag; elskið veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs; en ek þagna.

Courage-strong prince, I have excellently fulfilled your request; without a doubt we [I] have made praise to the king as we are [I am] able. Excellent Eysteinn, say how I have delivered the outstanding poem; love the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; and I fall silent.


[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.




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