Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kolb Jónv 4VII/5 — hárar ‘of the high’

Kœnn, lé*zt þú hag hreinnar
hǫfðingi, drótningar,
hafs meðan hyrþǫll lifði,
hugat blíðliga síðan.
Þér var hón, sem hárar
hildingr skipa vildi
(ykr lofar) éla þekju,
(ǫll þjóð) í stað móður.

Kœnn hǫfðingi, þú lé*zt hag hreinnar drótningar hugat blíðliga síðan, meðan hafs hyrþǫll lifði. Hón var í stað móður þér, sem hildingr hárar þekju éla vildi skipa; ǫll þjóð lofar ykr.

Wise chieftain, you let the circumstances of the pure queen be attended to kindly thereafter, as long as the fir sapling of the fire of the sea [(lit. ‘sea’s fire-fir sapling’) GOLD > WOMAN = Mary] lived. She was in the position of a mother to you, as the warlord of the high thatch of snowstorms [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] wanted it arranged; all people praise you.


[5, 6, 7] hildingr hárar þekju éla ‘{the warlord {of the high thatch of snow-storms}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = Christ]’: The ms. reading is ‘harar’, which could be normalised to harrar (nom. pl. of harri ‘lord’) or to harar (f. gen. sg. or f. nom./acc. pl. of the adj. hár ‘high’; r appears in mss as a grapheme for rr or for r, cf. Lindblad 1954, 73, 206-7). Here it is evidently the f. gen. sg. of hár ‘high’ and modifies the base-word (þekju ‘thatch, roof’) of the kenning for ‘heaven’ þekju éla ‘thatch of snow-storms’, which in turn is the determinant of a sannkenning for Christ: hárar hildingr ... éla þekiu ‘{(war)lord {of the high thatch of snow-storms}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = Christ].




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