Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Brúðv 5VII/4 — ögurs ‘of the redfish’

Bríma þýðiz bóknám
brauta með siða skraut
æsir, þá er ungr var,
ögurs og guðs lög.
Bæði gjörðiz bókfróðr
beiðir, er skamt leið,
röðuls — var hann raunsviðr —
rastar og trúfastr.

Æsir bríma brauta ögurs þýðiz bóknám og guðs lög með skraut siða, þá er var ungr. Beiðir röðuls rastar gjörðiz bæði bókfróðr og trúfastr, er skamt leið; hann var raunsviðr.

The flinger of the fire of the roads of the redfish [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] embraces book-learning and God’s laws with the ornament of good conduct when he was young. The demander of the sun of the current [GOLD > MAN] became both book-wise and firm of faith after a short while; he was trulywise.


[4] ögurs: jöfur 721


[4] ögurs ‘of the redfish’: 721 and all transcripts read jöfur which does not make sense in this context. The word ögur was suggested by Jón Helgason, since the rhyme requires a word with ‘ög-’. A word meaning ‘fish’ is a typical determinant of a sea-kenning, which here forms the determinant of a gold-kenning. Finnur Jónsson thought that augurr was the correct form of ǫggr, en slags fisk ‘a kind of a fish’ (LP: ǫggr), but Jón Helgason and Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon disagreed and thought that ǫgr was the correct form (ÍM II, 130 n.; ÍO, 1220). The fish is identified as the redfish or red sea perch (Lat. perca marina) by Fritzner: ögr.




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