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Ragnarsdrápa

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  • William Calhoun
    I am trying to read Ragnarsdrápa. I have found it to be rather difficult but what I have been able to read is quite lovely. The eleventh verse is the first
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 3, 2004
      I am trying to read Ragnarsdr�pa. I have found it to be rather difficult
      but what I have been able to read is quite lovely. The eleventh verse is
      the first place I encountered difficulty. Could anyone clarify this part?

      Ragnarsdr�pa

      1.
      Vili� Hrafnketill heyra,
      hv� hreingr�it steini
      �r��ar skalk auk �engil
      �j�fs ilja bla� leyfa!

      2.
      Nema sv�t g�� ens gjalla
      gj�ld baugnafa�s vildi
      meyjar hj�ls enn m�ri
      m�gr Sigur�ar H�gna.

      3.
      Kn�tti e�r vi� illan
      J�rmunrekr at vakna
      me� dreyrf�ar dr�ttir
      draum � sver�a flaumi.
      R�sta var� � ranni
      Randv�s haufu�ni�ja,
      ��s er hrafnbl�ir hefndu
      harma Erps of barmar.

      4.
      Flaut of set vi� sveita
      s�knar �lfs, � golfi,
      hr�va d�gg, �ars h�ggnar
      hendr sem f�tr of kendu.
      Fell � bl��i blandinn
      brunn �lsk�kki runna
      - �at 's � Leifa landa
      laufi f�tt - at hauf�i.

      5.
      �ar, sv�t ger�u gyr�an
      golfh�lkvis s� fylkis,
      segls Naglfara siglur
      saums andvana standa.
      Ur�u snemst auk S�rli
      samr��a �eir Ham�ir
      h�r�um her�im�lum
      Hergauts vinu bar�ir.

      6.
      Mj�k l�t st�la st�kkvir
      sty�ja Gj�ka ni�ja
      flaums, ��s fj�rvi n�ma
      Foglhildar mun vildu,
      auk bl�serkjar birkis
      ballf�gr g�tu allir
      ennih�gg auk eggjar
      J�nakrs sonum launa.

      7.
      �at segik fall � f�grum
      flotna randar botni.
      R�s g�fumk rei�ar m�na
      Ragnarr auk fj�l� sagna.

      8.
      Auk of �erris ��a
      �sk-R�n at �at s�num
      til f�rhuga f�ri
      fe�r ve�rbo�a hug�i,
      ��s hristi-Sif hringa
      hals en b�ls of fyllda,
      bar til byrjar dr�sla
      baug �rlygis draugi.

      9.
      Bau�a s � til bley�i
      b�ti-�r��r at m�ti
      malma m�tum hilmi
      men dreyrugra benja.
      Sv� l�t ey, ��tt etti,
      sem orrostu letti
      jofrum, ulfs at sinna
      me� alg�fris lifru.

      10.
      Letrat l��a stillir
      landa vanr � sandi
      - �� svall heipt � H�gna -
      h��glamma mun st��va,
      es �rymregin �remja
      �r�ttig He�in s�ttu,
      heldr an Hildar sv�ra
      hringa �eir of fingi.

      11.
      Auk fyr h�nd � holmi
      hve�ru brynju Vi�ris
      fengey�andi flj��a
      ford��a nam r��a.
      Allr gekk herr und hur�ir
      Hjarranda fram kyrrar
      rei�r at Reifnis skei�i
      ra�alfs af mari br��um.

      12.
      �� m� s�kn � Sv�lnis
      salpenningi kenna.
      R�s gofumk rei�ar m�na
      Ragnarr auk fjol� sagna.

      13.
      Gefjon dr� fr� Gylfa
      gl�� dj�pr��uls, au�la,
      sv�t af rennirauknum
      rauk, Danmarkar auka.
      B�ru �xn auk �tta
      ennitungl, �ars gingu
      fyr vinjeyjar vi�ri
      vallrauf, fj�gur haufu�.

      14.
      �at erum s�nt, at snimma
      sonr Aldaf��rs vildi
      afls vi� �ri ��f�an
      jar�ar reist of freista.

      15.
      Hamri f�rsk � h�gri
      h�nd, ��s allra landa,
      �gir �flugb�r�u,
      endisei�s of kendi.

      16.
      Va�r l� Vi�ris arfa
      vilgi slakr, es rak�isk
      � Eyn�fis �ndri,
      J�rmungandr, at sandi.

      17.
      Auk bor�r�ins bar�a
      brautar �vengr enn lj�ti
      � haussprengi Hrungnis
      har�ge�r ne�an star�i.

      18.
      ��s forns Litar flotna
      � fangbo�a �ngli
      hr�kkvi�ll of hrokkinn
      hekk V�lsunga drekku.

      19.
      Vildit vr�ngum ofra
      v�gs byrsendir �gi,
      hinns m�tygil m�va
      m�rar skar fyr ��ri.

      20.
      Hinn es varp � vi�a
      vinda �ndurd�sar
      of manna sj�t margra
      mundlaug f��ur augum.

      Thank you,
      William Calhoun

      _________________________________________________________________
      Get tips for maintaining your PC, notebook accessories and reviews in
      Technology 101. http://special.msn.com/tech/technology101.armx
    • Haukur Thorgeirsson
      ... If you could read the first ten stanzas of Ragnarsdrápa without encountering difficulty then it s probably you who should be giving lessons :) But let s
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 3, 2004
        > I am trying to read Ragnarsdrápa. I have found it to be rather difficult
        > but what I have been able to read is quite lovely. The eleventh verse is
        > the first place I encountered difficulty. Could anyone clarify this part?

        If you could read the first ten stanzas of Ragnarsdrápa
        without encountering difficulty then it's probably you who
        should be giving lessons :) But let's have a look-see.

        11.
        Auk fyr hönd í holmi
        hveðru brynju Viðris
        fengeyðandi fljóða
        fordæða nam ráða.
        Allr gekk herr und hurðir
        Hjarranda fram kyrrar
        reiðr at Reifnis skeiði
        raðalfs af mari bróðum.

        I'm guessing this is Kock's version - I don't have
        it at hand. Let's look at what Finnur Jónsson has
        (takk, EB):

        FJ manuscript version:

        Oc firir hond iholmi
        hveðro bryniv viðris
        feng eyþande flioþa
        for dæþa nam raþa;
        allr geck heR vnd hurþir
        hiarranda fram kyrrar
        reiðr at reifnis skeiþi
        raðalfr of mar braþvm.

        FJ received version:

        Ok fyr hönd í holmi
        hveðru brynju Viðris
        fengeyðandi fljóða
        fordæða nam ráða;
        allr gekk herr und hurðir
        Hjarranda framm kyrrar
        reiðr af Reifnis skeiði
        raðaralfs mari bráðum.

        We can see that the two editors are in
        complete agreement on the first part.
        Indeed the manuscript version seems to
        be fairly lucid and in no need of correction.
        I'll try to muddle through it.

        brynja = armour
        hveðra = giantess
        hveðra brynju = giantess of armour -> axe
        Viðrir = Óðinn
        Viðrir hveðru brynju -> Óðinn of the axe -> warrior

        So that's "of the warrior" there in line two.
        The subject seems to be 'for-dæða fljóða' meaning
        something like "a witch of women" or perhaps
        "a witch among women".

        The most difficult word is probably 'feng-eyðandi'.
        Usually 'fengr' means something like "booty" but I'm
        not quite sure what's implied here.

        Let's try something like a literal translation:

        "And by the hand of the Óðinn of the giantess of
        the armour the booty-destroying witch among women
        ruled in the island."

        Or, if we replace the kenning:

        "And by the hand of the warrior the booty-destroying
        witch among women ruled in the island."

        But what does "fyr hönd" (by hand) mean? In the modern
        language it means "on behalf of". Looking at Finnur Jónsson's
        translation I see that's what it takes it to mean here:

        "Og heksen blandt kvinder, sejrhindrersken (?), rådede
        på øen på krigerens vegne."

        (For the Danish impaired this means something like:
        "And the witch among women, the female preventer of victory (?),
        ruled on the island on behalf of the warrior.")

        This seems to make perfectly good sense.
        The "victory-preventing" part is probably
        a guess based on later accounts of Hildr
        and the gang.

        Here is what Faulkes seems to have come up with:

        "And on the island,
        instead of the Vidrir [warrior]
        of the mail-coat's [warrior's] troll-wife [axe],
        the victory-preventing witch of a woman had her way."

        He accepts Finnur's "victory-preventing" for 'feng-eyðandi'
        but seems to understand 'firir hond' as "instead of".
        I don't know the argument for that but I'm not saying
        it's wrong. Faulkes is someone to reckon with.

        - - -

        The second half seems much more difficult. Finnur and
        Kock propose quite different versions and neither can
        apparently hammer sense into the manuscript text.
        The text, as preserved, may be corrupt.

        Kveðja,
        Haukur
      • akoddsson
        ... difficult but what I have been able to read is quite lovely. The eleventh verse is the first place I encountered difficulty. Could anyone clarify this
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 4, 2004
          --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "William Calhoun"
          <wcalhoun13@h...> wrote:
          >
          > I am trying to read Ragnarsdrápa. I have found it to be rather
          difficult but what I have been able to read is quite lovely. The
          eleventh verse is the first place I encountered difficulty. Could
          anyone clarify this part?

          You must have better sources than I, given that you made it to the
          eleventh stanza without having to ask any questions ;) Here are a
          select few insights and thoughts about these verses, mostly from a
          phonological and language-history perspective.

          > Ragnarsdrápa
          >
          > 1.
          > Vilið Hrafnketill heyra,
          > hvé hreingróit steini
          > Þrúðar skalk auk þengil
          > þjófs ilja blað leyfa!

          It could just be *hrafnkell, later corrected to the full edition of
          the name. 'hreingróit steini' could refer to the precess whereby a
          metal is extracted 'from stone' - that is, if the shield was made of
          metal, or mostly metal, and not of wood. Keep in mind, however, that
          I can barely read Danish and am not aware of any explanations by the
          likes of Finnur Jónsson or others here. On a more positive note, the
          word þjófr is from *þeubaz. The change from *þiúfr to þiófr is very
          typically West Norse. Depending on the dating of Bragi, we could be
          looking at *þiúfr here, in which case the verb leyfa (=lofa) could
          have assonated with *þiúfr (i.e.*liúfa, compare adj. liúfr). Bragi
          is usually dated to the 9th century, somewhere in Norway. Arinbjörn,
          Egils Norwegian friend in Egils saga, claims to be related to Bragi.
          Enough on this half-verse for now.

          > 2.
          > Nema svát góð ens gjalla
          > gjöld baugnafaðs vildi
          > meyjar hjóls enn mæri
          > mögr Sigurðar Högna.

          Bragi would have said *SigvarðaR in the genitive, not *Sigurðar. A
          note about R: R disappears in West Norse by about 900. There is only
          one example of R in a clearly West Norse area from after 900, and it
          is highly controversial. However, Bragi is usually dated to pre-900,
          opening up the possibility of R in his language. Notice that the u
          causing u-mutation has disappeared in both mögr and Högna, from the
          eariler *maguz and *Haguna, likewise in the plural gjöld.

          > 3.
          > Knátti eðr við illan - Bragi would have had *viðr
          > Jörmunrekr at vakna - '-rekr' probably not e yet (from *rîkaz)
          > með dreyrfáar dróttir - fáðar
          > draum í sverða flaumi. -
          > Rósta varð í ranni
          > Randvés haufuðniðja, - masc. names in -vér? Examine -vir and viðr.
          > þás er hrafnbláir hefndu - just 'þás, no 'er'; hefnðu
          > harma Erps of barmar.
          >
          > 4.
          > Flaut of set við sveita - again, viðr
          > sóknar álfs, í golfi, - alfs
          > hræva dögg, þars höggnar
          > hendr sem fœtr of kendu. +sk, or where is the subject?
          > Fell í blóði blandinn
          > brunn ölskákki runna - no comment
          > - þat 's á Leifa landa
          > laufi fátt - at haufði.

          Short on time, so a few quotes more only:

          > 7.
          > Þat segik fall á fögrum - sék
          > flotna randar botni.
          > Ræs göfumk reiðar mána - no comment
          > Ragnarr auk fjölð sagna.

          > bœti-Þrúðr at móti - examine *bóti at this stage

          > hringa þeir of fingi. - notice fingi, see below
          >
          > 11.
          > fordæða nam ráða. - examine *fordáðja at thi stage

          > raðalfs af mari bróðum. - ráð?; bráðum by retained u at this stage.

          > 13.

          > glöð djúpröðuls, auðla, - djúpröðul accus.

          > ennitungl, þars gingu - see fingi above
          > fyr vinjeyjar viðri - vineyjar
          > vallrauf, fjögur haufuð. - valrauf

          > 14.
          > Þat erum sýnt, at snimma - es + (u)mk (from *original dat. mez)
          > sonr Aldaföðrs vildi - Bragi would have had sunr, not sonr
          > afls við úri þœfðan - viðr
          > jarðar reist of freista.

          This section thus beginning was in all likelihood the first section
          of the drápa, not the last. Compare the first words of each of the 3
          major sections.

          > 17.

          > brautar þvengr enn ljóti - examine the braut-from-brjóta issue.

          > 18.

          > hekk Völsunga drekku. - Bragi would have said 'hink' and 'drinku'.

          Although the runic spelling could not show it (fik = fink or fekk),
          even in the 10th century *ink was still in use. See also above.

          > 19.

          > mœrar skar fyr Þóri. - examine gen. mórjar. About + j, compare
          forms like the *faikian on the Rök stone, etc.. Bragi would be even
          older, if the usual dating is correct.

          > Thank you,
          > William Calhoun

          Interesting topic, William. Unfortunately, I am short on time and
          have to run. This will have to do for now. Bragi interests me very
          much, though, as he is the oldest identifiable nordic poet (Eddic
          verse being older, but common/traditional. Bragi must have been
          greatly admired by his many successors ;)

          Regards,
          Konrad

          >
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > Get tips for maintaining your PC, notebook accessories and reviews
          in
          > Technology 101. http://special.msn.com/tech/technology101.armx
        • Haukur Thorgeirsson
          ... An afterthought here. Translating nam ráða as had her way rather than ruled brings the stanza even more into line with Snorri s account. The thing
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 5, 2004
            > Here is what Faulkes seems to have come up with:
            >
            > "And on the island,
            > instead of the Vidrir [warrior]
            > of the mail-coat's [warrior's] troll-wife [axe],
            > the victory-preventing witch of a woman had her way."

            An afterthought here. Translating 'nam ráða' as
            "had her way" rather than "ruled" brings the stanza
            even more into line with Snorri's account. The thing
            the witch (Hildr) had her way about is then presumably
            the battle - which Héðinn (the warrior) wanted to avoid.

            So, ignoring petty insignificant details like the fact
            that 'fengr' doesn't mean "victory" and 'eyða' doesn't
            mean "prevent" I'd say this is a pretty good translation :)

            Kveðja,
            Haukur
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