|Codex Regius||Codex Trajectinus||Codex Wormianus||Emended & Modernized|
|6 : 5-8||Variants||Variants|
|knatti hreggi ha/ggviN||knatt||Knátti, hreggi höggvin,|
|hlymþél við ma/l glymia||hlymþél við möl glymja,|
|en felli hryn fialla||hrynfialla||en fellihryn fjalla|
|feðiv þa/ut með steðia.||stediœ||Feðju þaut með steðja.|
This half-stanza consists of two clauses, which basically restate the content of the last half-stanza:
hlymþél knátti glymja við möl, en fellihryn fjalla þaut, hreggi höggvin, með Feðju steðja, i.e. "the banging files [spears] jangled against the pebbles, while the mountains' falling-roar [cascade] rushed, beaten by an ice-storm, along Feðja's anvil".
hlymþél ] Literally "clanging file", i.e. "clanging iron" = spear. See skotnaðr in the previous half-stanza.
knátti glymja ] Knátti is an auxillary verb, knátti glymja = glumdi.
fellihryn fjalla ] Literally "falling-noise of the mountains", i.e. a waterfall, cascade.
Feðju steðja ] is problematic. The "anvil of Feðja" is usually interpreted as "stone, rock". This is barely possible, and as Finnur Jónsson noted, Feðja would then have to be the name of a river. In such a case we would have to understand (like Pálsson): áin ruddi fram grjóti "the river carried rocks in its flood".
Egilsson saw Feðja as a variant form of Fenja, a giantess, and interpreted "anvil of the giantess" as "stone, rock" (which is difficult to accept). However, if we accept that Feðja is identical with Fenja, a new possibility arises. Fenja is one of two giantesses, who operate the Grótti-quern in the Gróttasöngur. This quern (mill) was thought to stand on the bottom of the ocean, causing the great whirlpool or maelstrom of medieval fame, mentioned by Adam of Bremen and others. The ocean's tides were believed to be caused by the action of this mill, which alternatively sucks the ocean waters down through the eye of the millstone, and then spouts them out again. This great maelstrom was extremely dangerous to seafarers, whose ships could be sucked down into the gigantic whirlpool (and sometimes spat out again), according to Adam.
The smith labours at his anvil. The two giantesses, Fenja and Menja, labour at the quern. Thus the great quern could indeed be called Fenju (Feðju) steði. It may be suspected that Thor is approaching the great maelstrom of the Northern Ocean, where he is in danger of being sucked into the terrible whirlpool of Grótti. He therefore thrusts his spear into the bottom of the ocean, in order to have something to hold on to.
The verb mala (grind), the nouns mjöl (meal) and möl (pebbles) are all related etymologically to the English mill, meal, and maelstrom. Eilífur's use of the word möl in line 6 indicates that his Feðju steði was meant as a circumlocution for the Grótti-mill, the great "grinder" which could turn rocks into pebbles (möl).
The evidence for the importance of the great world-mill to the cosmology of Old Norse heathendom has been treated in great detail by Viktor Rydberg (Teutonic Mythology, Chapters 79-82), and more recently in Hamlet's Mill (de Santillana/von Dechend, 1969).
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