Bragi Boddason: Ragnarsdrįpa 14-19 [9th century]

Ragnarsdrįpa 14 [Sks # 24] [RWTU]
Žat erumk sżnt, at snemma
sonr Aldaföšrs vildi
afls viš śri žœfšan
jaršar reist of freista.

It is shown to me [on the shield] that early on the son of Aldaföšr wanted to try his strength against the sea-lashed snake of the earth.

1. snemma "early" - has also been interpreted as "soon, before long" here. This is possible, but difficult within the context. "Early on", "in the early times" would fit better, and refer to a time when Žórr was young. See commentary to Hymiskviša 18 (sveinn).

2. Aldaföšr "father of men" is one of Óšinn's names. Cp. Vafžrśšnismįl 4, 53.

4. reistr jaršar "snake of the earth" is Jörmungandr. Cp. seišr jaršar "fish of the earth" in Eysteinn Valdason 3.

Ragnarsdrįpa 15 [Sks # 48] [RWTU]
Hamri fórsk ķ hœgri
hönd, žįs allra landa,
œgir Öflugbarša
endiseišs of kendi.

Öflugbarši's frightener grasped the hammer with his right hand, when he became aware of the boundary-fish of all lands.

2-4. endiseišr allra landa "boundary fish of all lands" is Jörmungandr. Cp. umgjörš allra landa "girdle of all lands" (see commentary to Hymiskviša 22).

3. Öflugbarši "strong-beard?" is presumably a giant's name. Žórr is his œgir "frightener".

Ragnarsdrįpa 16 [Sks # 42] [RWTU]
Vašr lį Višris arfa
vilgi slakr, er rakšisk,
į Eynęfis öndri,
Jörmungandr at sandi.

Višrir's heir's fishing-line was far from slack on Eynęfir's ski, when Jörmungandr uncoiled on the sea-bed.

1. Višris arfi "Višrir's heir" is Žórr. Višrir is one of Óšinn's names. Frigg is called Višris kvęn "Višrir's wife" in Lokasenna 26.

3. Eynęfis öndurr "Eynęfir's ski" is a typical ship-kenning. Eynęfir, a sea-king's name, is found in Nafnažulur [a 2]. The same kenning is also found in Krįkumįl 11 (į Eynęfis öndrum).

Ragnarsdrįpa 17 [Sks # 51] [RWTU]
Ok boršróins barša
brautar žvengr inn ljóti
į haussprengi Hrungnis
haršgešr nešan starši.

And from below, the hideous thong of the path of the side-oared ship stared malevolently at Hrungnir's head-splitter.

1-2. braut barša "path of the ship" is an ocean-kenning. It is modified by the adjectice boršróinn, lit. "rowed from the ship's side".

2. žvengr "thong" of the ocean (path of the ship) is, of course, Jörmungandr. Only U has the euphonic žvengr, here, which is preferable to the other manuscripts' hringr "ring".

3. Hrungnis haussprengir "Hrungnir's head-splitter" is Žórr. The mythological reference is quite exact, as we learn from Snorri that "the hammer Mjöllnir hit the middle of Hrungnir's head, and shattered his skull into small fragments ..." [Faulkes, Skįldskaparmįl 17]

Ragnarsdrįpa 18 [Sks # 153] [RT]
Žįs forns Litar flotna
į fangboša öngli
hrøkkviįll of hrokkinn
hekk Völsunga drekku.

When the writhing eel of the Völsung-drink hung coiled on the hook of the wrestling opponent of the mates of ancient Litr.

1. Litr is apparently a giant's name here, although elsewhere it is found as the name of a dwarf (Völuspį 12, Gylfaginning 49). However, there is some evidence that the two "species" may have been thought of as closely related. In Žórsdrįpa 15, the giant Geirröšr is called įttrušr Sušra "kinsman of Sušri".

1. flotnar has been translated here, perhaps arbitrarily, as "mates". The original meaning of the word was "sailors, seafarers", and this often shows through in the oldest examples (see Lexicon Poeticum, p. 142). Later, the word simply came to mean "men, heroes".

2. fangboši, literally "one who offers a wrestling match". Žórr's most famous wrestling match occurs in Gylfaginning 46, when he wrestles with the crone Elli ("old age"). In a stanza by Kveldślfr (Egill's grandfather), old age is referred to by the cleverly formed kenning Žórs fangvina "Žórr's female wrestling partner".

1-2. fangboši flotna forns Litar "the wrestling opponent of the mates of ancient Litr" is a typically turgid kenning for Žórr, who is frequently referred to in similar terms in both Haustlöng and Žórsdrįpa.

3. hrokkinn "coiled" - could also mean "wrinkled", as in Rķksžula 8: hrokkit skinn "wrinkled skin".

4. hrøkkviįll drekku Völsunga "writhing eel of the Völsung-drink" is Jörmungandr, or properly, any venomous serpent. The "Völsung-drink" is poison, in reference to the story of Sinfjötli's death (see, for example, Hollander's translation of the Poetic Edda, p. 203).

Ragnarsdrįpa 19 [Sks # 366] [RT]
Vildit vröngum ofra
vįgs byrsendir œgi,
hinn er mjótygil mįva
mœrar skar fyr Žóri.

The breeze-sender, the one who cut Žórr's thin rope of the land of seagulls, did not want the twisted agitator of waves to be lifted.

1-2. vrangr œgir vįgs "twisted agitator of the bay (or wave)" is Jörmungandr.

2. byrsendir "breeze-sender" is a unique kenning, and certainly a rather puzzling one for Hymir. It has been explained with reference to Hręsvelgr, father/creator of winds, who is, according to Vafžrśšnismįl 37, jötunn ķ arnar ham "a giant in the guise of an eagle". This may be far-fetched, but strangely enough we find Hymir living at himins enda "at the end of heaven" in Hymiskviša 5, while the eagle-giant Hręsvelgur sitr į himins enda "sits at heaven's end" according to Vafžrśšnismįl. Coincidence?

3. mjótygill "thin rope".

4. męrr "flat, marshy land", or Męrr "the Møre-district in Norway". Either way, the "land/district of seagulls" is the ocean.

3-4. mjótygill męrar mįva "thin rope of the land of seagulls" is a kenning for the fishing-line.