Mundut þess, es þegnar
þróttharðan gram sóttu,
— ferk með lýða líði
landherðar — skǫp verða,
at mundjǫkuls myndi
margdýrr koma stýrir
— geta þykkjat mér gotnar
glíkligs — ór her slíkum.
Skǫp mundut verða þess, es þegnar sóttu þróttharðan gram — ferk með líði lýða landherðar —, at margdýrr stýrir mundjǫkuls myndi koma ór slíkum her; gotnar þykkjat mér geta glíkligs.
Fate would not have come to this, when retainers attacked the mightily tough lord — I deal with ale of the folk of the land-shoulder [ROCK > GIANTS > POETRY] —, that the magnificent controller of hand-icicle [SILVER > MAN] would escape [lit. come out of] such a force; men do not seem to me to talk of a likely thing.
[3-4] líði lýða landherðar ‘ale of the folk of the land-shoulder [ROCK > GIANTS > POETRY]’: This kenning, based on a suggestion by Jón Helgason (1931-2, 61-2), obviates Skj B’s extensive emendation of ll. 1-4. It was favoured by Kock in Skald and NN §2452, though a different explanation was offered in NN §1086. Landherðr ‘land-shoulder [ROCK]’ belongs to a type of kenning in which rock or stone is referred to as the bone, joint or teeth of the land, cf. Yt 19/10 bein foldar ‘bones of the earth [STONES]’ and Ólhelg Lv 2/2 landrif ‘land-rib [STONE]’; also Meissner 89-90. Jón Helgason and Kock emended gen. sg. ‑herðar to gen. pl. ‑herða since the word normally occurs in the pl. (as, e.g., in virtually all of over seventy citations in ONP: 1. herðr). The gen. sg. is retained here, however, as the reading of all the mss.
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