Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Riddles of Gestumblindi: Riddle 4

If you're just joining us, we're going through the Riddles of Gestumblindi, a passage from Herverar saga in which Oðinn, disguised as a troublesome lord named Gestumblindi, has engaged in a riddling match with king Heiðrekr. This riddle contest may be of particular interest to Tolkien fans, since according to John Rateliff's History of the Hobbit, it is almost certainly the Urtext for the famous "Riddles in the Dark" passage in The Hobbit.

To begin today's post, here's the answer to Riddle 3:

"Góð er gáta þín, Gestumblindi, getit er þessar. Þar lagðist þú í forsælu, er dögg var fallin á grasi, ok kældir svá varir þínar ok stöðvaðir svá þorsta þinn."

"Your riddle is good, Gestumblindi, but I have guessed it. You lay in the shade where dew had fallen on the grass, and with it you cooled your lips and stopped your thirst."

Riddle 4

Þá mælti Gestumblindi:

"Hverr er sá inn hvelli,
er gengr harðar götur
ok hefir hann þær fyrr of farit,
mjök fast kyssir,
sá er hefir munna tvá
ok á gulli einu gengr?
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu."

Then said Gestumblindi:

"Who is that shrill one,
who walks hard ways
where he has often fared,
many and firm are his kisses
because he has two mouths,
and on gold alone goes?"
Heiðrekr king,
ponder this riddle."

I'll post the answer, along with the next riddle, later this week. In the meantime, you like Heiðrekr can ponder this riddle!

Currently reading: Homeric Moments
Current audio book: The Fellowship of the Ring
Currently translating: Otfrid's Evangelienbuch

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