Monday, July 23, 2018

The Riddles of Gestumblindi: Riddle 8

First, here's the answer to riddle 7:

"Góð er gáta þín, Gestumblindi, getit er þessar. Þat er laukr. Höfuð hans er fast í jörðu, en hann kvíslar, er hann vex upp."

"Your riddle is good, Gestumblindi, but I have guessed it. That is a leek [or garlic]. His head is fast in the earth, and he forks as he grows upwards."

Riddle 8

Þá mælti Gestumblindi:

"Hvat er þat undra,
er ek úti sá
fyr Dellings durum;
horni harðara,
hrafni svartara,
skildi hvítara,
skapti réttara?
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu."

Then said Gestumblindi:

"What is that wonder
Which I saw outside
Before Delling's Doors?
Harder than a horn,
Darker than a raven,
Whiter than a shield*,
Straighter than a shaft?
Heiðrekr king,
Ponder this riddle."

*This is the reading found in the R-text of the saga. However, the H and U versions both have "whiter than the white of an egg," which is probably closer to the original reading. The ON word for an egg-white is skjall.

Currently reading: How to be Un-Lucky, by Joshua Gibbs
Current Audio Book: The Odyssey, by Homer
Currently translating: The Waking of Agantyr

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