Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Riddles of Gestumblindi: Riddle 9

First, here's the answer to riddle 8:

Heiðrekr mælti: "Smækkast nú gáturnar, Gestumblindi, hvat þarf lengr yfir þessu at sitja? Þat er hrafntinna, ok skein á hana sólargeisli."

Your riddles grow small, Gestumblindi, what need is there to sit any longer at this? That is obsidian*, when shone on her a sunbeam.

Riddle 9

Þá mælti Gestumblindi:

"Báru brúðir
bleikhaddaðar
ambáttir tvær
öl til skemmu;
var-at þat höndum horfit
né hamri at klappat,
þó var fyrir eyjar utan
örðigr sá, er gerði.
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu."

Then said Gestumblindi:

"Maidens bore,
Fair-headed,
Serving-maids twain
Ale to the store-house;
Not turned by hands
Nor beaten by hammers,
Though far outside the island
The maker sat upright.**
Heiðrekr king,
Ponder this riddle."

*Literally "raven-flint."
**The thing which was not turned by hands or beaten by hammers must refer to the cask in which the ale was carried, not the ale itself.


Currently reading: For the Life of the World
Current audio book: The Man Who Was Thursday
Currently translating: Hervara saga, "The Riddles of Gestumblindi"

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