Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 5. Vestrfararvísur, 3 [Vol. 1, 619]

[5-6] vildit varla ‘hardly wanted [that]’: The enclitic -t and varla lit. ‘hardly’ (or by litotes, ‘at all’) produce a double negative; cf., e.g., Gizsv Lv 1/1. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27) suggests that vildi ‘wanted’ would be more correct. Jón Skaptason (1983, 249-50) takes varla ‘hardly’ as a form of varliga ‘cautiously’ and construes it with haldisk vǫrðr á fjalli, giving ‘let the king keep cautiously to the mountains’, but this is not justified.


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