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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 59VIII (Bret 59) l. 3

— it will not be possible

lemma:

mega (verb): may, might

readings:

notes:

[3-4] má marka ... hvergi moldar ‘it will not be possible anywhere on earth to distinguish’: An impersonal construction, lit. ‘one can distinguish nowhere of earth’. The sense, in the context of ll. 5-8 and II 60/1-4, appears to be that the stars (and with them the sun and the moon, II 58/5-8), following perturbed courses, can no longer be identified or distinguished one from another, even if they are still visible. With that, human systems of time-keeping and navigation would collapse, an idea hinted at in II 57/6 tíðmǫrk himins ‘time-markers of heaven’. Cf. the admonition to the would-be merchant in Kgs (Holm-Olsen 1983, 130): Nemðu uandliga birting lopz oc gang himintvngla ‘Note carefully the illumination of the sky and the movement of the heavenly bodies’. Skj B translates marka af as tage mærke af ‘take notice of, recognise’, cf. Bret 1848-9 and Merl 2012.

kennings:

grammar:

Verbs: Preterite-present verbs

The present tense of these verbs is like the past tense of strong verbs, and their past tense is weak.

eigamegakunnaskulumunumuna
indic.
pres.
sing.


pl.
1st
2nd
3rd
1st
2nd
3rd
á
átt
á
eigum
eiguð
eigu

mátt

megum
meguð
megu
kann
kannt
kann
kunnum
kunnuð
kunnu
skal
skalt
skal
skulum
skuluð
skulu
mun
munt
mun
munum
munuð
munu
man
mant
man
munum
munið
muna
indic. past stem
subj. pres. stem
subj. past stem
átt-
eig-
ætt-
mátt-
meg-
mætt-
kunn-
kunn-
kynn-
skyld-
skyl-
skyld-
mund-
myn-
mynd-
mund-
mun-
mynd-
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