Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 17 [Vol. 1, 190]

[6] gótt es at taka til gǫrs ‘it is good to have recourse to ready gear’: Two main possibilities are to hand here. (a) ‘Geyrs’ in F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ is a common spelling of gǫrs: see Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 45). Gǫrs gives satisfactory sense, and the expression in l. 6 may be proverbial, with the sense ‘it’s good to use what is to hand’ (see Heggstad et al. 1997: gerr I. 2). This would harmonise with the impersonal skal ‘one should’ in l. 5. (b) Several eds read geirs ‘spear’ for gǫrs (from Bartholin 1689, 526 to Kock, Skald and NN §1055, comparing Beowulf ll. 1245-6a), and this would complement the reference to helmet and mail-shirt in l. 4.


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