[5, 7] mest ert ‘the boldest’: Lit. ‘the most bold’. (a) The superlative mest is here construed with ert, óslætt in l. 5, hence ‘boldest, keenest’. This is a rare construction, but not unparalleled: cf. NS §64 and Skí 27/5 (NK 74), where meirr leiðr performs the function of the comparative form leiðari ‘more hateful’. On the form ert, see Note to Arn Magndr 18/7. (b) Mest could alternatively well qualify hefr kostat ‘has put to the test’ (l. 7), hence ‘the gracious one has tested to the utmost the lesser deeds of every mettlesome lord’. But the first sentence, ‘he was endowed with a bold, keen heart under heaven’, would then be rather tepid praise, since such statements normally contain superlatives (cf. Fidjestøl, 1982, 190-3 on the ‘highest under heaven’ motif).