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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — HervH LvVIII (HjǪ)

Hervǫr Hundingjadóttir

Hervǫr Hundingjadóttir, Lausavísur — Richard L. Harris

Not published: do not cite (HervH LvVIII (HjǪ))


Hervör ek heiti         Hundingja dóttir;
minn föður ef röskvan         þú lítir ríku*liga,
líf þitt án dvöl         þú láta mundir,
ef þú værir         gegn döglingi.
‘I am called Hervǫr, daughter of Hundingi; if you look at my bold father arrogantly, you would lose your life without delay, if you were to be against the prince.
Allt ferr eptir einu,         †er margs vita frægra
vitar til vina list†         af Nistils fólki.
Fyrr skyldir þú hanga         á hávum gálga
en í †glaumtigum†;         gakk þú ei framar hóti.
‘Everything goes in the same way, … from the people of Nistill. You ought to hang on the high gallows sooner than in … ; do not go one bit further.
Í höll skaltu ganga         ok hilmi* lúta,
ok kveðja kurteisliga         konung inn stórráða.
Láttu eigi æðru         á þér finna,
þótt þú í höll lítir         háva stórgarpa.
‘You must go into the hall and bow to the ruler, and greet the ambitious king courteously. Do not let fear be visible upon you, even though you see tall powerful warriors in the hall.
Gef þú auð, jöfurr,         ef þú örr þykkiz;
þágu gull gumar,         ok geraz þér vel hollir.
En, ef maðr metnaz         við mildings síðu,
sýn leiðum þitt lyndi         ok láttu hann sneypu hljóta.
‘Give riches, prince, if you would be thought open-handed; [if] men have received gold and then they become very loyal to you. But if a man at the ruler’s side puffs himself up, show the loathsome one your temper and let him have disgrace as his portion.

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