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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 6I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 6’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 592.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonAustrfararvísur

text and translation

Nú hafa hnekkt, þeirs hnakka
(heinflets) við mér settu,
(þeygi bella þollar)
þrír samnafnar (tíri).
Þó séumk hitt, at hlœðir
hafskíðs myni síðan
út, hverrs Ǫlvir heitir,
alls mest, reka gesti.

Nú hafa þrír samnafnar hnekkt, þeirs settu hnakka við mér; þeygi bella {þollar {heinflets}} tíri. Þó séumk hitt alls mest, at hverr {hlœðir {hafskíðs}}, [e]s heitir Ǫlvir, myni síðan reka gesti út.
‘Now three namesakes have driven [me] away, they who turned their backs on me; not at all do the firs of the whetstone-platform [SWORD > MEN] display praiseworthiness. However, I fear this above all, that every loader of the ocean-ski [SHIP > SEAFARER] who is named Ǫlvir will henceforth chase strangers away.

notes and context

The next evening Sigvatr comes to three farmers, each named Ǫlvir, and all turn him away. Sigvatr speaks this stanza.

[1, 2] settu hnakka við mér ‘turned their backs on me’: Lit. ‘set the napes of their necks against me’. — [2] heinflets ‘of the whetstone-platform [SWORD]’: The word flet referred originally to the floor of a house (cf. flatr ‘flat’), though it is attested only in the metaphorical senses ‘set of rooms, house, raised platform, bed (on the floor)’. It may be the last of these meanings that is intended, given the parallel sword-kenning beðr ryðfjónar ‘bed of the rust-enemy [WHETSTONE > SWORD]’ (Anon (ÓT) 6/1, 3; see Meissner 155, 163). In view of the kenning gætir grefs ‘minder of the hoe [FARMER]’ in st. 7/5, de Vries (1932-3, 172) suggests that heinflet may refer not to a sword but to a sickle, but this fits expected patterns less well.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 3. Austrfararvísur 6: AI, 234-5, BI, 221-2, Skald I, 115, NN §§1112, 2218B, 2923; Fms 4, 187, Fms 12, 84, ÓH 1853, 80, 272, ÓH 1941, I, 201 (ch. 75), Flat 1860-8, II, 114; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 125, VI, 85, Hkr 1868, 308 (ÓHHkr ch. 92), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 171-2, ÍF 27, 138, Hkr 1991, I, 348 (ÓHHkr ch. 91); Ternström 1871, 16-17, 45-6, Konráð Gíslason 1892, 37, 177-8, Jón Skaptason 1983, 87, 239-40.


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