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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 6I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 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. 565.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur
567

text and translation

Fekk meira lið miklu
mildr an gløggr til hildar,
hirð þás hugði forðask
heið þjóðkonungs reiði.
En vinlausum vísa
varð, þeim es fé sparði,
— háðisk víg fyr víðum
vangi — þunnt of stangir.

Mildr fekk miklu meira lið til hildar an gløggr, þás heið hirð hugði forðask reiði þjóðkonungs. En vinlausum vísa, þeim es sparði fé, varð þunnt of stangir; víg háðisk fyr víðum vangi.
 
‘The generous one [Óláfr] gained a much greater force for the battle than the mean one [Sveinn], when the illustrious retinue thought to escape the wrath of the mighty king. But for the friendless leader [Sveinn], he who scrimped on payment, it became sparse around the standards; war was waged off the broad plain.

notes and context

The stanza is preceded by an account of preparations and the skothríð ‘missile-shower’ and a remark that Óláfr had much the larger force.

Sigvatr now develops a contrast between Óláfr and Sveinn, as respectively generous and parsimonious, popular and unpopular. At the same time, it is hinted that Óláfr’s success in amassing support arises not entirely from generosity but also from intimidation. For further discussion of the quantiative comparison, see Note to st. 12/2, 4. On the role of wealth in Óláfr’s consolidation and augmentation of his following, see Fidjestøl (1975 and 1984b).

readings

sources

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, 2. Nesjavísur 2: AI, 228, BI, 217, Skald I, 113; ÓHLeg 1922, 25, ÓHLeg 1982, 76-7; Poole 2005d, 174.

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