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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Nizv 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 362-3.

Steinn HerdísarsonNizarvísur

skjǫldungr ‘prince’

skjǫldungr (noun m.): king

[1] skjǫldungr: skjǫldu E


skjóta ‘to shoot’

skjóta (verb): shoot


skammt ‘a short’

skammr (adj.): short


vas ‘there was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[2] vas (‘var’): varð E


miðli ‘between’

milli (prep.): between

[2] miðli: milli H


styggr ‘shunning’

styggr (adj.): shy


hvárrtveggi ‘Each’

hvárrtveggi (pron.): both


seggja ‘of warriors’

seggr (noun m.; °; -ir): man


Bæði ‘Both’

bæði (conj.): [Both]

[5] Bæði fló þás: benja flóð í H, Hr


fló ‘flew’

fljúga (verb): fly

[5] Bæði fló þás: benja flóð í H, Hr


[5] fló (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘flew’: The verb is in the sg. but has a pl. subject (see NS §70).


þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

[5] Bæði fló þás: benja flóð í H, Hr;    þás (‘þa er’): þá E


feigra ‘of doomed’

feigr (adj.; °compar. -ari/ri): fated to die, fey, dead

[7] feigra: frægra H


flotna ‘sailors’

flotnar (noun m.): mariners

[7] flotna: gotna H, Hr


fjǫrvi ‘to the life’

fjǫr (noun n.): life


Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The battle began, and both rulers urged their men on.

[5-8]: The H-Hr variant of this helmingr, which is clearly secondary, can be construed as follows:

Benja flóð í blóði
brandr hrauð af sér rauðu;
fljótt brá feigra/frægra gotna
fjǫrvi grjót ok ǫrvar.

Prose order: Brandr hrauð af sér flóð benja í rauðu blóði; grjót ok ǫrvar brá fljótt fjǫrvi feigra/frægra gotna. Translation: The blade shed a flood of wounds [BLOOD] in the red blood; rocks and arrows quickly put an end to the life of doomed/famous men.


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