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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 9II/8 — hvat ‘whatever’

Ǫld es, sús jarli skyldi
ógnteitum lið veita,
— sterkr olli því stillir —
Steinkels gefin helju.
En, þvít illa reynðisk
aflsvôn þaðan hônum,
fyrir lét Hôkon hǫrfa,
hvat segr, hinns þat fegrir.

Ǫld Steinkels es gefin helju, sús skyldi veita lið ógnteitum jarli; sterkr stillir olli því. En, þvít aflsvôn þaðan reynðisk hônum illa, lét Hôkon hǫrfa fyrir, hvat segr, hinns fegrir þat.

Steinkell’s men have been handed over to death’s realm, those who should have given support to the battle-joyous jarl; the mighty ruler [Haraldr] caused that. But, because the expectation of support from there turned out badly for him, Hákon effected a retreat, whatever anyone says who puts a gloss on it.


[8] hvat: ‘hua’ E, hvatt Flat


[8] hvat ‘whatever’: The interpretation here follows Andersson and Gade. Hvat is slightly elliptical, lacking a rel. particle (e)s. Previous eds read hvatt and take it with the previous cl., hence Hkon lét hǫrfa fyrir hvatt ‘Hákon effected a retreat swiftly’, but this virtually amounts to an emendation since only Flat reads hvatt, and all other mss but one have hvat.



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