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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 15II/7 — kostat ‘put to the test’

Myrkts, hverr meira orkar,
mér, alls greppr né sérat,
— harðrs í heimi orðinn
hrafngrennir — þrek jǫfnum.
Ert gat óslætt hjarta
(eljunfims) und himni
mest (hefr mildingr kostat
minni hvers grams vinnur).

Myrkts mér, alls greppr né sérat, hverr orkar meira, jǫfnum þrek; harðr hrafngrennir [e]s orðinn í heimi. Gat mest ert, óslætt hjarta und himni; mildingr hefr kostat minni vinnur hvers eljunfims grams.

It is dark to me, for the poet does not see it, who will achieve more, equal feats of strength; the harsh raven-feeder [WARRIOR] has departed this world. He was endowed with the boldest, keenest heart under heaven; the gracious one has put to the test the lesser deeds of every mettlesome lord.


[7] kostat: kostut Mork, Hr, kǫstuð Flat, kostuð H


[7, 8] hefr kostat minni vinnur ‘has put to the test the lesser deeds’: (a) Although kosta ‘try, put to the test’ normally takes a gen. object, it can also take the acc. (NS §131 b. Anm.). This construal follows that of Kock (NN §841), though his translation amounts to ‘(the prince) has for the most part found (every lord’s) deeds to be the less’. Emendation of ms. ‘costot, kostvð’ to normalised kostat ‘tried, put to the test’, a n. sg. p. p. to accompany the auxiliary hefr ‘has’ seems unavoidable. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis in Skj B is unacceptable since it involves two alterations of the text, assumes an otherwise unrecorded noun kostuðr, and splits l. 7 into four segments.



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