Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Eirm 7I/5 — sœkir ‘will attack’

‘Hví namt þú hann sigri þá,         es þér þótti hann snjallr vesa?’
‘Því at óvíst es at vita *,         nær ulfr inn hǫsvi
        sœkir á sjǫt goða.’

‘Hví namt þú hann sigri þá, es hann þótti þér vesa snjallr?’ ‘Því at óvíst es at vita *, nær inn hǫsvi ulfr sœkir á sjǫt goða.’

‘Why did you deprive him of victory then, when he seemed to you to be valiant?’ ‘Because it cannot be known for certain when the grey wolf will attack the home of the gods.’


[5] sœkir á: á all


[5] sœkir á ‘will attack’: The defective sense and alliteration indicate that a word is missing, and the following have been proposed: (a) greypr ‘fierce’ (Holthausen 1896, 88, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B, reading sér ‘looks’ in the preceding line; also Tveiten 1966, 24); (b) sœkir (Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 10 (though for unpersuasive reasons); Lindquist 1929, 10; Skald); (c) gengr ‘will go’ (CPB I, 261, followed by Jón Helgason 1968). Either of these last two readings is suitable. However the lacuna is to be filled, Óðinn’s meaning is that Ragnarǫk may be at hand at any moment, and Eiríkr’s help will be needed against Fenrisúlfr (cf. previous Note, and Note to st. 1/5 einherjar).



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