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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 2I/4 — verðan ‘worthy’

Mætr hefr minna látit
mik stólkonungr sólar
snjallr, an sómði þolli
sverðéls, bragar verðan.
Þó vilk Þróttar skýja,
þeim es engr vas beima,
eldveitanda ítrum,
alfríðri, lof smíða.

Mætr, snjallr stólkonungr sólar hefr látit mik verðan minna bragar, an sómði þolli sverðéls. Þó vilk smíða lof ítrum Þróttar skýja eldveitanda, þeim es engr beima vas alfríðri.

The excellent, valiant emperor of the sun [= God] has made me worthy of lesser poetry than befitted the fir-tree of the sword-storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr]. Nevertheless I will craft praise for the splendid offerer of the fire of the clouds of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘fire-offerer of the clouds of Þróttr’) SHIELDS > SWORD > WARRIOR = Óláfr], the one than whom no-one among men was finer in all respects.

readings

[4] verðan: verða Bb

notes

[1, 4] hefr látit mik verðan minna bragar ‘has made me worthy of lesser poetry’: Emendation of ms. verða to verðan (m. acc. sg.) ‘worth, worthy’ is suggested in Skj B, and Skald follows. The ms. reading could perhaps be retained and construed látit mik verða minna bragar ‘allowed me to become less of an eloquent person’, but the sense ‘eloquent person’ for bragr, while attested, is rare (ONP: bragr 1; SnE 2005, 25), and the gen. with minna ‘less’ is awkward.

grammar

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