Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bersi Ólfl 3I/2 — í ‘early on we are’

Krýpk eigi svá, sveigir
sára linns — í ári
búum ólítinn Áta
ǫndur þér til handa —,
at, herstefnir, hafnak,
heiðmildr, eða þá leiðumk,
— ungr kunnak þar þrøngvi
þínn — hollvini mína.

Sveigir linns sára, krýpk eigi svá — í ári búum ólítinn ǫndur Áta til handa þér —, heiðmildr herstefnir, at hafnak, eða þá leiðumk, hollvini mína; ungr kunnak þrøngvi þínn þar.

Swinger of the snake of wounds [SWORD > WARRIOR], I do not crawl in such a way — early on we are [I am] readying a not small ski of Áti <sea-king> [SHIP] for you —, reward-generous army commander [RULER], that I forsake, or else then tire of, my loyal friends; [when] young, I got to know your enemy there.


[2] í: og R686ˣ


[2] í ári ‘early on’: This adverbial could be taken with either clause in the first helmingr, and its sense is somewhat elusive. Although ‘this year’ would be a natural translation, ‘early, at daybreak’, or ‘early, soon, quickly’ seem more likely in context (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV; he prefers the latter in Skj B and LP: 2. ár 5; cf. Kock’s case for ‘in a hurry’, NN §3222). In Hkr 1991 the phrase is taken with the krýpk-clause and understood as ‘this year, at present’. The variant í vári ‘in the spring’ is viable but seems to be secondary.



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