Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gizsv Lv 1I/1 — æva ‘ever [lit. never]’

Skala óglaðan æva
— orð fregni þat; borða
búumk við þrǫng á þingi —
þegns dóttir mik fregna,
þótt sigrunnar svinnir
segi vôn Heðins kvánar;
verum í Ála éli
austr bragningi at trausti.

Dóttir þegns skala fregna mik æva óglaðan — fregni þat orð; búumk við þrǫng á þingi borða —, þótt svinnir sigrunnar segi vôn kvánar Heðins; verum austr í éli Ála at trausti bragningi.

The retainer’s daughter shall not hear that I am ever [lit. never] unhappy — may she hear of that word; we are preparing for a crush in the assembly of shields [BATTLE] —, though prudent battle-trees [WARRIORS] say there is prospect of the woman of Heðinn <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)]; let us be east in the blizzard of Áli <legendary king> [BATTLE] in loyal support of the king.


[1] æva: so 321ˣ, Bæb, ifa , Holm2, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, DG8, 141ˣ


[1] æva ‘ever [lit. never]’: This, the reading of 321ˣ and Bæb, is the only one that provides good sense and the necessary long syllable in this position in the line. It may be, however, that the majority reading ‘ifa’ conceals a now lost word for ‘sword’, or perhaps ‘battle’, ‘valkyrie’, or the name of a sea-king (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; cf. ÍF 27 which favours ‘sea-king’). This could form part of a shield-kenning with borða if that is taken in the sense ‘boards’; the shield-kenning would then form a battle-kenning with þing ‘assembly’. Kock (NN §2015; Skald) favoured íva, which he took as a variant of ý- ‘yew (bow)’.



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