Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 28I/1 — sóttir ‘came’

Heim sóttir þú hættinn
hǫnd, en vel mátt lǫndum
— þinn stoðak môtt — sem mǫnnum,
Magnús konungr, fagna.
Fœrak víst, þvít vôrum
varðr at þér, í Garða;
skrifnask skírinafna
skript, þjóðkonungr, niptar.

Hættinn sóttir þú heim hǫnd, Magnús konungr, en mátt fagna vel lǫndum sem mǫnnum; stoðak môtt þinn. Víst fœrak í Garða, þvít vôrum varðr at þér; skript niptar skrifnask skírinafna, þjóðkonungr.

Bold, you came back home, King Magnús, and you can be most glad of [your] lands as well as [your] people; I support your power. Certainly, I would have travelled to Russia, since we were [I was] closely connected to you; a document of [your] kinswoman is written to [my] godson, great king.


[1, 2] sóttir þú heim hǫnd ‘you came back home’: The hand (hǫnd) referred to in the idiom was originally a literal one, as when the same expression is used to describe the way that the hammer Mjǫllnir, when cast, returns to the hand of Þórr (SnE 1998, I, 42). The kernel of the expression is thus sóttir . . . hǫnd ‘sought the hand’, heim functioning as the equivalent of ‘again’. On the basis of comparison to heim nam hon Helga | hǫnd at sœkia ‘she took Helgi’s hand’ (HHund II 14/3-4, NK 153), Kock (NN §1878) suggests the sense ‘you decisively grasped the hand outstretched to you from Norway’.



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