Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhelg Lv 8I/7 — sœkir ‘afflicts’

Fagr stóðk, meðan bar brúði
blakkr, ok sák á sprakka
— oss lét ynðis missa
augfǫgr kona — af haugi.
Keyrði Gefn ór garði
góðlôt vala slóðar
eyk, en ein glǫp sœkir
jarl hvern, kona snarlig.

Stóðk fagr, meðan blakkr bar brúði, ok sák á sprakka af haugi; augfǫgr kona lét oss missa ynðis. Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala, snarlig kona, keyrði eyk ór garði, en ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl.

I stood, handsome, as the dark horse bore the bride, and I gazed on the lady from the mound; the handsome-eyed woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness. The courteous Gefn <= Freyja> of the track of falcons [ARM > WOMAN], quick-witted woman, spurred her mount out of the yard, but one error afflicts every jarl.


[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.



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