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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 11III/4 — henda ‘were grabbing’

Stefjum verðr at stæla brag,
— stuttligt hefk á kvæði lag —
ella mun þat þykkja þula
þannig nær, sem ek henda mula.
Ekki var þat forðum farald;
Finnan gat þó œrðan Harald;
hánum þótti sólbjǫrt sú;
slíks dœmi verðr mǫrgum nú.

Verðr at stæla brag stefjum – hefk stuttligt lag á kvæði –, ella mun þat þykkja þula, þannig nær, sem ek henda mula. Ekki var þat farald forðum; Finnan gat þó Harald œrðan; hánum þótti sú sólbjǫrt; mǫrgum verðr nú dœmi slíks.

Poetry has to be fitted with refrains – I have an abrupt verse-form in this poem – else it will seem a rigamarole, almost as if I were grabbing at crumbs. It wasn’t a malady in the old days; still, the Saami girl drove Haraldr out of his mind; to him she seemed bright as the sun; instances of such happen to many now.



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