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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjálm Lv 4VIII (Ǫrv 14)/4 — sékat ‘I cannot see’

Sár hefk sextán,         slitna brynju,
svart er mér fyr sjónum,         sékat ganga.
Hneit mér við hjarta         hjörr Angantý*s,
hvass blóðrefill,         herðr í eitri.

Hefk sextán sár, slitna brynju, er mér svart fyr sjónum, sékat ganga. Hjörr Angantý*s hneit mér við hjarta, hvass blóðrefill, herðr í eitri.

I have sixteen wounds, a broken mail-coat, it is dark before my eyes, I cannot see to walk. Angantýr’s sword has pierced my heart, the sharp sword tip, hardened in poison.


[4] sékat ganga (‘sekat ek ganga’): so 471, ‘seka se ek ganga’ 2845, ‘seinka eg ad ganga’ R715ˣ, ‘svinkada ek ganga’ 344a, ‘sie ec ei ad ganga’ 343a, 173ˣ


[4] sékat ganga ‘I cannot see to walk’: The mss show variation between two verbs, viz. sjá ‘see’ (with the suffixed negative particles ‑a or ‑at), as in 2845, 343a, 471 and 173ˣ, and seinka ‘delay’ (R715ˣ and probably underlying 344a’s svinkada, as suggested in Edd. Min. 49 n.). The latter reading could make sense, ‘I delay walking, I have difficulty walking’.



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