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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Vestv 1I/3 — bǫrð ‘the stem’

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan
morgun Rúðu borgar
bǫrð létk í fǫr fyrða
fest við arm inn vestra.

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan morgun létk bǫrð fest við inn vestra arm borgar Rúðu í fǫr fyrða.

Bergr, we have remembered how, many a morning, I caused the stem to be moored to the western rampart of Rouen’s fortifications in the company of men.


[3] bǫrð: borð 73aˣ, 325V, Bb, Flat, Tóm, om. 61


[3] bǫrð ‘the stem’: Bǫrð, the pl. of n. barð, is chosen not only as the reading of the main ms., but also because it refers specifically to the stem of a ship, often the fore-stem or the prow, and so is particularly appropriate in a context which concerns tying up at a landing-place (Jesch 2001a, 148-50). The pl. bǫrð here may designate a single prow, perhaps because barð designated a feature on both sides of the prow, hence the prow itself (see LP: barð 3). Alternatively, it could refer to both stems, and the ship could be tied up at both ends. The common variant reading borð ‘plank(s)’, as a pars pro toto for ‘ship’, is also possible.



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