Knútr spurði mik mæta
mildr, ef hônum vildak
hendilangr sem hringa
Einn kvaðk senn, en sǫnnu
svara þóttumk ek, dróttinn
— gefin eru gumna hverjum
góð dœmi — mér sœma.
Knútr, mildr mæta, spurði mik, ef vildak hendilangr hônum sem Ôleifi, hugreifum hringa. Kvaðk einn dróttinn senn sœma mér, en þóttumk ek svara sǫnnu; góð dœmi eru gefin hverjum gumna.
Knútr, generous with treasures, asked me if I wanted [to be] of service to him as to Óláfr, bountiful with rings. I declared that one lord at a time was fitting for me, and I thought I answered truthfully; good examples are given to every man.
[7, 8] góð dœmi eru gefin ‘good examples are given’: The variant reading gnóg dœmi eru gǫr ‘enough examples are provided’, found in several good mss, also makes good sense. As to what the examples might be, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27) tentatively refers to Sigv Lv 14, which he takes to refer to the Fall of the rebellious angels (see Note), but loyalty to one’s lord is in any case a constant theme in early Norse poetry.
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