skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 13I/7 — mildum ‘generously’

Húns nótt hverja knôttu
hirðmenn konungs spenna
gylld horn grœðis meldrar;
glaðr vísi drakk þaðra.
Víðfrægr velja téði
vín húskǫrlum sínum
allvaldr einkar mildum.
Óláfr und veg sólar.

Hverja nótt húns knôttu hirðmenn konungs spenna gylld horn grœðis meldrar; glaðr vísi drakk þaðra. Víðfrægr allvaldr téði velja einkar mildum vín húskǫrlum sínum. Óláfr und veg sólar …

Every bear’s night [WINTER] the king’s retainers gripped the gilded horns of the ocean of flour [ALE]; the cheerful ruler drank there. The widely famous sovereign provided wine exceptionally generously for his housecarls. Óláfr under the path of the sun [SKY] …

notes

[7] mildum ‘generously’: (a) Kock (NN §1176) seems to be correct in taking this as an adverbial dat. Adverbial use of an adj. in the dat. pl. is possible, though restricted (see NS §110 Anm. 2 for examples such as stórum ‘greatly’, bráðum ‘hastily, soon’), and the sense could be ‘by generous (acts)’. (b) In terms of grammar, the most obvious solution is to take (einkar) mildum ‘(exceptionally) generous’ as an adj. qualifying húskǫrlum ‘retainers’ (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, followed by Skj B), but it seems unlikely that the housecarls, rather than the sovereign, are praised in this way.

grammar

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