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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 6VIII (Ǫrv 76)/3 — hörr ‘the sail rope’

Létum beiti         á brim þrauka;
stóð hörr dreginn         höndum fjarri.
Kómum at eyju         útan brattri,
þar er Grímr fyrir         garða átti.

Létum beiti þrauka á brim; hörr stóð dreginn fjarri höndum. Kómum útan at brattri eyju, þar er Grímr átti garða fyrir.

We allowed the ship to roll on the sea; the sail rope was pulled tight far from our hands. We arrived at the steep island, where Grímr owned properties.


[3] hörr: barð 173ˣ


[3-4] hörr stóð dreginn fjarri höndum ‘the sail rope was pulled tight far from our hands’: Hörr lit. ‘linen’ may refer either to the sail itself or the rope that secures it (cf. LP: hǫrr 3). Lines 3-4 could be interpreted to mean that the sail carried the men forward without their having to do anything (it was far from their hands), and this could be understood as consistent with the prose narrative. Alternatively, and more likely in the context of the verb þrauka, they might imply that the wind was so fierce that the sail or sail rope was beyond the men’s control.



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