Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 12I/4 — vissa ‘learned’

Ítr þrifusk jǫfra hleyti
eggveðrs í fǫr seggja;
skeið helt mǫrg í móðu
mislǫng, sem ek vissa.
Bládýrum helt bôru
brands svá náar landi
Ullr, at enska vǫllu,
áttstórr, séa knátti.

Ítr hleyti jǫfra þrifusk í fǫr seggja eggveðrs; mǫrg mislǫng skeið helt í móðu, sem ek vissa. Áttstórr Ullr brands helt bládýrum bôru svá náar landi, at knátti séa enska vǫllu.

The glorious kinship of the princes prospered in the expedition of men to the edge-storm [BATTLE]; many warships of various lengths steered into the river, as I learned. The high-born Ullr <god> of the sword [WARRIOR] steered the dark animals of the wave [SHIPS] so near land that the English plains could be seen.


[4] sem ek vissa ‘as I learned’: (a) This is understood here as modifying the clause beginning skeið ‘warship(s)’ immediately preceding it (so Skald). (b) In Skj B it modifies ll. 1-2, with skeið helt mǫrg í móðu mislǫng ‘many warships of various lengths proceeded into the river’ (ll. 3-4) functioning parenthetically; the prose order given in ÍF 35 suggests the same. This is presumably on the grounds that ll. 1-2 make a more important statement, but, as Kock (NN §582) points out, the second helmingr continues the narrative of the ships’ progress, which favours (a). (c) A further possibility is that sem ek vissa qualifies the entire first helmingr.



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