skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 16I/4 — skeiðum ‘the ships’

Gengu upp, þeirs Englum,
ár hrafngefendr, vôru
langa stund á landi
leiðir, grund af skeiðum.
Eðr í gǫgn, þeirs gôðu
(glaum skers) bœi verja,
(galt hilmis lið hjalta)
herferð búendr gerðu.

Hrafngefendr, þeirs vôru langa stund leiðir Englum á landi, gengu ár upp grund af skeiðum. Eðr búendr, þeirs gôðu verja bœi, gerðu herferð í gǫgn; lið hilmis galt glaum skers hjalta.

The raven-benefactors [WARRIORS], who had been for a long time hateful to the English in the land, went up early onto land from the ships. But the farmers, who intended to defend the settlements, made a military expedition in return; the troop of the ruler dealt out the merriment of the skerry of the hilt [SWORD > BATTLE].

notes

[4] grund af skeiðum ‘onto land from the ships’: The mss read grund af skeiðum in their first citation of the stanza, and upp frá skeiðum ‘up from the ships’ in their second. Neither reading is straightforward. (a) This edn follows Bjarni Guðnason (ÍF 35) in reading grund af skeiðum. Grund ‘land’ is understood as the acc. object of gengu upp ‘went up’ (l. 1), the site of movement (cf. Note to st. 13, 5-6, interpretation (a), and references there; see also E. Olsen 1934, 262-3), although ganga upp ‘go ashore’ is normally followed by a prepositional phrase. (b) Upp frá skeiðum ‘up from the ships’ is preferred by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald). This, however, gives somewhat awkward syntax with its repetition of upp ‘up’, and it assumes convoluted word order in construing á landi (l. 3) with gengu upp, hence gengu upp á landi upp frá skeiðum ‘advanced into the land, up from the ships’ (E. Olsen 1934, 262, notes the difficulty, but see NN §2771 for a defence). (c) A further possibility is to adopt grund from the first citation and frá (skeiðum) from the second, hence gengu grund upp frá skeiðum ‘went across the ground up from the ships’. As in interpretation (a), grund is understood as an acc. of place, now following gengu ‘went’ (l. 1) rather than gengu upp .

grammar

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