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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hundk Lv 7VIII (HjǪ 40)/8 — harðr ‘a hard’

Æ ertu illr gestum,         opt hefir þú hölða,
þá er mik hafa heim sóttan,         til heljar færða.
Gakk á bekk annan,         garpr meinhugaðr,
hnyttr inn harðleiti;         harðr er á borð annat.

Ertu æ illr gestum, þú hefir opt færða hölða til heljar, þá er hafa sóttan mik heim. Gakk á annan bekk, meinhugaðr garpr, inn harðleiti hnyttr; harðr er á annat borð.

You are always ill-disposed to guests, you have often sent men to Hel, those who have visited me at home. Go to the other bench, malevolent fighter, hard-faced gnome; otherwise you will have a hard choice.


[8] harðr er: harðr hraðr corrected from harðr er in another hand papp6ˣ


[8] harðr er á annat borð ‘otherwise you will have a hard choice’: Lit. ‘it will be [a] hard [choice] at another table’. The idiom á annat borð means ‘otherwise, on the other hand’, and is frequently linked, implicitly or explicitly, with the phrase harðr kostr ‘hard choice’; for an example, see ONP: borð 1. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates ellers vil du blive hårdt medhandlet ‘otherwise you will be harshly treated’, but such a translation does not account for the adj. harðr ‘hard, harsh’ being m. nom. sg. rather than n. Cf. also Heiðr 1960, 32: Lítt mun ek til þess fær, enda mun harðr á annat borð þykkja ‘I have no great skill in that, but the other way seems hard’ (spoken by Gestumblindi when asked to propose a series of riddles).



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