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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 35VII/3 — heimsku ‘for folly’

‘Hygg að þú nú, heiðinn tiggi’,
hæð mælti, ‘sá öllu er æðri,
hvárn mundir þú, eða heimsku gjarnan’,
hafnarljósa, ‘fyrri kjósa’?
‘Heldur kjöri eg’, kvað hristir skjalda,
‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra;
eigi skil eg, hví öðling Sága
elda síks hefir friett að slíku.’

‘Hygg þú nú að, heiðinn tiggi’, mælti hæð hafnarljósa, ‘hvárn mundir þú fyrri kjósa, sá er æðri öllu eða gjarnan heimsku?’ ‘Eg kjöri heldur’, kvað hristir skjalda, ‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra; eg skil eigi, hví Sága elda síks hefir friett öðling að slíku’.

‘Now consider, heathen king’ said the height of the harbour-light [GOLD > WOMAN], ‘whom you would rather choose, one who is higher than anything else or one eager for folly?’ ‘I choose rather’ said the the shaker of shields [WARRIOR], ‘the one who is more famous than all others than the one who is inferior to all others; I do not understand, why the Sága <goddess> of the fires of the channel [GOLD > WOMAN] has asked the king about such a matter’.

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