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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 9VII/8 — stundum ‘time to time’

Hætt kveðr heilagr dróttinn
hyrskerðǫndum verða
arms, þeims eigi þyrma
alfríðs sonar tíðum.
Því ro fluggreddar fœddir
fleins með ýmsum meinum;
bæði bǫrn ok móðir
báglundask fyr stundum.

Heilagr dróttinn kveðr verða hætt arms hyrskerðǫndum, þeims eigi þyrma tíðum alfríðs sonar; því ro fleins fluggreddar fœddir með ýmsum meinum; bæði bǫrn ok móðir báglundask fyr stundum.

The Holy Lord says it will become dangerous for the diminishers of the fire of the arm [(lit. ‘arm’s fire-diminishers’) GOLD > GENEROUS MEN], for those who do not respect the festivals of the altogether beautiful Son. Therefore nourishers of spear-flight [(lit. ‘flight-nourishers of the spear’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] are born with various defects; both children and their mother quarrel from time to time.

notes

[5-8]: Attwood 1996a, 191-2 understood this helmingr to refer to the nature of the torments which will befall those who do not respect the festivals of the Church, drawing parallels with much more graphic and detailed descriptions in other versions of the Sunday Letter. However, it would be equally possible to understand st. 9 as stating that life will become dangerous for those who do not keep Christian observances because mankind is imperfect and sinful and there are even disagreements between those one would expect to be most harmonious, viz. mothers and their children. — [8] báglundask fyrir stundum: Although the verb báglunda ‘to become obstreperous, quarrel’ is not otherwise attested in either poetry or prose, there is both a noun and adj. bágr ‘difficul(ty), trouble(some)’ (see ONP) and the adj. báglundr ‘spiteful, warlike’ occurs in Gestr Lv 1/6III, where Snorri goði is characterised as báglundr goði ‘a spiteful priest’. See also Fritzner: lundaðr ‘minded, of a particular disposition’ = lyndr.

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