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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 18VII/6 — gjört ‘told’

‘Fel eg nú, frú mín sælust,’
fljóð mælir svá rjóðast,
‘lífs orðinnar æfi
enda þier á hendi.
Gangi öll, þó að illa
eg hafi gjört að segja,
málin, meyja heilög,
mín að vilja þínum.’

‘Nú fel eg, sælust frú mín,’ svá mælir rjóðast fljóð, ‘enda lífs orðinnar æfi á hendi þier. Gangi öll málin mín, heilög meyja, að vilja þínum, þó að eg hafi gjört illa að segja.’

‘Now I commend, my most blessed lady,’ thus speaks the most blushing woman, ‘the end of my life’s spent days into your hands. May all my matters, holy Virgin, proceed according to your will, even though I have told a terrible tale [lit. spoken ill].’

notes

[5-6] þó að eg hafi gjört illa að segja ‘even though I have told a terrible tale [lit. spoken ill]’: The sense of this cl. is not immediately transparent, but it must refer to the fact that she confessed to Mary about her wicked crime, i.e. she told a terrible tale. For the construction gera + inf., see Fritzner: gera 15. Skj B translates the cl. as uagtet jeg har ille gjort i mine ord (el. været uheldig i min fortælling derom?) ‘regardless of the fact that I have done ill in my words (or been unfortunate in my telling about it ?)’, which makes little sense. Wrightson translates it loosely as ‘although I have poorly represented myself’. Kock (NN §1687) believes that the cl. means that the woman has acted (hafi gjört) such that it was terrible to tell about it (illa að segja). This is more in keeping with the present translation, but fails to account for the gera + inf. construction. The corresponding places in Mar (1871, 278, 1203) read as follows: alla vega sic røgiandi ‘incriminating herself in all possible ways’; [j]atar hun þar sina sekt opinberliga fyrir ollum monnum ‘there she admits her guilt publicly before all people’.

grammar

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