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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 20VII/2 — víst ‘certainly’

‘Rangir váttar ráð þung
* rísa upp og gjöra víst;
lygi flytr reift róg,
rennr sú er með flærð enn.
Minnaz rieð á miskunn
maðr sá,’ að frúin kvað,
‘að sönnu las hann Síóns
síðast á lífstíð.’

‘Rangir váttar * rísa upp og gjöra víst þung ráð; lygi, sú er enn rennr með flærð, flytr reift róg. Sá maðr rieð minnaz á miskunn,’ kvað frúin að, ‘að sönnu las hann Síóns síðast á lífstíð.’

‘False witnesses rise up and certainly create grave conditions; a lie, which still runs around with destruction, spreads intentional slander. That man did remember mercy,’ said the lady, ‘truly, he read [the prayer] of Zion in the last moment of [lit. latest in] his lifetime.’


[2] víst: slíkt 721


[1-2]: The reading cannot be restored with any certainty, but the first cl. paraphrases Ps. XXXIV.11: Surgentes testes iniqui quae nesciebam interrogabant me ‘Unjust witnesses rising up have asked me things I knew not’. The corresponding place in Mar (1871, 607) reads: Ranglatir uottar risa upp i moti mier, ok illzkan er liugandi til aukningar sialfri sier ‘False witnesses rise up against me, and evil is lying to the augmentation of itself’. Sperber compares this place to Ps. XXVI.12: Quoniam surrexerunt contra me testes falsi et apertum mendacium ‘For unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity hath lied to itself’. — [2] víst (adv.) ‘certainly’: (So also Sperber). This reading is conjectural. Ms. 721 reads slíkt ‘such’ which leaves the l. without internal rhyme and appears to be a repetition of slíkt ‘like this’ in st. 19/8 above. Skj B gives no reading (‘…’), and Skald suggests neist (adj., n. acc. sg.) ‘shameful’ to rhyme with the emended reisa ‘instigate’. Wrightson retains slíkt ‘such’ and connects it with reift róg which is translated as ‘this slander in a lively way’.



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