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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 14VII/1 — leiti ‘seek’

‘Hvess leiti þið ljósir?’,
lofsælastur mælir
guð, en svöruðu síðan
sanngóðir menn þannveg:
‘Seg þinn bæ eða bygðir,
blíðr og nafnið fríða’;
vann þeim vísi þenna
vagna brautar fagnað.

‘Hvess leiti þið ljósir?’ mælir lofsælastur guð, en sanngóðir menn svöruðu síðan þannveg: ‘Seg blíðr þinn bæ eða bygðir og nafnið fríða’. Vísi brautar vagna vann þeim þenna fagnað.

‘Whom do you two fair men seek?’ says the most glorious God, and the truly good men then answered thus: ‘Be so kind as to tell your town or district and your glorious name’. The king of the path of the wagons [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] did them this favour.

notes

[1] hvess leiti þið ‘whom do you two seek?’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates Hvad søger I ‘What do you seek’, cf. John I.38 Quid quaeritis ‘what do you seek?’. Support for the interpretation of hvess (ms. ‘huers’) as gen. sg. of hverr ‘who’ rather than hvað ‘what’ comes from the versions of John I.38 in Pétr 2/15 Hvern leitit þit? and Andr2A 354/31 Hvers leiti þit?, in both cases ‘Whom do you seek?’

grammar

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