Lôtum langra nóta
at spáþernum sporna
vita, ef akrmurur jǫkla,
ǫl-Gerðr, falar verði,
ítr, þærs upp of róta
unnsvín, vinum mínum.
Lôtum lǫgsóta sporna verfótum norðan at sporðfjǫðruðum spáþernum langra nóta, vita, ef jǫkla akrmurur, þærs unnsvín of róta upp, verði falar vinum mínum, ítr ǫl-Gerðr.
Let us make the ocean-steed [SHIP] pace with sea-feet [OARS] from the north to the tailfin-feathered prophesying terns of the long nets [HERRINGS], to see if the silverweeds of the field of ice-floes [(lit. ‘field-silverweeds of ice-floes’) SEA > HERRINGS] that the wave-swine [SHIPS] root up will prove marketable for my friends, splendid ale-Gerðr <goddess> [WOMAN].
 ‑þernum: þornum F
 spáþernum ‘prophesying terns’: The significance of this base-word and its prefixed agentive spá- ‘prophesying’, as well as the general association between terns and herrings, have been much discussed. Flornes (1939, 15-6) states that changes in the call of terns, and their flocking behaviour, can indicate (or ‘prophesy’) the presence of herring. But perhaps the idea is simply that boats follow terns, who indicate where the shoals are.
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