Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 4VII/4 — hæstr ‘highest’

Mér vil ek ok eirar
— oss byrjar þat — hnossa
himins stillandi hollrar
hæstr miskunnar æsta,
þótt óverðum orðum,
ítr fylkir, mik lítir
víst fyr vás ok lǫstu,
veðrhallar, þik kveðja.

Ek vil æsta mér hollrar miskunnar ok eirar, hæstr stillandi hnossa himins — þat byrjar oss —, þótt lítir mik, ítr fylkir veðrhallar, kveðja þik óverðum orðum, víst fyr vás ok lǫstu.

I wish to ask on my own behalf for wholesome grace and clemency, highest regulator of the ornaments of heaven [HEAVENLY BODIES > = God] — that is fitting for us [me] —, though you see me, glorious king of the storm-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], call on you with unworthy words, surely because of sinfulness and flaws.


[4] hæstr: ‘he᷎st’ all


[4] hæstr ‘highest’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note in 444ˣ) suggests that B drops the final ‘r’ for the sake of euphony. He corrects to hæstr, m. sg. nom. of the sup. of hár (adj.) ‘high’. This emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.




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