Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Magnkv 14II/8 — húna ‘the mast-tops’

Hǫfðu seggir        — þá vas sókn lokit —
heimfǫr þegit        at hǫfuðsmanni.
Landsmenn litu        of liði gǫfgu
segl sædrifin        sett við húna.

Seggir hǫfðu þegit heimfǫr at hǫfuðsmanni; þá vas sókn lokit. Landsmenn litu sædrifin segl, sett við húna, of gǫfgu liði.

The men had obtained leave from the leader to return home; then the battle had ended. The countrymen saw foam-sprayed sails, secured to the mast-tops, above the splendid troop.


[8] húna: so H, Hr, húnu Mork, F


[8] sett við húna ‘secured to the mast-tops’: Húnu (so Mork, F) is ungrammatical, unless the húnn ‘mast-top’ follows the declension of a m. u-stem. Húnn was a cube-shaped wooden piece fastened to the mast-top, with a hole in it through which the halyard passed (see Falk 1912, 59; Jesch 2001a, 160-1).



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