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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halli XI Fl 3II/3 — sér ‘sees’

Sýstuð suðr, þars æstu,
snjallr gramr, Danir allir
— enn sér eigi minni
efni — mæltrar stefnu.
Sveinn tekr norðr at nenna
nær til landamæris
— varð fyr víðri jǫrðu
vinnsamt — Harald finna.

Sýstuð suðr, snjallr gramr, þars allir Danir æstu mæltrar stefnu; enn sér eigi minni efni. Sveinn tekr at nenna norðr nær til landamæris finna Harald; varð vinnsamt fyr víðri jǫrðu.

You set out southwards, brave king, where all the Danes requested an appointed meeting; once again one sees no lesser cause. Sveinn starts to venture north near to the border to meet Haraldr; it became toilsome off the wide land.


[3] sér: so 39, F, E, H, Hr, sé: , J2ˣ


[3-4] enn sér eigi minni efni ‘once again one sees no lesser cause’: The verb here is sér, 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of sjá ‘see’, used impersonally as ‘one sees’ (CVC: sjá A III), with ‘see’ in the sense of ‘judge, deem, envisage’ (see Fritzner: sjá 4-5). The speaker is placing himself on the side of the wise mediators by arguing that it is just as urgent to reconcile now as it was to fight on a previous occasion (cf. ÍF 28, 160). Kock (NN §806) establishes with numerous parallels that enn ‘once again’ belongs with the parenthesis, not the main cl. On the other hand, while it is conventional to take the gen. phrase mæltrar stefnu ‘an appointed meeting’ (l. 4) with the main cl., it might in fact construe with efni ‘cause’ (l. 4) or indeed with both clauses apo koinou.



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