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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halli XI Fl 3II/8 — samt ‘some’

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.


[8] vinnsamt (‘vinsamt’): so E, vindsamt all others


[8] vinnsamt ‘toilsome’: So E. Traces of a noun vinn cognate with more familiar vinna ‘work, labour’, are attested (Olsen 1949b, 82-3) and could explain the conflict in readings here (the other mss have vindsamt ‘windy’). A rare word, vinnsamt might have been rationalised in the majority of mss. Reasoning of this sort presumably lies behind Finnur Jónsson’s vinnsamt (translated as en möjefuld sejlas ‘a toilsome sailing’) in Skj B (so also Skald). Alternatively, if we opt for the majority reading vindsamt ‘windy’, the imperfect and unusual aðalhending (-ind- : -inn-) could be defended as perhaps appropriate in an informal context, if indeed this poem is such.



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