Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hskv Hardr 4II/1 — ótta ‘fear’

Máttit ǫld, þás ótta
ógnfýstr konungr lýsti,
— hljóp fyr hilmis vôpnum
herflótti — bý verja.

Ǫld máttit verja bý, þás ógnfýstr konungr lýsti ótta; herflótti hljóp fyr vôpnum hilmis.

People could not defend the town when the battle-inflamed king [= Magnús] showed fear; the fleeing army ran before the ruler’s weapons.


[1, 2] lýsti ótta ‘showed fear’: Kock (NN §2059) suggests that lýsti ótta should be translated as förkunnade fara, visade sig farlig, injagade skräck ‘announced danger, showed himself to be dangerous, inspired terror’, but ótti ‘fear’ is not attested in that meaning (see Fritzner: ótti). In the present edn, the king who shows fear is Magnús who went out on his ship in his attempt to escape Haraldr’s troops.



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