Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Berv 12II/5 — hneppta ‘hang’

Hætts, þats allir ætla
— áðr skal við því ráða —
hárir menn, es heyrik,
hót, skjǫldungi at móti.
Greypts, þats hǫfðum hneppta,
heldr, ok niðr í feldi
— slegit hefr þǫgn á þegna —
þingmenn nǫsum stinga.

Hætts hót, þats allir hárir menn, es heyrik, ætla at móti skjǫldungi; áðr skal ráða við því. Heldr greypts, þats þingmenn hneppta hǫfðum ok stinga nǫsum niðr í feldi; þǫgn hefr slegit á þegna.

The threat is dangerous when all grey-haired men, as I hear, intend [to revolt] against the ruler; that must be prevented in advance. It’s rather grim when assembly members hang their heads and stick their noses into their cloaks; silence has descended on your followers.


[5] hneppta: so 39, 325VI, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, H, Flat, ‘hnøpta’ , ‘hneypta’ E, J2ˣ, Holm2, 972ˣ(585va), 972ˣ(585vb), 325V, 61, Hr, ‘hnæypta’ 325VII, FskAˣ, ‘hnypta’ Tóm, ‘noftta’ Bb, hnistir Ágr, ‘hnefta’ 325XI 3


[5] hneppta ‘hang’: Hap. leg. The different spellings show that the scribes had problems understanding the word. The verb hneppta is derived from hnepptr ‘scanty, narrow, scarce’, p. p. of hneppa ‘squeeze, force’, and the sense is that the assembly members are bowing their heads down and forcing their noses into their cloaks (see LP: hnepta).



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