Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 8I/7 — ǫrt ‘swiftly’

Vér drifum hvatt, þars heyra
hátt vápnabrak knátti,
— rǫnd klufu roðnir brandar —
reiðir upp á skeiðar.
En fyr borð, þars bǫrðusk,
— búin fengusk skip — gengu
— nár flaut ǫrt við eyri
ófár — búendr sárir.

Vér drifum reiðir hvatt upp á skeiðar, þars knátti heyra hátt vápnabrak; roðnir brandar klufu rǫnd. En sárir búendr gengu fyr borð, þars bǫrðusk; búin skip fengusk; ófár nár flaut ǫrt við eyri.

We pressed, enraged, keenly up on to the ships, where the loud clash of weapons could be heard; reddened blades split the shield. And wounded farmers went overboard, where they fought; the well-appointed ships were captured; not a few corpses floated swiftly by the land-spit.


[7] ǫrt: so Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 68, 61, 325VII, Bb, Tóm, út , papp18ˣ, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, Holm4, Flat, om. 325VI, autt 325V


[7] ǫrt ‘swiftly’: Syntactically, the adv. could modify bǫrðusk ‘they fought’ (so Finnur Jónsson in Skj B), or gengu (fyr borð) ‘went (overboard)’, or flaut ‘floated’. On grounds of word order the latter is favoured here, following Kock (NN §620). Kock (NN §2988C) compares fljóta hvatt ‘float briskly’ in KormǪ Lv 42/1-2V (Korm 61). The reading út ‘out’ in and other mss gives equally good sense and is adopted in Hkr 1893-1901 and ÍF 27.



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