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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 9I/2 — þat ‘that’

Ǫld vann ossa skjǫldu
(auðsætt vas þat) rauða,
(hljóms) þás hvítir kómu
(hringmiðlǫndum) þingat.
Þar hykk ungan gram gǫngu
(gunnsylgs), en vér fylgðum,
(blóðs fekk svǫrr) þars slæðusk
sverð, upp í skip gerðu.

Ǫld vann skjǫldu ossa rauða, þás kómu þingat hvítir; þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum. Þar hykk ungan gram gerðu gǫngu upp í skip, þars sverð slæðusk, en vér fylgðum; svǫrr blóðs fekk gunnsylgs.

Men made our shields red, that came there white; that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]. There I think the young king made his advance up on to the ship, where swords were blunted, and we followed; the bird of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE] gained a battle-draught [BLOOD].

readings

[2] þat: þar R686ˣ, 325V

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

grammar

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