Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 5I/1 — Teitr ‘Teitr’

Teitr, sák okkr í ítru
allvalds liði falla
(gerðisk harðr) of herðar
(hjǫrdynr) svalar brynjur.
En mín at flug fleina
falsk und hjalm inn valska
(okkr vissak svá, sessi,)
svǫrt skǫr (við her gǫrva).

Teitr, sák svalar brynjur falla of herðar okkr í ítru liði allvalds; harðr hjǫrdynr gerðisk. En svǫrt skǫr mín falsk und inn valska hjalm at flug fleina; sessi, vissak okkr svá gǫrva við her.

Teitr, I saw chill mail-shirts fall over the shoulders of us both in the glorious war-band of the mighty ruler; a hard sword-din [BATTLE] was waged. And my black hair hid itself under the Frankish helmet at the flight of barbs [BATTLE]; bench-mate, I knew us both to be thus prepared against the army.


[1] Teitr: Teit 73aˣ


[1] Teitr: Although teitr could be the adj. ‘glad, cheerful’, it appears to be a pers. n. here, since Sigvatr uses the dual pron. (acc. and dat. okkr ‘us both’) in the stanza rather than the pl. seen consistently elsewhere in the poem. This Teitr is otherwise unknown but on the available onomastic evidence was probably a fellow Icelander (Lind 1905-15: Teitr). The stanza thus apparently addresses not the broader audience of the retinue addressed in st. 1 but instead an individual comrade. Among those who, on the basis of these features, regard st. 5 as a separate lausavísa, are Finnur Jónsson (Skj; LH I, 595) and Petersen (1946, 54-7), and Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson does not count it among the Nesv stanzas (ÍF 27, 61 n.). However, the preservation of the stanza between sts 4 and 7 in ÓH-Hkr, with the same routine introduction, svá segir Sigvatr ‘so says Sigvatr’, favours the present arrangement. Stanza 5 is included in Nesv in CPB (II, 119, 127-9), indeed the eds propose that the entire poem is addressed to Teitr. Fidjestøl also advocates inclusion, noting that Nesv appears to have been loosely-structured throughout (1982, 118; cf. Hellberg 1972, 24; Jesch 2001a, 209). Potential parallels to this incidental address occur in Sigv Vestv 1 and in Arn Magndr 4II (Poole 2005d, 192-5, though contrast Whaley 1998, 119 and Note to Arn Magndr 4/4II).



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