Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Óldr 16II/4 — mildi ‘generous’

Óláfr gefr, svát jǫfra
alls engi má snjallra,
hǫggvit gull til hylli
hildinga konr mildi.
Grams es heiðum himni
— hanns fremstr konungmanna —
— spyr, hverr glíkt mun gerva —
gjǫflund borin* undir.

Óláfr, mildi konr hildinga, gefr hǫggvit gull til hylli, svát alls engi snjallra jǫfra má. Gjǫflund grams es borin* undir heiðum himni; hanns fremstr konungmanna; spyr, hverr mun gerva glíkt.

Óláfr, the generous kinsman of lords [KING], gives cut gold in exchange for loyalty, as absolutely none of [the other] undaunted princes can. The ruler’s munificent disposition is carried beneath the clear sky; he is the foremost of kings; [just] ask, who else might act in such a way.


[4] mildi konr hildinga (m. nom. sg.) ‘the generous kinsman of lords [KING]’: For the present version, see NN §§894, 1853D. Skj B emends to kon hildinga (m. acc. sg.) and construes the following: svát alls engi snjallra jǫfra má mildi hildinga kon ‘so that absolutely none [of the other] undaunted princes can measure up to the kinsman of lords in terms of generosity’. That reading presupposes an unattested use of the verb mega (má mildi e-m ‘can measure up to sby in terms of generosity’; see LP: mildi 1).




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