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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 1I/7 — egna ‘ catching’

Fiskr gengr oss at óskum,
eitrs sem vér hǫfum leitat
lýsu vangs ór lyngvi
leygjar orm at teygja.
Atrennir lét (annars)
ǫngulgripinn hanga
(vel hefr aurriða at egna)
agngalga (mér hagnat).

Fiskr gengr oss at óskum, sem vér hǫfum leitat at teygja orm eitrs leygjar ór lyngvi vangs lýsu. Atrennir agngalga lét ǫngulgripinn hanga; annars hefr hagnat mér vel at egna aurriða.

The fishing goes according to our [my] wishes, in that we have tried to lure the poison-serpent of the sea [FISH] out of the heather of the field of the cod [SEA > SEAWEED]. The caster of the bait-gallows [FISHING LINE > FISHERMAN] let the one grasped by the hook hang; at all events, things have turned out well for me in catching the trout.


[7] egna: erja 61


[7] egna ‘catching’: Consonant rhyme (skothending) fails in an odd line here, as in another four instances in Sigvatr’s oeuvre: see Höskuldur Þráinsson (1970, 27); Gade (1995a, 31-3). In order to provide proper skothending, Kock (NN §670) would adopt the reading erja ‘to plough’. However, his assumption of the sense ‘to cut’ is not convincing, and the fact that this reading is unique to ms. 61 suggests a scribal attempt to correct the hending (so Gering 1912, 134 n. 2, who ascribes the verse to a different, inferior poet; so also Bugge 1897a, 211). Jón Skaptason (1983, 183) adopts erja and renders it ‘baiting’, for no very clear reason.



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