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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa, 40 [Vol. 7, 830-1]

[7-8] heitt ... sárleitir ‘ardently ... the cruel ones’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) retains ms. ‘heitt’ as here, but emends ms. ‘sarleitir’ (l. 8) to sár leit and translates: han så de bitre sår, som de tilföjede vor gud ‘he saw the painful wounds which they inflicted on our God’. Kock (NN §1741) objects to the redundancy of sár ... sár in Finnur’s text, and instead retains sárleitir and emends heitt to leit. He reads (ll. 5-8): Getr eigi sét við sútum | – svá unni lífs brunni – : | leit á sár, þau er settu | sárleitir Guði várum ‘He cannot avoid sorrows – he so loved the well of life – he looked upon the wounds which the cruel ones (de bittre) had given to our God’. He then proposes a further emendation of settu (l. 7) to sættu to improve the skothending (NN §2882). Conjectural emendation can, however, be avoided altogether if one assumes an apo koinou construction in ll. 5-7: Gietrað sieð við sútum ... á sár þau ‘he is not able to guard against sorrows ... to look upon those wounds’ (cf. Fritzner: sjá, v. – Med Præp.: á 3 sjá á e-t : se paa, betragte noget; – við 2 vogte sig for noget). Sárleitr ‘of fierce demeanour?, bloodthirsty?, cruel?’ would appear to be a nonce-formation, echoing háleitr ‘sublime’ in l. 2. St. 38 looks as though it should come directly after 40/7-8 (see Notes to st. 38).

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