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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði, 11 [Vol. 2, 309-10]

[1] beðja (m. acc. pl.) ‘layers’: The emendation beðja ‘layers’ is conjectural, but none of the variants allows for an adequate reading. Beðr ‘layer, bed, quilt’ is a m. ja-stem and the regular acc. pl. is beði, but the metre requires a long-stemmed disyllabic word in positions 5-6. Beðja could be an archaic form (Gmc *baðja-: see ANG §368; SnE 1998 I, 147, 216). Skj B connects beðja with golli (n. dat. sg.) ‘gold’ (l. 2) which is taken as a possessive dat. (Skummet fyldte guldets underlag ‘The foam filled the gold’s pad’), but in LP: beðr 2, Finnur suggests the (unattested) translation ‘long foaming breakers’ (lange skumbølger). Kock (NN §877) tentatively emends to beðjum (m. dat. pl.) which he translates as långa bäddar ‘long beds’. The idea seems to be that the foam formed layers, just like a down-quilt, covering the sea and making it ‘swollen’ (sollit haf (l. 2)). See also Indrebø 1928, 116-20.


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