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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 7. Lausavísur, 1 [Vol. 2, 165]

[1, 2] limar; leiða ‘branches; affect’: Both mss clearly have f. pl. limar (unabbreviated in W), and A has the f. pl. adj. langar (though W has abbreviated m. pl. ‘langer’, normalised langir), so the noun seems to be limar f. ‘branches, boughs, offshoots’ rather than limir m. ‘limbs’ or ‘joints’. A similar figurative use of limar, meaning ‘consequences’, together with the verb leiða ‘lead, conduct’, is found in Reg 4, in the proverbial of lengi leiða limar ósaðra orða ‘too long do the branches of untrue words lead (one)’ (NK 174, here reordered as prose). The sense of leiða is slightly elusive in both contexts, but probably ‘lead’ shades into ‘affect’ (see the discussion by Björn Magnússon Ólsen, TGT 1884, 187-8). On the tense of leiða, see Context above.


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