Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 12II/6 — halds ‘of defending’

Svíðr of seggja búðir
— siklingr í her miklum
eyðir byggð sem bráðast —
bjartr eldr Danaveldi.
Móðr berr halr of heiði
halds Danmarkar skjǫldu;
vér hlutum sigr, en sárir
Sveins menn fyrir renna.

Bjartr eldr svíðr of búðir seggja Danaveldi; siklingr í miklum her eyðir byggð sem bráðast. Halr, móðr halds Danmarkar, berr skjǫldu of heiði; vér hlutum sigr, en menn Sveins renna sárir fyrir.

Bright fire flames across the dwellings of men in the realm of the Danes; the prince, in a great army, destroys the settlement with all haste. A warrior, weary of defending Denmark, carries shields across the heath; we won victory, but Sveinn’s men run wounded away.


[6] halds: so 39, F, ‘haldr’ , ‘hallz’ E, J2ˣ, hjaldrs H, ‘hialldus’ Hr


[6] halds Danmarkar ‘of defending Denmark’: (a) Skj A gives ‘hallz’ in F and 39, but the ‘d’ is clear in both (and is the reading given in Hkr 1893-1901, III, 67), and this helps to confirm halds as the most likely underlying reading. This is construed here with móðr ‘weary’, which can be qualified by af and the reason for weariness in the dat. (e.g. móðr mjök af gǫngu ‘very weary from walking’, cited in Fritzner: móðr adj.) but alternatively by a noun in the gen., here halds ‘of holding, defending’ (cf. föstumóðr ‘weary from fasting’, Anon Lil 45/2VII); this is the interpretation adopted in ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991, 594. (b) Hjaldrs ‘of battle’ in H and (slightly corrupted) in Hr is also attractive. It could be taken with móðr, giving ‘weary of/from battle’ (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B), or alternatively with halr ‘man’ in l. 5 to form a term for ‘warrior’ (so NN §3231), but the stemma clearly shows it to be secondary.



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