Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 17II/2 — stundu ‘at once’

Stǫng bar jarl at Engla
ættgrund, en rauð stundu
— vé bað vísi knýja —
verðung ara tungu.
Hyrr óx; hallir þurru;
herdrótt rak þar flótta;
eim hratt, en laust ljóma,
limdolgr, náar himni.

Jarl bar stǫng at ættgrund Engla, en verðung rauð stundu tungu ara; vísi bað knýja vé. Hyrr óx; hallir þurru; herdrótt rak þar flótta; limdolgr hratt eim, en laust ljóma náar himni.

The jarl bore his standard onto the native soil of the English, and his retinue reddened at once the eagle’s tongue; the leader called for banners to advance. Flame grew; halls collapsed; the war-band drove [men] to flight there; the foe of branches [FIRE] flung out smoke, and hurled light close to the sky.


[2] stundu: stundum Flat


[2] stundu ‘at once’: (a) The translation is supported by þegar ‘at once’ at the corresponding point in Orkn’s prose narrative. Stundu usually appears in the phrase af stundu, as in Arn Hardr 10/8 fundusk þeir af stundu ‘they engaged at once’, but stundu, although not otherwise recorded, could be a shortened variant of the phrase (so ÍF 34, 62 n.), since the skalds’ handling of prepositional phrases is often freer than that of prose writers (NS §118b). (b) The variant stundum ‘at times’ does not give good sense.



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