Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 17II/8 — náar ‘close’

Arn Þorfdr 17II

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.


[8] náar (‘nær’): nærr Flat


[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.



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