Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 7I/3 — létti ‘it stopped’

Brunnu ból, en runnu
(bǫl vann gnógr) til skógar
(lýða sveit, áðr létti,
limgarmr) Skotar armir,
ok hrynslóðar heiðinn
herr fyr elda þverri
vǫgnu vítt of eignaðr
vápnbautinn fell Gauti.

Ból brunnu, en armir Skotar runnu til skógar; gnógr limgarmr vann sveit lýða bǫl, áðr létti, ok heiðinn herr fell vítt, of eignaðr Gauti, vápnbautinn fyr þverri elda hrynslóðar vǫgnu.

Dwellings burned, and the wretched Scots ran to the forest; a powerful branch-hound [FIRE] caused the crowd of folk disaster, before it stopped, and the heathen army fell widely, dedicated to Gautr [Óðinn], weapon-beaten before the diminisher of the fires of the rushing path of the orca [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN].


[3] létti: léti Bb


[3] létti ‘stopped’: This emendation, proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1832, 9, 20), has been accepted by all subsequent eds. The ms. reading ‘léti’ is most likely the 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. of láta ‘to let’. The sense would then be something like ‘before it [the fire] died’ (cf. Fritzner: láta 12). However, when láta occurs in this sense it is usually the refl. (látask) or p. p. form (látinn ‘dead’), and there are no parallels for its being applied to a non-human referent. On single/double consonant spellings in Bb, see further Note to st. 5/3 ár*.



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