skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 4I/1 — hôtt ‘high’

Herr bar hôtt merki;
á Hamðis serki
grimmt kom él eggja;
at gekk lið seggja.
Meiddu fjǫr flotna
— flest varð hlíf brotna —
— glumðu gráir oddar —
grjót ok skotbroddar.

Herr bar merki hôtt; grimmt él eggja kom á serki Hamðis; lið seggja gekk at. Grjót ok skotbroddar meiddu fjǫr flotna; flest hlíf varð brotna; gráir oddar glumðu.

The army carried the standard high; the terrible storm of edges [BATTLE] hit the shirts of Hamðir <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRTS]; the troop of men attacked. Stones and missile-points injured the lives of seamen; most shields were shattered; grey points crashed.

notes

[1] herr bar merki hôtt ‘the army carried the standard high’: Herr ‘army’ and merki ‘standard’ have been tentatively assumed to have sg. reference here, designating the Jómsvíkingar, in the light of the poem’s general focus on them. Merki could alternatively be taken as pl. (as in Skj B), and herr as a reference to both parties. The Context in ÓT might suggest that the compiler understood them thus, though the Jómsvíkingr Sigvaldi jarl’s banner is singled out earlier in the narrative, and in the corresponding place in ÓTHkr (ÍF 26, 279). Hôtt ‘high’ is the n. nom./acc. sg. form of adj. hôr ‘high’, taken here adverbially, but it could alternatively be an attributive adj. qualifying merki, which could then only be sg., ‘high standard’ (cf. Note to st. 2/1 hvasst).

grammar

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