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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Vestv 3I/5 — vǫrðr ‘The guardian’

Ǫrr tegask Ôleif gerva
(allt hefr sá*) fjǫrvaltan
— konungs dauða munk kvíða —
Knútr ok Hôkun (úti).
Haldisk vǫrðr, þótt vildit
varla Knútr ok jarlar,
(dælla es) fyrst á fjalli
(fundr, ef sjalfr kømsk undan).

Ǫrr Knútr ok Hôkun tegask gerva Ôleif fjǫrvaltan; sá* hefr allt úti; munk kvíða dauða konungs. Vǫrðr haldisk fyrst á fjalli, þótt Knútr ok jarlar vildit varla; dælla es, fundr, ef sjalfr kømsk undan.

Bold Knútr and Hákon prove themselves ready to put Óláfr in danger of his life; he [Knútr] has all [his forces] out; I will dread the death of the king. The guardian [Óláfr] should in the first instance keep himself in the mountains, even though Knútr and the jarls hardly wanted [that]; it is easier, a meeting, if he himself gets away.

readings

[5] vǫrðr: landvǫrðr Flat

notes

[5] vǫrðr ‘the guardian [Óláfr]’: This is common as a base-word in kennings for ‘king’, as when Sigvatr calls Óláfr vǫrðr Nóregs ‘guardian of Norway’ in Austv 13/7-8 (and see LP: vǫrðr 1), but in the absence of a gen. phrase to act as determinant, it appears that vǫrðr is, uniquely, used here as a half-kennning.

grammar

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