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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 1I/4 — setu ‘of peace’

Blóðøxar téa beiða
brynþings fetilstinga
(oss gerask hneppt) ins hvassa
hefnendr (setuefni).
Heldr es vant, en vildak
veg þinn, konungr, segja
— fôum til fornra vápna
fljótt — hersǫgu dróttni.

Hefnendr ins hvassa Blóðøxar téa beiða brynþings fetilstinga; setuefni gerask oss hneppt. Es heldr vant segja dróttni hersǫgu, en vildak veg þinn, konungr; fôum fljótt til fornra vápna.

The avengers of the keen [Eiríkr] Blóðøx (‘Blood-axe’) are asking for a mail-shirt-assembly [BATTLE] with the sword-belt-stabber [SWORD]; the chances of peace are becoming scant for us. It is rather difficult to tell a lord a tale of war, but I wished for your honour, king; let us quickly reach for our old weapons.

readings

[4] setu: ‘se(tu)‑’(?) 325IX 1 a

notes

[4] setuefni ‘the chances of peace’: The cpd is not included in LP, but occurs in prose with the sense ‘peace, stability, possibility of being in peace’, always, as here, in negative contexts (see Fritzner: setuefni). This ironically understated warning of imminent conflict is similar to the remark ascribed to Eyvindr in the preceding prose (see Note to [All]).

grammar

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