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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 2I/1 — enn ‘still further’

Samira, Njǫrðr, enn norðar,
naddregns, hvǫtum þegni
— vér getum bili at bǫlva —
borðmœrar skæ fœra.
Nús, þats rekr á Rakna
rymleið flota breiðan
— grípum vér í greipar
gunnborð — Haraldr sunnan.

Samira hvǫtum þegni, Njǫrðr naddregns, fœra skæ borðmœrar enn norðar; vér getum at bǫlva bili. Nús, þats Haraldr rekr breiðan flota sunnan á rymleið Rakna; grípum vér gunnborð í greipar.

It does not befit a brave man, Njǫrðr <god> of the spear-rain [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon], to take the horse of the gunwale-land [SEA > SHIP] still further north; we curse delay. Now it is coming about that Haraldr drives his broad fleet from the south on the roaring path of Rakni <sea-king> [SEA]; let us grasp the battle-board [SHIELD] in our hands.


[1] enn: so F, J2ˣ, Bb, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Þb112ˣ, en , J1ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Þb106ˣ, þá er Flat


[1] enn norðar ‘still further north’: Most mss have en or enn; adverbial enn ‘still’ is assumed here, and this is a possible interpretation of the reading en in some mss. Thus the skald’s words could voice criticism of Hákon for retreating (or contemplating retreat) in the face of the threat from Haraldr. Editors have suggested that enn carries little emphasis here and have cautioned against this reading (ÍF 26, and ÍF 29 implicitly), but the possibility of such criticism cannot be excluded. Alternatively, the situation implied in the stanza, read independently of the prose, might be that at the time that the threat announced itself Hákon had been intending to continue his itinerary of seasonal feasts (veizlur) in a northerly direction.



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