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Lexicon Poeticum

Lexicon Poeticum

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Arn Hardr 7II/3 — vel ‘hard’

Þung rauð jôrn á Englum
eirlaust, né kømr meira,
vísi vel nær Úsu,
valfall of her snjallan.

Vísi rauð þung jôrn eirlaust á Englum vel nær Úsu, né kømr meira valfall of snjallan her.

The leader reddened weighty iron blades ruthlessly on the English hard by the Ouse, and never will greater slaughter come upon a bold host.


[3] vel nær Úsu ‘hard by the Ouse’: (a) The words, consecutive in the text, are here construed together. Although the idiom vel nær e-u does not appear to be paralleled, there are comparanda such as allnær Úsu ‘very close to the River Ouse’, in Steinn Óldr 2/1-2, describing the same battle (cf. pairs such as vel mikill and allmikill ‘very great’), as well as the OE wel neah ‘very close’ (Bosworth and Toller 1898: wel I, 4). The saga compilers may have understood vel nær Úsu as ‘hard by the Ouse’ since they depict Haraldr and his men ranged on the river-bank itself (e.g. Mork 1928-32, 268). (b) Vel could alternatively modify rauð ‘reddened’ (Kock, NN §806), or meira valfall ‘greater slaughter’ (Finnur Jónsson, Skj B and 1934, 45-6); but in both cases the w. o. would be disjointed.



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