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Old Norse Online

Lesson 8

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Viking Weaponry

The Viking Age warrior had a wide array of weaponry and protective gear available for use on the battlefield. In the earlier period sword and spear were the predominant weapons. The spear was later set aside in favor of the axe, and it is this weapon which frequently caught the imagination of artists depicting viking battles. Use of the sax was not unheard of, this being a short sword or long knife, and also of bow and arrow. For defense viking warriors often used a small, round shield. On the body they would wear a shirt of chain mail or corselet, though archaeological remains are scant, and it appears that most warriors could not afford such protection. In their stead, some warriors wore shirts of padded leather, or clothes with insewn bone plaques. Helmets were used, though the rarity of remains suggests that their use was far from widespread.

The sword more than any other weapon in viking culture was viewed with a certain amount of awe and reverence. A particularly good blade might bear a name and be passed down through generations as an heirloom. The creation of such blades was often given an air of mystery and magic. Swords typically weighed between four and five pounds, and were some thirty five inches from tip to butt. The blades were roughly five inches wide and thirty inches long. There was a small depression, the blood groove, a half inch wide and running down the middle of the blade. Some blades were damascened, i.e. made from alternating layers of iron and steel folded together, to produce a strong but flexible blade. Beginning in the tenth century one finds blades decorated with symbols, signs, or even texts. In the late eleventh century Christian symbols begin to appear.

The spear was an extremely common weapon in the Viking Age, and could be anywhere from six and a half to ten feet long, including an eight to twenty four inch metal point with socket tube. Spears fell into two broad types: those for casting, and those for thrusting. Some casting spears are said to have had ropes wrapped around them, so that as the rope unravelled in flight, the spear began to twist. The thrusting spears have longer, heavier heads. The socket itself was often longer to avoid being hacked off of the shaft. In later periods the socket tube of thrusting spears was often decorated in the same style as swords with intricate silver inlays.

Battle-axes came into use fairly late and were made with either wide or thin blades. In essence there were three types of axe. One type, the hand-axe, was little more than a farming tool. The light head carried a hammer opposite the blade, and this was fixed on a long iron-shod shaft. A second type, the bearded-axe, was commonly used in sea battles for grappling because of the squared projection at the bottom of the blade which gave it its name. The third type, the broad-axe, is the most famous. It is heavier than the other types, and the warrior grasped it with both hands. The blade could be up to twelve inches across, inlaid with silver or gold.

The Vikings used bow and arrow for both fighting and hunting. Bows do not survive from the Viking Age, but the sizes of arrows and depictions in art suggest the use of both a short bow and a long bow, which could be up to six and a half feet. The bows were typically made of pine. Arrowheads were generally iron. Sharp points were used to bring down big game such as reindeer, moose, and bear. Blunt arrowheads were used for the smaller game which was the mainstay of the fur-trade, the blunt point doing less damage to the pelt. Sometimes forked points were used for hunting birds.

The viking shield was round and formed of thin boards fixed from behind by an iron bar. The hand gripped the bar, and the knuckles protruded through a hole cut from the center of the boards. This hole, and thus the hand, was covered by an iron boss fixed to the front of the shield. A leather strap allowed one to hang the shield over the neck in order to keep both hands free. Leather might cover the face of the shield, and the rim might be ringed with iron. But generally little metal was applied to the shield, the preference being on lightness and ease of motion rather than on bulk and endurance. The shields were often painted a single bold color, and sparsely decorated, if at all. The more ornate shields were intended for show rather than for battle.

It appears that helmets of earlier periods were more ornate than their later counterparts. Some helmets dating to the late seventh century cover the entire head and face with guards for the neck and cheek. Ornamentation included eyebrow ridges and fine metalwork lining the rim. No helmets have been recovered with the stereotypical upward sweeping horns, though indirect evidence in the form of figurines and carvings suggest that some such helmets may have existed. These depictions, however, often seem to perform a magical role, and so if such helmets existed, they were presumably far from common. By the time of the Viking Age, helmet design favored a simple conical shape, sometimes with but often without a nosepiece. Helmets appear to have been fashioned from either metal or leather.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following selection is a poetical excerpt from Hervarar saga ok Heireks konungs. The diction of the poem is archaic, and some scholars have thought it to be the remnant of an earlier poetic form of the entire narrative, of which the saga we have is the distilled version. Some scholars of the early 20th century have included the poem with the collected poems of the Poetic Edda.

The poem begins when Hervr arrives on the island Samsey to claim the sword Tyrfing from her dead father Angantr. The basic outline of the story up to this point is as follows. Dwarfs created the sword Tyrfing for Svafrlami, but one laid a curse upon it: that it should bring death to the one who wielded it, that no wound it caused should ever heal, and that it should bring about three shameful deeds. These are of course played out to the letter in the ensuing story. Arngrm killed Svafrlami and took the sword Tyrfing from him. Arngrm had twelve warrior sons, and one of them, Angantr, received Tyrfing to carry to war. In Upsala, Angantr made suit for the king's daughter, and the king ordered him to fight his champions rvar-Odd and Hjlmar on the isle Samsey. The king's champions arrived first on the island, heading inland and leaving their crew on the ship. When Angantr and his brothers arrived, they killed the entire crew, but were sorely wearied from battle. Odd and Hjlmar arrived only after the brothers' fatigue had set in; Odd killed the eleven brothers, and Hjlmar killed Angantr. Hjlmar nevertheless died shortly after Angantr as a result of his wounds from Tyrfing. Angantr's posthumous daughter, when she came of age to learn her father's true identity and the cause of his death, set herself on the track toward vengeance. She determined that Tyrfing was the proper instrument for her task, and so she travelled to Samsey and the burial mounds of Angantr and his brothers to ask her father for the sword. This is where the poem picks up the story; from the end of the poem it is clear what Hervr's next task will be, as she puts revenge before her own well-being in true heroic tradition.

Hitt hefir mr ung Munarvgi
        vi slarsetr segg at hjru.

  • hitt -- past participle; accusative singular neuter of <hitta (tt)> hit upon; find, meet -- met
  • hefir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- ...
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- the... maid
  • ung -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <ungr> young -- young
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • Munarvgi -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Munarvgr> Munarvag -- Munarvag
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- at
  • slarsetr -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <slarsetr> sunset -- sunset
  • segg -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <seggr> man; hero, warrior -- a man
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- at
  • hjru -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hjr> herd, flock -- (his) flock

Hirir kva:
        "Hverr's einn saman ey kominn?
        gakktu greiliga gistingar til!"

  • hirir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hirir> herdsman -- the herdsman
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • hverr's -- interrogative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every + verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- who has # hverr's = hverr es = hverr er
  • einn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- alone
  • saman -- adverb; <saman> together -- ...
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- to
  • ey -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ey> island -- the island
  • kominn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- come # Hervor is in disguise, so that the herdsman thinks she is a man. The forms are therefore all masculine.
  • gakktu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- go # gakktu = gakk +
  • greiliga -- adverb; <greiliga> quickly, promptly -- quickly
  • gistingar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <gisting> night-lodging -- (your) lodging
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to

Hervr kva:
        "Munkat ganga gistingar til,
        vt engan kank eyjarskeggja;
        segu hraliga r hean lir
        hvar ru Hjrvari haugar kendir?"

  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • munkat -- verb; 1st singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- I cannot # munkat = mun + ek + at
  • ganga -- verb; infinitive of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- go
  • gistingar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <gisting> night-lodging -- (my) lodging
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • vt -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that + conjunction; <at> that -- since # vt = v + at
  • engan -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <engi> no, none, no one -- none
  • kank -- verb; 1st singular present of <kunna> know, know how to; be able + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I know # kank = kann + ek
  • eyjarskeggja -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <eyjarskeggi> inhabitant of an island -- of the island inhabitants
  • segu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- tell # segu = seg +
  • hraliga -- adverb; <hraliga> quickly -- ...
  • r -- adverb; <r> before, first; until -- before
  • hean -- adverb; <hean> from here, hence -- from here
  • lir -- verb; 2nd singular present subjunctive of <la> move, go; pass, progress -- you go
  • hvar -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere -- where
  • ru -- verb; 3rd plural present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- are # ru = eru
  • Hjrvari -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Hjrvarr> Hjorvarth -- Hjorvarth's
  • haugar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- burial mounds
  • kendir -- past participle; nominative plural masculine of <kenna (d)> know; perceive; taste; feel; recognize; name, tell; teach -- ...

Hirir kva:
        "Spyrjat at v, spakr est eigi,
        vinr vkinga, st vanfarinn;
        frum frliga sem okkr ftr toga --
        alt es ti mtt firum."

  • hirir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hirir> herdsman -- the herdsman
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • spyrjat -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <spyrja (spuri)> trace, find out (about); hear; ask + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- don't ask # spyrjat = spyr + at -- Note the thematic -j- remains even before an enclitic beginning with a.
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- about
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • spakr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <spakr> quiet; wise, learned -- wise
  • est -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you are # est = ert
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • vinr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <vinr> friend; patron, leader -- friend
  • vkinga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <vkingr> viking, pirate -- of vikings
  • st -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you + verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you're # st = + est = ert
  • vanfarinn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <vanfarinn> in evil straits -- in dire straits
  • frum -- verb; 1st plural imperative of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- let us go
  • frliga -- adverb; <frliga> swiftly -- as quickly
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • okkr -- pronoun; accusative dual of <ek> I -- us
  • ftr -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <ftr> foot; leg -- (our) feet
  • toga -- verb; 3rd plural present of <toga (a)> tug, pull -- will take
  • alt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- everything
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • ti -- adverb; <ti> outside; out at sea; unsheltered -- out here
  • mtt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <mttr> terrible, loathsome -- harmful
  • firum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <firar> (pl.) men, people -- to men

Hervr kva:
        "Men bjum r mls at gjldum;
        muna drengja vin dlt at letja:
        fr engi mr frar hnossir,
        fagra bauga, svt farak eigi."

  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • men -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <men> necklace; jewel, treasure -- treasure
  • bjum -- verb; 1st plural present of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- we offer
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • mls -- noun, neuter; genitive singular of <ml> speech, tale; information; period of time -- for the information
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- as
  • gjldum -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <gjald> payment; tax -- payment
  • muna -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might + enclitic adverb; <a> not -- it is not
  • drengja -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <drengr> (gallant) fellow; warrior -- of warriors
  • vin -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <vinr> friend; patron, leader -- the friend
  • dlt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <dll> gentle, easy (to manage) -- easy
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • letja -- verb; infinitive of <letja (latti)> hinder, dissuade -- dissuade
  • fr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <f> get, take; catch; have, make use of; put; give; receive; suffer; (with ppart.) be able to, get accomplished; (mid.) take place; struggle -- has
  • engi -- pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <engi> no, none, no one -- no one
  • mr -- pronoun; dative singular of <ek> I -- to me
  • frar -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <frr> handsome -- handsome enough
  • hnossir -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <hnoss> costly thing, ornament -- ornaments
  • fagra -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <fagr (ran)> fair, beautiful -- so fair
  • bauga -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <baugr> ring; coil -- rings
  • svt -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if + conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • farak -- verb; 1st singular present subjunctive of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I go
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not

Hirir kva:
        "Heimskr ykki mr ss hera ferr,
        mar einn saman, myrkvar grmur;
        hyrrs sveimun, haugar opnask,
        brennr fold ok fen -- frum harara!"

  • hirir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hirir> herdsman -- the herdsman
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • heimskr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <heimskr> foolish -- foolish
  • ykki -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <ykkja (tti)> seem, be thought -- seems
  • mr -- pronoun; dative singular of <ek> I -- to me
  • ss -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- he... who # ss = s + es = s er
  • hera -- adverb; <hera> here, hither -- there
  • ferr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- goes
  • mar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- a man
  • einn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- alone
  • saman -- adverb; <saman> together -- totally
  • myrkvar -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <myrkr (van)> dark -- through dark
  • grmur -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <grma> mask; shadow of night -- night
  • hyrrs -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hyrr> fire + verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- fire is # herrs = herr + es = herr er
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • sveimun -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <sveimun> soaring, flitting -- flight
  • haugar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- burial mounds
  • opnask -- verb; 3rd plural present middle of <opnask (a)> be open -- lay open
  • brennr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <brenna> (intrans.) burn, be on fire -- are burning
  • fold -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <fold> earth, world -- earth
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • fen -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <fen> bog, fen -- bog
  • frum -- verb; 1st plural imperative of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- let us go
  • harara -- adverb; comparative of <hart> hard; sharply -- quickly

Hervr kva:
        "Hirumat flask vi fnsun slka,
        tt of alla ey eldar brenni!
        Ltumat okkr lina rekka
        skjtla skelfa; skulum vi talask."

  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • hirumat -- verb; 1st plural imperative of <hira ()> keep; mind, care + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- let us take care not
  • flask -- verb; infinitive middle of <fla (d)> frighten; (refl.) be frightened -- to be frightened
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- by
  • fnsun -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <fnsun> snorting, blowing out -- snorting
  • slka -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <slkr> such -- such
  • tt -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless + conjunction; <at> that -- though
  • of -- preposition; <of> over; across, through; around, about; concerning; because of; for -- throughout
  • alla -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <allr> all, whole; every -- the entire
  • ey -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ey> island -- island
  • eldar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <eldr> fire -- fires
  • brenni -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <brenna> (intrans.) burn, be on fire -- burn
  • ltumat -- verb; 1st plural imperative of <lta> put, place; let, allow; concede, yield; leave, leave off; lose; cause to be done, command; behave (as if); declare; sound + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- let's not allow
  • okkr -- pronoun; accusative dual of <ek> I -- us
  • lina -- past participle; accusative plural masculine of <la> move, go; pass, progress -- dead
  • rekka -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <rekkr> warrior, man -- warriors
  • skjtla -- adverb; <skjtla> quickly -- quickly
  • skelfa -- verb; infinitive of <skelfa ()> make tremble, frighten -- to... frighten
  • skulum -- verb; 1st plural present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- we shall
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- ...
  • talask -- verb; infinitive middle of <tala (a)> talk, speak; (recip.) discuss, converse -- make conversation

Vas fhirir fljtr til skgar
        mjk fr mli meyjar essar;
        en harsninn hugr brjsti
        um sakar slkar svellr Hervru.

  • vas -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • -- adverb; <> then -- at that moment
  • fhirir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <fhirir> herdsman -- the herdsman
  • fljtr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <fljtr> swift, fleeing -- headed
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • skgar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <skgr> wood, forest -- the woods
  • mjk -- adverb; <mjk> much; very -- ...
  • fr -- preposition; <fr> from; concerning -- at
  • mli -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <ml> speech, tale; information; period of time -- the words
  • meyjar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mr> maiden -- of... maiden
  • essar -- demonstrative used as adjective; genitive singular feminine of <sj> this -- this
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • harsninn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <harsninn> wll-knitt, staunch -- well-prepared
  • hugr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hugr> mind; thought; heart, spirit -- heart
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • brjsti -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <brjst> breast -- (her) breast
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- for
  • sakar -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <sk> cause, reason; lawsuit, dispute; sake -- straits
  • slkar -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <slkr> such -- such
  • svellr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <svella> swell, rise high -- swelled
  • Hervru -- proper noun, feminine; dative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor's

Hon s n haugaeldana ok haugba ti standa, ok gengr til hauganna ok hrisk ekki; hon eldana sem reyk, ar til er hon kom at haugi berserkjanna. kva hon:

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- saw
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- then
  • haugaeldana -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <haugaeldr> fire from graves + definite article; accusative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the grave fires
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • haugba -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <haugbi> ghost, undead man -- ghosts
  • ti -- adverb; <ti> outside; out at sea; unsheltered -- out
  • standa -- verb; infinitive of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- come
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • gengr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- she went
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • hauganna -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound + definite article; genitive plural masculine of <inn> the -- the mounds
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hrisk -- verb; 3rd singular present middle of <hra (dd)> frighten; (refl.) be afraid of, be frightened -- was... frightened
  • ekki -- adverb; <ekki> not, by no means -- not
  • -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vaa> wade through, pass through -- passed through
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • eldana -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <eldr> fire + definite article; accusative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the fires
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- and
  • reyk -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <reykr> smoke -- smoke # cf. Reykja-vk
  • ar -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- ...
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- until
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- ...
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kom -- verb; 3rd singular past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the mound
  • berserkjanna -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <berserkr> berserk + definite article; genitive plural masculine of <inn> the -- of the berserkers
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she

"Vaki, Angantr! vekr ik Hervr,
        einga dttir ykkur Tfu.
        Selu r haugi hvassan mki,
        anns Svafrlama slgu dvergar.

  • vaki -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <vaka> be awake, stay awake; watch -- wake
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • vekr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vaka> be awake, stay awake; watch -- wakes
  • ik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • einga -- adjective; indeclinable form of <einga> only -- sole
  • dttir -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dttir> daughter -- daughter
  • ykkur -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <ykkarr> your, of you two -- of you and
  • Tfu -- proper noun, feminine; genitive singular of <Tfa> Tofa -- Tofa
  • selu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <selja> give; sell + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- give
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- out from
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the grave
  • hvassan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <hvass> sharp; prickly -- (your) sharp
  • mki -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <mkir> sword -- sword
  • anns -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which # anns = ann + es = ann er
  • Svafrlama -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Svafrlami> Svafrlami -- for Svafrlami
  • slgu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <sl> smite, strike -- hammered out
  • dvergar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- dwarfs

Hervarr, Hjrvarr, Hrani, Angantr!
        vekk yr alla und viar rtum,
        hjlmi ok me brynju, hvssu sveri,
        rnd ok me reii, ronum geiri.

  • Hervarr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hervarr> Hervarth -- Hervarth
  • Hjrvarr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hjrvarr> Hjorvarth -- Hjorvarth
  • Hrani -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hrani> Hrani -- Hrani
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • vekk -- verb; 1st singular present of <vaka> be awake, stay awake; watch + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I wake
  • yr -- pronoun; accusative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • alla -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • und -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- below # und an alternate form of undir; cf. fyr and fyrir
  • viar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <vir> tree; beam; forest; wood -- the tree's
  • rtum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <rt> root -- roots
  • hjlmi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hjlmr> helmet -- helmet
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • brynju -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <brynja> coat of mail -- byrnie
  • hvssu -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <hvass> sharp; prickly -- sharp
  • sveri -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <sver> sword -- sword
  • rnd -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <rnd> rim; shield -- shield
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • reii -- noun, masculine/neuter; dative singular of <reii> trappings, harness; rigging, tackle -- harness
  • ronum -- past participle; dative singular masculine of <rja> make red, redden -- with reddened
  • geiri -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <geirr> spear; point of anvil -- spear

Mjk eru ornir, Arngrms synir,
        megir meinsamir, moldar at auka,
        es engi skal sona Eyfuru
        vi mik mla Munarvgi.

  • mjk -- adverb; <mjk> much; very -- greatly
  • eru -- verb; 2nd plural present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you... have
  • ornir -- past participle; nominative plural masculine of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- changed
  • Arngrms -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Arngrmr> Arngrim -- of Arngrim
  • synir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <sonr> son -- sons
  • megir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <mgr> boy, son; (pl.) kindred -- kin
  • meinsamir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <meinsamr> harmful, violent -- violent
  • moldar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mold> soil, earth (as substance) -- of earth
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- for
  • auka -- verb; infinitive of <auka> to increase, add -- the heaping up
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- while
  • engi -- pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <engi> no, none, no one -- none
  • skal -- verb; 3rd singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- will
  • sona -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <sonr> son -- of the sons
  • Eyfuru -- proper noun, feminine; genitive singular of <Eyfura> Eyfura -- of Eyfura
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- with
  • mik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • mla -- verb; infinitive of <mla (t)> speak -- speak
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • Munarvgi -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Munarvgr> Munarvag -- Munarvag

Sv s yr llum innan rifja,
        sem r maura morni haugi,
        nema sver seli ats sl Dvalinn;
        samira draugum drt vpn fela."

  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- be it
  • yr -- pronoun; dative plural of <> thou, you -- for you
  • llum -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • innan -- preposition; <innan> from within; into; within -- within
  • rifja -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <rif> rib -- (your) ribs
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as if
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • maura -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <maurr> ant -- an ant
  • morni -- verb; 2nd plural present of <morna (a)> waste away -- waste away
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- hill
  • nema -- conjunction; <nema> unless; except -- unless
  • sver -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sver> sword -- the sword
  • seli -- verb; 2nd singular present of <selja> give; sell -- you give
  • ats -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which # ats = at + es = at er
  • sl -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sl> smite, strike -- hammered
  • Dvalinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Dvalinn> Dvalin, Delayer -- Dvalin
  • samira -- verb; 3rd singular present of <sama> beseem, befit + enclitic adverb; <a> not -- it is not fitting
  • draugum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <draugr> undead man, ghost -- for ghosts
  • drt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <drr> dear, expensive; precious -- the precious
  • vpn -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <vpn> weapon -- weapon
  • fela -- verb; infinitive of <fela> hide; make over, commend -- to hide

svarar Angantr:
        "Hervr dttir, hv kallar sv
        full feikinstafa? Ferr r at illu.
        r est orin ok rvita,
        villhyggjandi vekr menn daua!

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • svarar -- verb; 3rd singular present of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • dttir -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dttir> daughter -- (my) daughter
  • hv -- interrogative adverb; <hv> why? -- why
  • kallar -- verb; 2nd singular present of <kalla> call, cry out; name; say, declare -- do you call out
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • full -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <fullr> full; in full swing -- filled
  • feikinstafa -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <feikinstafir> (pl.) curses -- with curses
  • ferr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- it works
  • r -- pronoun; dative singular of <> thou, you -- your
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • illu -- adjective used as substantive; dative singular neuter of <illr> bad, evil; ugly, unpleasing; difficult -- disadvantage
  • r -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <rr> mad, frantic -- mad
  • est -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you have # est = ert
  • orin -- past participle; nominative singular feminine of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- become
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • rvita -- adjective; weak nominative singular feminine of <rviti> out of one's senses -- senseless
  • villhyggjandi -- present participle; nominative singular feminine of <villhyggjandi> bewildered, deluded -- delirious
  • vekr -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vaka> be awake, stay awake; watch -- you wake
  • menn -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- menn
  • daua -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <daur> dead -- dead

Grfat mik fair nir n frndr arir.
        eir hfu Tyrfing tveir es lifu,
        var eigandi einn of sir."

  • grfat -- verb; 3rd singular past of <grafa> dig; engrave, inlay + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- did not bury
  • mik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • fair -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <fair> father -- a father
  • nir -- adverb; <nir> down -- ...
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • frndr -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <frndi> relative, kinsman -- kin
  • arir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- other
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <hann> this one -- they
  • hfu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- held
  • Tyrfing -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Tyrfingr> Tyrfing -- Tyrfing
  • tveir -- numeral; nominative plural masculine of <tveir> two -- the two
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • lifu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <lifa ()> live -- lived
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- became
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- though
  • eigandi -- present participle; nominative singular masculine of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- the owner
  • einn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- only one
  • of sir -- adverb; <of sir> at last -- at last

Hon kva:
        "Segu eitt satt: sv lti ss ik
        heilan haugi sem hefir eigi
        Tyrfing me r! Traur est at veita
        arfa num einga barni."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • segu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- tell # segu = seg +
  • eitt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- it
  • satt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <sannr, sar> true -- true
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • lti -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <lta> put, place; let, allow; concede, yield; leave, leave off; lose; cause to be done, command; behave (as if); declare; sound -- should leave
  • ss -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <ss> god -- the God
  • ik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • heilan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <heill> sound, safe; in health -- whole
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the mound
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- if
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • hefir -- verb; 2nd singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- do... have
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • Tyrfing -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Tyrfingr> Tyrfing -- Tyrfing
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • r -- pronoun; dative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • traur -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <traur> unwilling, reluctant -- reluctant
  • est -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you are # est = ert
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • veita -- verb; infinitive of <veita (tt)> grant, give; help; pay, yield; (recip.) back one another -- give
  • arfa -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <arfr> inheritance -- the inheritance
  • num -- possessive adjective; dative singular neuter of <inn> thy, thine, of you -- to your
  • einga -- adjective; indeclinable form of <einga> only -- only
  • barni -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <barn> child -- child

var sem einn logi vri alt at lta um haugana, er opnir stu. kva Angantr:

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it was
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as if
  • einn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- a single
  • logi -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <logi> flame -- flame
  • vri -- verb; 3rd singular past subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • alt -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • lta -- verb; infinitive of <lta> look; see; regard -- be seen
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- around
  • haugana -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound + definite article; accusative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the graves
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • opnir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <opinn> open; on one's back -- open
  • stu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- stood
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr

"Hnigin es helgrind, haugar opnask,
        allr es eldi eybarmr at sj;
        atalt es ti um at litask.
        Skyntu, mr, ef mtt, til skipa inna!"

  • hnigin -- past participle; nominative singular feminine of <hnga> sink; (ppart.) open -- open
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • helgrind -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <helgrind> gate of hell -- the door to hell
  • haugar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- graves
  • opnask -- verb; 3rd plural present middle of <opnask (a)> be open -- lie open
  • allr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- on
  • eldi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <eldr> fire -- fire
  • eybarmr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <eybarmr> surface of an island -- the island's surface
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- ...
  • sj -- verb; infinitive of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- seen (to be)
  • atalt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <atall> fierce, terrible -- fearsome
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it is
  • ti -- adverb; <ti> outside; out at sea; unsheltered -- all
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- about
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • litask -- verb; infinitive of <litask (a)> look about -- behold
  • skyntu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <skynda (d)> cause to hasten, hurry; (intr.) hasten + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- hasten
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maiden
  • ef -- conjunction; <ef> if; whether; (to see) if; lest -- if
  • mtt -- verb; 2nd singular present of <mega> be able to, can; may -- you can
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • skipa -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <skip> ship, boat -- ships
  • inna -- possessive adjective; genitive plural neuter of <inn> thy, thine, of you -- your

Hon segir:
        "Brenni r eigi bl nttum,
        svt ek vi elda yra flumk;
        skelfrat meyju muntn hugar, tt hon draug si durum standa."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • segir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • brenni -- verb; 3rd plural present subjunctive of <brenna (d)> (trans.) burn, light, set on fire -- could... light
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • bl -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <bl> fire -- fires
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • nttum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <ntt> night -- the night
  • svt -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if + conjunction; <at> that -- so that
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- by
  • elda -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <eldr> fire -- flames
  • yra -- possessive adjective; accusative plural masculine of <y(v)arr> your, of you (pl.) -- your
  • flumk -- verb; 1st singular present middle of <fla (d)> frighten; (refl.) be frightened -- I am frightened
  • skelfrat -- verb; 3rd singular present of <skjlfa> shake, tremble + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- does not tremble
  • meyju -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <mr> maiden -- the maiden's
  • muntn -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <muntn> mind-enclosure -- enclosure
  • hugar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <hugr> mind; thought; heart, spirit -- thought-
  • tt -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless + conjunction; <at> that -- though
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • draug -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <draugr> undead man, ghost -- a ghost
  • si -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- see
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- at
  • durum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <dyrr> door, doorway -- the door
  • standa -- verb; infinitive of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- stand

kva Angantr:
        "Segik r, Hervr, hlttu til mean,
        vsa dttir, ats vera mun;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla.

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • segik -- verb; 1st singular present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I tell
  • r -- pronoun; dative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • hlttu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <hla (dd)> listen to, hear + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- listen... to
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- for
  • mean -- adverb; <mean> in the meantime -- the moment
  • vsa -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <vsi> leader -- prince's
  • dttir -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dttir> daughter -- daughter
  • ats -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- what
  • vera -- verb; infinitive of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- be
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • sj -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sj> this -- this
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • Tyrfingr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Tyrfingr> Tyrfing -- Tyrfing
  • ef -- conjunction; <ef> if; whether; (to see) if; lest -- if
  • tra -- verb; infinitive of <tra ()> believe, trust, have faith in -- believe
  • mttir -- verb; 2nd singular past subjunctive of <mega> be able to, can; may -- you can
  • tt -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <tt> direction, region; family, line; stock, tribe; ancestry -- family
  • inni -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <inn> thy, thine, of you -- your
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maiden
  • allri -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <allr> all, whole; every -- entire
  • spilla -- verb; infinitive of <spilla (t)> destroy, spoil -- destroy

Muntu son geta anns san mun
        Tyrfing bera ok tra afli;
        ann munu Heirek heita lar,
        s mun rkstr alinn und ruls tjaldi."

  • muntu -- verb; 2nd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you will
  • son -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <sonr> son -- a son
  • geta -- verb; infinitive of <geta> get, obtain; engender; (with ppart.) be able to, get done; (with infin.) happen to (do); be obtainable; guess, suppose; relate, tell of -- have
  • anns -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • san -- adverb; <san> afterwards, since then -- later
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • Tyrfing -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Tyrfingr> Tyrfing -- Tyrfing
  • bera -- verb; infinitive of <bera> bear, bring, carry; wear; give birth to; overcome; endure; bear (witness) -- carry
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • tra -- verb; infinitive of <tra ()> believe, trust, have faith in -- trust
  • afli -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <afl> strength -- (his) might
  • ann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <s> that -- him
  • munu -- verb; 3rd plural present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • Heirek -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Heirekr> Heithrek -- Heithrek
  • heita -- verb; infinitive of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- call
  • lar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <lr> people; (pl.) men -- people
  • s -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <s> that -- he
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will be
  • rkstr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of superlative of <rkr> great, powerful, magnificent -- most magnificent
  • alinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <ala> give birth to, bear; feed -- born
  • und -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- under
  • ruls -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <rull> sun -- the sun's
  • tjaldi -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <tjald> tent, canopy; pavilion -- pavilion

Hon kva:
        "Ek vgi sv vira daua,
        at r skulu allir liggja
        dauir me draugum, dys fnir;
        selu, Angantr, t r haugi
        dverga smi! Dugira r at leyna."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • vgi -- verb; 1st singular present of <vgja ()> hallow, consecrate; lay a spell on -- lay a spell on
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • vira -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <virar> (pl.) men -- men
  • daua -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <daur> dead -- dead
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • skulu -- verb; 2nd plural present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- shall
  • allir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • liggja -- verb; infinitive of <liggja> be situated; lie (down); be slain -- lie
  • dauir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <daur> dead -- dead
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • draugum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <draugr> undead man, ghost -- the ghosts
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • dys -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <dys> grave -- (your) grave
  • fnir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <finn> rotten, decayed -- rotten
  • selu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <selja> give; sell + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- give
  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- out
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the grave
  • dverga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- the dwarfs'
  • smi -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <smi> made object -- work
  • dugira -- verb; 3rd singular present of <duga> help, aid, be of avail, be of assistance + enclitic adverb; <a> not -- it is not fitting
  • r -- pronoun; dative singular of <> thou, you -- for you
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • leyna -- verb; infinitive of <leyna (d)> conceal -- hide (it)

Hann segir:
        "Kvekat ik, mr ung, mnnum lka,
        es of hauga hvarfar nttum
        grfnum geiri ok me Gota mlmi,
        hjlmi ok me brynju fyr hallar dyrr."

  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • segir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • kvekat -- verb; 1st singular present of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- I declare... un- # kvekat = kve + ek + -at
  • ik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maiden
  • ung -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <ungr> young -- young
  • mnnum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- to men
  • lka -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <lkr, glkr> like, similar to -- -like
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • of -- preposition; <of> over; across, through; around, about; concerning; because of; for -- from
  • hauga -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the mounds
  • hvarfar -- verb; 2nd singular present of <hvarfa (a)> walk, go -- go
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • nttum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <ntt> night -- the night
  • grfnum -- past participle; dative singular masculine of <grafa> dig; engrave, inlay -- an inlaid
  • geiri -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <geirr> spear; point of anvil -- spear
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • Gota -- proper noun, masculine plural; genitive of <Gotar> Goths -- the Goths'
  • mlmi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <mlmr> metal -- metal
  • hjlmi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hjlmr> helmet -- helmet
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • brynju -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <brynja> coat of mail -- byrnie
  • fyr -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- before
  • hallar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <hll> hall -- of the hall
  • dyrr -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <dyrr> door, doorway -- the doors

Hon kva: "Mar ttumk menskr til essa,
        r sali yra skja rak;
        selu r haugi anns hatar brynjur,
        hlfum httan Hjlmars bana!"

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • mar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- man
  • ttumk -- verb; 1st singular past middle of <ykkja (tti)> seem, be thought -- I seemed
  • menskr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <menskr> human -- enough
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- til
  • essa -- demonstrative used as pronoun; genitive singular neuter of <sj> this -- the point
  • r -- adverb; <r> before, first; until -- when
  • sali -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <salr> ground; hall; (pl.) a complex dwelling -- halls
  • yra -- possessive adjective; accusative plural masculine of <y(v)arr> your, of you (pl.) -- your
  • skja -- verb; infinitive of <skja> seek, go to fetch; visit; proceed -- to seek
  • rak -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ra> advise, counsel; discuss; plot; set, arrange; decide; govern; prevail; have to deal with; go, take one's way + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I decided # rak = ra + ek, unusual form of ra. Perhaps subjunctive or indicative.
  • selu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <selja> give; sell + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- give
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- up from
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- (your) grave
  • anns -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- that which
  • hatar -- verb; 3rd singular present of <hata (a)> damage, destroy -- cuts
  • brynjur -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <brynja> coat of mail -- mail
  • hlfum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <hlf> cover, shelter; shield -- to shields
  • httan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <httr> dangerous -- (that) danger
  • Hjlmars -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Hjlmarr> Hjalmar -- Hjalmar's
  • bana -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <bani> death; cause of death, slayer -- bane

Angantr kva:
        "Liggr mr und herum Hjlmars bani,
        allr es hann tan eldi sveipinn;
        mey veitk enga moldar hvergi,
        at ann hjr ori hendr nema."

  • Angantr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Angantr> Angantyr -- Angantyr
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • liggr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <liggja> be situated; lie (down); be slain -- lies
  • mr -- pronoun; dative singular of <ek> I -- my
  • und -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- beneath
  • herum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <herar> (pl.) shoulders -- shoulders
  • Hjlmars -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Hjlmarr> Hjalmar -- Hjalmar's
  • bani -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <bani> death; cause of death, slayer -- bane
  • allr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- it
  • tan -- preposition; <tan> outside (of); beyond; without -- about
  • eldi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <eldr> fire -- by fire
  • sveipinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <sveipa> wrap, encircle -- wrapped
  • mey -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <mr> maiden -- maiden
  • veitk -- verb; 1st singular present of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- do I know
  • enga -- pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <engi> no, none, no one -- a
  • moldar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mold> soil, earth (as substance) -- on earth
  • hvergi -- adverb; <hvergi> nowhere; not at all -- nowhere
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- such as
  • ann -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that -- this
  • hjr -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hjrr> sword -- sword
  • ori -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <ora ()> dare -- would dare
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • hendr -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <hnd> hand, arm and hand; side, part -- hand
  • nema -- verb; infinitive of <nema> take; take possession of; catch, strike against; amount to -- take

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun hira ok hendr nema
        hvassan mki ef hafa mttak;
        uggi ek eigi eld brennanda --
        egar loga lgir es ek lt yfir."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • segir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • mun -- verb; 1st singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- might
  • hira -- verb; infinitive of <hira ()> keep; mind, care -- care for
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • hendr -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <hnd> hand, arm and hand; side, part -- hand
  • nema -- verb; infinitive of <nema> take; take possession of; catch, strike against; amount to -- take
  • hvassan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <hvass> sharp; prickly -- the sharp
  • mki -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <mkir> sword -- sword
  • ef -- conjunction; <ef> if; whether; (to see) if; lest -- if
  • hafa -- verb; infinitive of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- have (it)
  • mttak -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive of <mega> be able to, can; may + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I could
  • uggi -- verb; 1st singular present of <ugga> fear -- do... fear
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • eld -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <eldr> fire -- fire
  • brennanda -- present participle; accusative singular masculine of <brenna> (intrans.) burn, be on fire -- burning
  • egar -- adverb; <egar> at once -- at once
  • loga -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <logi> flame -- the flame
  • lgir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <lgja ()> lower; (impers.) sink -- sinks
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • lt -- verb; 1st singular present of <lta> look; see; regard -- look
  • yfir -- preposition; <yfir> above, over, at; across, upon -- upon (it)

Hann kva:
        "Heimsk est, Hervr, hugar eigandi,
        es at augum eld hrapar;
        heldr vilk selja sver r haugi,
        mr in unga, mkat synja."

  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • heimsk -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <heimskr> foolish -- foolish
  • est -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you are # est = ert
  • Hervr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hervr> Hervor -- Hervor
  • hugar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <hugr> mind; thought; heart, spirit -- of courage
  • eigandi -- present participle; nominative singular feminine of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- (but) possessed
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • at augum -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after + noun, neuter; dative plural of <auga> eye -- wide-eyed
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- into
  • eld -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <eldr> fire -- the fire
  • hrapar -- verb; 2nd singular present of <hrapa (a)> rush -- rush
  • heldr -- adverb; <heldr> rather, any the more -- instead
  • vilk -- verb; 1st singular present of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I will
  • selja -- verb; infinitive of <selja> give; sell -- give
  • sver -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sver> sword -- the sword
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from out of
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the grave
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maid
  • in -- definite article; nominative singular feminine of <inn> the -- ...
  • unga -- adjective; weak nominative singular feminine of <ungr> young -- young
  • mkat -- verb; 1st singular present of <mega> be able to, can; may + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- I cannot
  • synja -- verb; infinitive of <synja (a)> refuse, deny -- refuse

Hon kva:
        "Vel grir , vkinga nir,
        es seldir mr sver r haugi;
        betr ykkjumk n, bulungr, hafa,
        en Nregi nak llum."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • vel -- adverb; <vel> well, readily, easily -- well
  • grir -- verb; 3rd singular past of <gra> make, build; write, compose -- would do # The form could also be subjunctive.
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • vkinga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <vkingr> viking, pirate -- viking
  • nir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <nir> kinsman; son, scion -- kin
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • seldir -- verb; 2nd singular past of <selja> give; sell -- gave # The form could also be subjunctive.
  • mr -- pronoun; dative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • sver -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sver> sword -- the sword
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the grave
  • betr -- comparative adverb; <betr> better; more -- better off
  • ykkjumk -- verb; 1st singular present middle of <ykkja (tti)> seem, be thought -- I seem
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • bulungr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <bulungr> king, prince -- prince
  • hafa -- verb; infinitive of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- to be
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than if
  • Nregi -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Norvegr> the north way; Norway -- Norway
  • nak -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive <n ()> get, obtain + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I should possess
  • llum -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all of

Hann kva:
        "Veizt eigi -- vesl est mla,
        flr kona -- hv fagna skal;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla."

  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • veizt -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- do... understand
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • vesl -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <vesall> wretched, miserable -- hapless
  • est -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- you are # est = ert
  • mla -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <ml> speech, tale; information; period of time -- in (your) causes
  • flr -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <flrr> false, deceitful -- deceitful
  • kona -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <kona> woman; wife -- woman
  • hv -- interrogative pronoun; dative singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- what... for
  • fagna -- verb; infinitive of <fagna (a)> be glad; rejoice at, welcome -- the celebration
  • skal -- verb; 3rd singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- will be
  • sj -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sj> this -- this
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • Tyrfingr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Tyrfingr> Tyrfing -- Tyrfing
  • ef -- conjunction; <ef> if; whether; (to see) if; lest -- if
  • tra -- verb; infinitive of <tra ()> believe, trust, have faith in -- believe
  • mttir -- verb; 2nd singular past subjunctive of <mega> be able to, can; may -- you can
  • tt -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <tt> direction, region; family, line; stock, tribe; ancestry -- family
  • inni -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <inn> thy, thine, of you -- your
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maiden
  • allri -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <allr> all, whole; every -- entire
  • spilla -- verb; infinitive of <spilla (t)> destroy, spoil -- destroy

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun ganga til gjlfrmara;
        ns hilmis mr hugum gum:
        ltt hrumk at, lofunga nir,
        hv synir mnir san deila."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • segir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • ek -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • mun -- verb; 1st singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • ganga -- verb; infinitive of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- go
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • gjlfrmara -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <gjlfrmarr> steed of the sea, ship -- (my) ocean-steeds
  • ns -- adverb; <n> now + verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- now... is # ns = n + es = n er
  • hilmis -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <hilmir> chief, king -- the prince's
  • mr -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mr> maiden -- maid
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • hugum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <hugr> mind; thought; heart, spirit -- spirits
  • gum -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <gr> good -- good
  • ltt -- adverb; <ltt> little -- little
  • hrumk -- verb; 1st singular present middle of <hra (dd)> frighten; (refl.) be afraid of, be frightened -- does... frighten me # The form is identical to the 1st sg., but the construction is 3rd. sg. hrumk = hrir mr. See Section 39.2.
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that # Taking hrumk = hrir mr, at is grammatically nominative.
  • lofunga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <lofungr> prince, king -- princes'
  • nir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <nir> kinsman; son, scion -- kin
  • hv -- interrogative adverb; <hv> how -- how
  • synir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <sonr> son -- sons
  • mnir -- possessive adjective; nominative plural masculine of <minn> my, mine, of me -- my
  • san -- adverb; <san> afterwards, since then -- hereafter
  • deila -- verb; 3rd plural present of <deila (d)> divide; distinguishk quarrel, contend -- contend

Hann kva:
        " skalt eiga ok una lengi,
        hafu hulu Hjlmars bana,
        takat eggjum, eitr es bum;
        ss manns mjtur meini verri.

  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • -- pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • skalt -- verb; 2nd singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- shall
  • eiga -- verb; infinitive of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- have
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • una -- verb; infinitive of <una> be contented; enjoy -- enjoy (it)
  • lengi -- adverb; <lengi> long; far; for a long time -- for a long time
  • hafu -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- keep
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • hulu -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hula> cover, sheath -- the sheath
  • Hjlmars -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Hjlmarr> Hjalmar -- Hjalmar's
  • bana -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <bani> death; cause of death, slayer -- bane
  • takat -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <taka> take, take hold of; seize, capture; take to oneself, undertake; choose; accept, receive; begin (with infin.); reach, touch, strike against; happen, come to pass + enclitic adverb; <at> not -- do not touch
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- ...
  • eggjum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <egg> edge -- the edges
  • eitr -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <eitr> poison -- poison
  • es -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- upon
  • bum -- adjective; dative plural feminine of <bir> both -- both
  • ss -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <s> that + verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it # ss = s + es = s er
  • manns -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- man's
  • mjtur -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mjtur> dispenser of fate -- dispenses... fate
  • meini -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <mein> harm, hurt, injury, pain; disease, plague -- by disease
  • verri -- comparative adjective; nominative singular masculine of <verri> worse -- worse

Far vel, dttir! fljtt gfak r
        tlf manna fjr, ef tra mttir,
        afl ok eljun, alt it ga
        ats synir Arngrms at sik leifu."

  • far -- verb; 2nd singular imperative of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- fare
  • vel -- adverb; <vel> well, readily, easily -- well
  • dttir -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dttir> daughter -- daughter
  • fljtt -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <fljtr> swift, fleeing -- readily
  • gfak -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- would I give
  • r -- pronoun; dative singular of <> thou, you -- you
  • tlf -- indeclinable numeral; <tlf> twelve -- of twelve
  • manna -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- men
  • fjr -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <fjr> life -- the life
  • ef -- conjunction; <ef> if; whether; (to see) if; lest -- if
  • tra -- verb; infinitive of <tra ()> believe, trust, have faith in -- believe
  • mttir -- verb; 2nd singular past subjunctive of <mega> be able to, can; may -- you could
  • afl -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <afl> strength -- the strength
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • eljun -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <eljun> endurance -- endurance
  • alt -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- everything
  • it -- definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- ...
  • ga -- adjective; weak accusative singular neuter of <gr> good -- good
  • ats -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which # ats = at + es = at er
  • synir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <sonr> son -- sons
  • Arngrms -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Arngrmr> Arngrim -- Arngrim's
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- after
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- them
  • leifu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <leifa ()> leave after death -- left

Hon kva:
        "Bi r allir -- brott fsir mik --
        heilir haugi! Hean vilk skjtla.
        Helzt ttumk n heima millim,
        es mik umhverfis eldar brunnu."

  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- said
  • bi -- verb; 3rd plural present subjunctive of <ba> be ready, prepare, secure -- be # Alternately bi r = bi r, with bi the 2 pl. imperative.
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you # See note above: bi r = bi r.
  • allir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • brott -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <braut> road -- the journey
  • fsir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <fsa (t)> urge, encourage; (impers.) desire -- calls
  • mik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • heilir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <heill> sound, safe; in health -- safe
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • haugi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <haugr> mound; grave mound -- the grave
  • hean -- adverb; <hean> from here, hence -- hence
  • vilk -- verb; 1st singular present of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I must
  • skjtla -- adverb; <skjtla> quickly -- quickly
  • helzt -- adverb; <helzt> most willingly; most of all; exceedingly -- most of all
  • ttumk -- verb; 1st singular past middle of <ykkja (tti)> seem, be thought -- I seemed
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • heima -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <heimr> region; world -- worlds
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • millim -- adverb; <mili, milli, millum> between, among -- between
  • es -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • mik -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • umhverfis -- preposition; <umhverfis> around -- around
  • eldar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <eldr> fire -- fires
  • brunnu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <brenna> (intrans.) burn, be on fire -- burned

Lesson Text

Hitt hefir mr ung Munarvgi
        vi slarsetr segg at hjru.

Hirir kva:
        "Hverr's einn saman ey kominn?
        gakktu greiliga gistingar til!"

Hervr kva:
        "Munkat ganga gistingar til,
        vt engan kank eyjarskeggja;
        segu hraliga r hean lir
        hvar ru Hjrvari haugar kendir?"

Hirir kva:
        "Spyrjat at v, spakr est eigi,
        vinr vkinga, st vanfarinn;
        frum frliga sem okkr ftr toga --
        alt es ti mtt firum."

Hervr kva:
        "Men bjum r mls at gjldum;
        muna drengja vin dlt at letja:
        fr engi mr frar hnossir,
        fagra bauga, svt farak eigi."

Hirir kva:
        "Heimskr ykki mr ss hera ferr,
        mar einn saman, myrkvar grmur;
        hyrrs sveimun, haugar opnask,
        brennr fold ok fen -- frum harara!"

Hervr kva:
        "Hirumat flask vi fnsun slka,
        tt of alla ey eldar brenni!
        Ltumat okkr lina rekka
        skjtla skelfa; skulum vi talask."

Vas fhirir fljtr til skgar
        mjk fr mli meyjar essar;
        en harsninn hugr brjsti
        um sakar slkar svellr Hervru.

Hon s n haugaeldana ok haugba ti standa, ok gengr til hauganna ok hrisk ekki; hon eldana sem reyk, ar til er hon kom at haugi berserkjanna. kva hon:

"Vaki, Angantr! vekr ik Hervr,
        einga dttir ykkur Tfu.
        Selu r haugi hvassan mki,
        anns Svafrlama slgu dvergar.

Hervarr, Hjrvarr, Hrani, Angantr!
        vekk yr alla und viar rtum,
        hjlmi ok me brynju, hvssu sveri,
        rnd ok me reii, ronum geiri.

Mjk eru ornir, Arngrms synir,
        megir meinsamir, moldar at auka,
        es engi skal sona Eyfuru
        vi mik mla Munarvgi.

Sv s yr llum innan rifja,
        sem r maura morni haugi,
        nema sver seli ats sl Dvalinn;
        samira draugum drt vpn fela."

svarar Angantr:
        "Hervr dttir, hv kallar sv
        full feikinstafa? Ferr r at illu.
        r est orin ok rvita,
        villhyggjandi vekr menn daua!

Grfat mik fair nir n frndr arir.
        eir hfu Tyrfing tveir es lifu,
        var eigandi einn of sir."

Hon kva:
        "Segu eitt satt: sv lti ss ik
        heilan haugi sem hefir eigi
        Tyrfing me r! Traur est at veita
        arfa num einga barni."

var sem einn logi vri alt at lta um haugana, er opnir stu. kva Angantr:

"Hnigin es helgrind, haugar opnask,
        allr es eldi eybarmr at sj;
        atalt es ti um at litask.
        Skyntu, mr, ef mtt, til skipa inna!"

Hon segir:
        "Brenni r eigi bl nttum,
        svt ek vi elda yra flumk;
        skelfrat meyju muntn hugar, tt hon draug si durum standa."

kva Angantr:
        "Segik r, Hervr, hlttu til mean,
        vsa dttir, ats vera mun;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla.

Muntu son geta anns san mun
        Tyrfing bera ok tra afli;
        ann munu Heirek heita lar,
        s mun rkstr alinn und ruls tjaldi."

Hon kva:
        "Ek vgi sv vira daua,
        at r skulu allir liggja
        dauir me draugum, dys fnir;
        selu, Angantr, t r haugi
        dverga smi! Dugira r at leyna."

Hann segir:
        "Kvekat ik, mr ung, mnnum lka,
        es of hauga hvarfar nttum
        grfnum geiri ok me Gota mlmi,
        hjlmi ok me brynju fyr hallar dyrr."

Hon kva: "Mar ttumk menskr til essa,
        r sali yra skja rak;
        selu r haugi anns hatar brynjur,
        hlfum httan Hjlmars bana!"

Angantr kva:
        "Liggr mr und herum Hjlmars bani,
        allr es hann tan eldi sveipinn;
        mey veitk enga moldar hvergi,
        at ann hjr ori hendr nema."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun hira ok hendr nema
        hvassan mki ef hafa mttak;
        uggi ek eigi eld brennanda --
        egar loga lgir es ek lt yfir."

Hann kva:
        "Heimsk est, Hervr, hugar eigandi,
        es at augum eld hrapar;
        heldr vilk selja sver r haugi,
        mr in unga, mkat synja."

Hon kva:
        "Vel grir , vkinga nir,
        es seldir mr sver r haugi;
        betr ykkjumk n, bulungr, hafa,
        en Nregi nak llum."

Hann kva:
        "Veizt eigi -- vesl est mla,
        flr kona -- hv fagna skal;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun ganga til gjlfrmara;
        ns hilmis mr hugum gum:
        ltt hrumk at, lofunga nir,
        hv synir mnir san deila."

Hann kva:
        " skalt eiga ok una lengi,
        hafu hulu Hjlmars bana,
        takat eggjum, eitr es bum;
        ss manns mjtur meini verri.

Far vel, dttir! fljtt gfak r
        tlf manna fjr, ef tra mttir,
        afl ok eljun, alt it ga
        ats synir Arngrms at sik leifu."

Hon kva:
        "Bi r allir -- brott fsir mik --
        heilir haugi! Hean vilk skjtla.
        Helzt ttumk n heima millim,
        es mik umhverfis eldar brunnu."

Translation

In Munarvag at sunset the young maid
met a man at his flock.
The herdsman said:
'Who has come alone to the island?
Go quickly to your lodging!'
Hervor said:
'I cannot go to my lodging,
since I know none of the island inhabitants;
before you go from here, tell
where are Hjorvarth's burial mounds?'
The herdsman said:
'Don't ask about that, you are not wise,
friend of vikings, you're in dire straits;
let us go as quickly as our feet will take us --
everything out here is harmful to men.'
Hervor said:
'We offer you treasure as payment for the information;
it is not easy to dissuade the friend of warriors;
no one has ornaments handsome enough to me,
rings so fair, that I not go.'
The herdsman said:
'Foolish he seems to me, who goes there,
a man totally alone, through dark night;
fire is in flight, the mounds lay open,
earth and bog are burning -- let us go quickly!'
Hervor said:
'Let us take care not to be frightened by such snorting,
though fires burn throughout the entire island!
Let's not allow dead warriors
to quickly frighten us; we shall make conversation.'
At that moment the herdsman was headed
to the woods at the words of this maiden;
but Hervor's heart, well-prepared
for such straits, swelled in her breast.
She then saw the grave fires and ghosts come out, and she went to the
mounds and was not frightened. She passed through the fires and smoke,
until she came to the mound of the berserkers. Then she said:
'Wake, Angantyr! Hervor wakes you,
sole daughter of you and Tofa.
Give out from the grave your sharp sword,
which dwarfs hammered out for Svafrlami.
Hervarth, Hjorvarth, Hrani, Angantyr!
I wake you all below the tree's roots,
with helmet and byrnie, with sharp sword,
with shield and harness, with reddened spear.
You, sons of Arngrim, violent kin,
have changed greatly for the heaping up of earth,
while none of the sons of Eyfura will
speak with me in Munarvag.
So be it for you all within your ribs,
as if you waste away in an ant hill,
unless you give the sword which Dvalin hammered;
it is not fitting for ghosts to hide the precious weapon.'
Then Angantyr answered:
'Hervor, my daughter, why do you call out so,
filled with curses? It works to your disadvantage.
You have become mad and senseless;
delirious, you wake dead men!
A father did not bury me, nor other kin.
They held Tyrfing, the two who lived,
though at last only one became the owner.'
She said:
'Tell it true: so the God should leave you
whole in the mound, if you do not have
Tyrfing with you! You are reluctant to give
the inheritance to your only child.'
Then it was as if a single flame was to be seen all around the graves,
which stood open. Then Angantyr said:
'The door to hell is open, graves lie open,
all the island's surface is seen to be on fire;
it is fearsome to behold all about.
Hasten, maiden, if you can, to your ships!"
She said:
"You could not light fires in the night,
so that I am frightened by your flames;
the maiden's thought-enclosure does not tremble,
though she see a ghost stand at the door."
Then Angantyr said:
"I tell you, Hervor, listen for the moment,
prince's daughter, to what will be;
This Tyrfing will, if you can believe,
maiden, destroy your entire family.
You will have a son who will later
carry Tyrfing and trust his might;
People will call him Heithrek,
he will be born most magnificent under the sun's pavilion."
She said:
"I lay a spell on dead men, so
that you shall all lie
dead with the ghosts, rotten in your grave;
Give, Angantyr, out from the grave
the dwarfs' work! It is not fitting for you to hide it."
He said:
"I declare you, young maiden, unlike to men,
as you go from the mounds in the night
with an inlaid spear and the Goths' metal,
with helmet and byrnie before the doors of the hall."
She said:
"I seemed man enough til the point
when I decided to seek your halls;
give up from your grave that which cuts mail,
that danger to shields, Hjalmar's bane!"
Angantyr said:
"Hjalmar's bane lies beneath my shoulders,
it is wrapped all about by fire;
nowhere on earth do I know a maiden
such as would dare take this sword in hand."
She said:
"I might care for and take in hand
the sharp sword, if I could have it;
I do not fear burning fire --
at once the flame sinks as I look upon it."
He said:
"You are foolish, Hervor, but possessed of courage,
as you rush wide-eyed into the fire;
instead I will give the sword from out of the grave,
young maid, I cannot refuse."
She said:
"Well you did, viking kin,
as you gave me the sword from the grave;
I seem now, prince, to be better off,
than if I should possess all of Norway."
He said:
"You do not understand -- you are hapless in your causes,
deceitful woman -- what the celebration will be for;
This Tyrfing will, if you can believe,
maiden, destroy your entire family."
She said:
"I will go to my ocean-steeds;
now the prince's maid is in good spirits;
little does that frighten me, princes' kin,
how my sons contend hereafter."
He said:
"You shall have and enjoy it for a long time,
keep Hjalmar's bane in the sheath,
do not touch the edges, poison is upon both;
it dispenses man's fate worse by disease.
Fare well, daughter! Readily would I give you
the life of twelve men, if you could believe,
the strength and endurance, everything good,
which Arngrim's sons left after them."
She said:
"Be you all -- the journey calls me --
safe in the grave! I must quickly hence.
Now most of all I seemed between worlds,
as fires burned around me."

Grammar

36. The Seventh Strong Conjugation

The seventh strong conjugation in ON comprises a handful of verbs which do not fit well in the other conjugations. There are traces of an ablaut series

    a -- -- from Proto-Germanic a -- -- ,

for example gla 'gleam' < *glwjan vs. gla 'glow' < *glwan.

A number of roots in this class formed reduplicated preterites in the proto-language. That is, the preterite is formed by taking the initial consonant(s) and the vowel of the root, and attaching them to the front of the root (cf. OE htan, 3 sg. past he-ht > ht). Subsequent sound changes, however, tended to conceal the reduplication, and a new series of ablaut began to emerge. Other verbs followed the same ablaut pattern by analogy. By the time of the ON texts, five basic sequences have emerged:

Class VII   Infin.   Past Sg.   Past Pl.   Past Ptc.
                 
1. heita 'be called'   heita   ht   htum   heitinn
2a. auka 'increase'   auka   jk   jkum   aukinn
2b. ba 'inhabit'   ba   bj   bjuggum   binn
3. falla 'fall'   falla   fell   fellum   fallinn
4. lta 'let'   lta   lt   ltum   ltinn
5. blta 'offer'   blta   blt   bltum   bltinn

The first and fourth principal parts of these verbs share the same stem vowel, as do the second and third principal parts (except 2b). Note the verb heita has two alternate stems in the present: heit- and heiti-; for example, ek heit or ek heiti, hann heitr or hann heitir.

The verb falla 'fall', with principal parts falla -- fellr -- fell -- fellu -- felli -- fallinn, illustrates the conjugation. The active forms are as follows.

Class VII   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   fell   falla    
2   fellr   fallir   fall
3   fellr   falli    
             
1 Pl.   fllum   fallim   fllum
2   falli   falli   falli
3   falla   falli    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   fell   fella    
2   fellt   fellir    
3   fell   felli    
             
1 Pl.   fellum   fellim    
2   fellu   felli    
3   fellu   felli    
             
Infinitive   falla        
             
Pres. Ptc.   fallandi        
             
Past Ptc.   fallinn        

The middle forms are listed below.

Class VII   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   fellumk   fllumk    
2   fellsk   fallisk   fallsk
3   fellsk   fallisk    
             
1 Pl.   fllumk   fallimk   fllumk
2   fallizk   fallizk   fallizk
3   fallask   fallisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   fellumk   fellumk    
2   fellzk   fellisk    
3   fellsk   fellisk    
             
1 Pl.   fellumk   fellimk    
2   felluzk   fellizk    
3   fellusk   fellisk    
             
Infinitive   fallask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   fallandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   fallizk        

Some verbs of the seventh conjugation do not fit into the above pattern, but are so common that they deserve mention. The verb ganga 'walk' has present stem gang-, but uses the stem geng- in all other forms. As seen in other verbs, in the past singular forms, stem-final ng > kk. The verb f 'get; hand over' forms the past tense similarly, with stem feng- (ng > kk in the singular), but the present stem is f-. The verb halda 'hold' follows the pattern of falla, with stem vowel a in the first and fourth principal parts, e in the second and third. In the past singular forms, final ld > lt. The verb hggva 'hew' follows the pattern of ba in the past singular and plural, but the present stem differs: haggv-. The indicative forms of these verbs are as follows.

Infinitive   ganga   f   halda   hggva
                 
Present                
1 Sg.   geng   f   held   hegg
2   gengr   fr   heldr   heggr
3   gengr   fr   heldr   heggr
                 
1 Pl.   gngum   fm   hldum   hggum
2   gangi   fi   haldi   hggvi
3   ganga   f   halda   hggva
                 
Past                
1 Sg.   gekk   fekk   helt   hj
2   gekkt   fekkt   helzt   hjtt
3   gekk   fekk   helt   hj
                 
1 Pl.   gengum   fengum   heldum   hjuggum
2   gengu   fengu   heldu   hjuggu
3   gengu   fengu   heldu   hjuggu
                 
Past Ptc.   genginn   fenginn   haldinn   hggvinn

Three verbs still show remnants of reduplication: ra 'row', s 'sow', and sna 'turn'. The preterites show reduplication (e.g. reru), though the endings are those of the weak conjugation. The indicative forms are as follows.

Infinitive   ra   s   sna
             
Present            
1 Sg.   r   s   sn
2   rr   sr   snr
3   rr   sr   snr
             
1 Pl.   r(u)m   sm   snm
2   ri   si   sni
3   ra   s   sna
             
Past            
1 Sg.   rra, rera   sra, sera   snra, snera
2   rrir, rerir   srir, serir   snrir, snerir
3   rri, reri   sri, seri   snri, sneri
             
1 Pl.   rrum, rerum   srum, serum   snrum, snerum
2   rru, reru   sru, seru   snru, sneru
3   rru, reru   sru, seru   snru, sneru
             
Past Ptc.   rinn   sinn   sninn

The verbs gra 'grow' and gna 'rub', though not originally reduplicated, follow the conjugations of ra and sna, respectively.

37. Weak Verbs and the First Weak Conjugation
37.1. Basic Formation of Weak Verbs

In contrast to strong verbs, which use ablaut, weak verbs employ a suffix -i- to mark the past tense. This suffix is added to the verb stem, and to this the personal endings are appended. For example,

Stem   Past Marker   Person Marker   Resulting Form
             
sigl-i/j-   -i-   -a   sigla 'I sailed'
kall-a-   -i-   -r   kallair 'you called'
lif-i-   -i-   -um   lifum 'we lived'

When these elements combine, several sound changes may occur. The most important are the following.

i-deletion. The i of the suffix i drops before a following vowel, e.g. kall-a- + -i- + -a > kallaa. In addition, the thematic vowel i or the i/j-augment drops before the suffix i, as a result of the general rule whereby unstressed vowels drop when followed by a single consonant plus vowel; for example, lif-i- + -i- + -u > lifu.

u-umlaut. When followed by u, unstressed a becomes u, and stressed a becomes . In many weak verbs this leads to a domino effect: kall-a- + -i- + um > kalluum > klluum; tal-i/j- + -i- + -u > talu > tlu.

- + - > -dd-. When stem-final comes into contact with the of the past tense suffix, both s become d; for example, eya 'lay waste' (stem au-i/j-) has past forms eydda 'I laid waste', eyddir, etc.

-n + - > -nd-. When stem-final n comes into contact with the of the past tense suffix, the becomes d; for example, munu 'will' has past mundi 'he would'. This change does not always occur, e.g. stefna 'set course' (stem stafn-i/j-) has stefni 'he set course'.

-t, s + - > -tt, st. When stem-final t or s comes into contact with the of the past tense suffix, the becomes t. For example, flytja 'move' (stem flut-i/j-) has past flutta 'I moved'; sta 'undergo' (stem st-i/j-) has stti 'he underwent'; eysa 'gush forth' (stem aus-i/j-) has eysti 'he gushed forth'.

-p, k, f, l + - > -pt, kt, ft, lt. When stem-final p, k, f, or l comes into contact with the of the past tense suffix, the becomes t. This change does not always occur; for example, urfa 'need' vs. urfti 'he needed', but hafa 'have' vs. hafi 'he needed'; mla 'speak' (stem ml-i/j-) vs. mlti 'he spoke', but vilja 'want' vs. vildi 'he wanted'.

-Cdd > -Cd and -Ctt > -Ct. Whenever the above rules produce the double consonants dd or tt, these are simplified to d or t if preceded by another consonant; for example, senda 'send' (stem send-i/j-) has past sendi 'he sent'; skipta 'shift' (stem skipt-i/j-) has past skipti 'he shifted'.

There are three basic classes of weak verbs. The first of these is discussed below.

37.2. The First Weak Conjugation

The first weak conjugation comprises verbs containing a thematic -i/j- suffixed to the root. The treatment of the thematic element varies depending on the length of the stem, and on the stem's final consonant. The notion of length, however, depends on one's method of description.

Recall (cf. Section 2.3) that there are two methods of syllabification, the traditional and the metrical. In the traditional scheme, syllables are divided so that non-initial syllables begin with a vowel. According to the traditional definition of syllable length, a short syllable is one which contains a short vowel, followed by no more than one consonant. A long syllable ends in a short vowel followed by a consonant group, or ends in a long vowel followed by no more than one consonant. An overlong syllable ends in a long vowel followed by a consonant group.

The metrical system divides syllables so that non-initial syllables begin with a consonant. A short syllable is one which ends in a short vowel, or in a long vowel followed by an unaccented vowel. A long syllable is one which ends in a long vowel, or in a short vowel followed by a consonant. We may also consider an overlong syllable to be one which ends in a long vowel plus consonant, or in a short vowel plus more than one consonant.

The rules of formation of the first weak conjugation -- i.e. the treatment of the thematic i/j -- will therefore depend on the description chosen. Most synchronic grammars of Old Norse follow the traditional system, while historical grammars often follow the metrical system (which happens to coincide with the nomenclature of grammars of other ancient Indo-European languages). Because each system has its merits, two formulations will be given below, one for each system.

Traditional Formulation

If the stem is short, the thematic element is -j-; if the stem is long or overlong, the thematic element is -i-. Consider the following examples:

Stem   Thematic   Infinitive
         
var-i/j- 'defend'   -j-   verja
sigl-i/j- 'sail'   -i-   sigla
skil-i/j- 'part'   -j-   skilja
stafn-i/j- 'head for'   -i-   stefna
st-i/j- 'undergo'   -i-   sta

Thus the stem skil- is traditionally short, and therefore takes -j- as the thematic element. By contrast, st- is long, and so the thematic element is -i-.

Metrical Formulation

The thematic element becomes consonantal (j) or vocalic (i) so as to make the stem overlong if not already so. Consider again the same examples:

Stem   Thematic   Infinitive
         
var-i/j- 'defend'   -j-   verja
sigl-i/j- 'sail'   -i-   sigla
skil-i/j- 'part'   -j-   skilja
stafn-i/j- 'head for'   -i-   stefna
st-i/j- 'undergo'   -i-   sta

Thus skil- is metrically long, and takes -j- as the thematic element to make the stem overlong. By contrast, st- is already overlong, and so the thematic element is -i-.

If we agree to use the term long, interpreted as 'overlong' in the metrical sense, and as 'long' or 'overlong' in the traditional sense, then the remaining patterns of the first weak conjugation may be stated concurrently. In this setting, short must be taken to mean 'not long'.

The thematic element occurs as part of the stem in both present and past forms of long-syllable stems. The thematic is only part of the present forms of short-syllable stems. The thematic element triggers i-umlaut in the root vowel, so that fronting occurs only in present forms of short-syllable stems, but in both present and past forms of long-syllable stems. Consider the following:

Underlying Stem   Present Stem   Past Stem
         
var-i/j-   ver-j-   var-
sigl-i/j-   sigl-i-   sigl-i-
skil-i/j-   skil-j-   skil-
stafn-i/j-   stefn-i-   stefn-i-
st-i/j-   st-i-   st-i-

If a long stem ends in k or g, the thematic is usually -i-, but appears as j before a or u; for example, lg-i/j- 'lower' has 3rd sg. pres. lgir 'he lowers', but 3rd pl. pres. lgja 'they lower'. If a short stem ends in g (but not k), the thematic is absent in the past and normally j in the present, but appears as i in the present before a consonant or zero ending; for example, sag-i/j- 'say' has present stem seg-j- and past stem sag-. The 1st pl. pres. is segjum 'we say', 3rd pl. pres. segja 'they say', but 1st sg. pres. segi 'I say', 3rd sg. pres. segir 'he says'. Likewise ag-i/j- 'be silent' has 1st pl. pres. egjum 'we are silent', but 1st sg. pres. egi 'I am silent', 2nd/3rd sg. pres. egir 'you are silent', 'he is silent'. Some short stems ending in g double the final g in the present; for example, lag-i/j- 'lay' has present stem legg-j- and past stem lag-. Thus the 1st sg. pres. form is legg 'I lay', 2nd/3rd sg. pres. leggr 'you lay', 'he lays'; it has past forms laga 'I laid', lagi 'he laid', lgum 'we laid'. Compare the following indicative forms of stems ending in g:

    Short Stem   Short Stem   Long Stem
             
Stem   sag-i/j-   lag-i/j-   talg-i/j-
             
Present            
1 Sg.   segi   legg   telgi
2   segir   leggr   telgir
3   segir   leggr   telgir
             
1 Pl.   segjum   leggjum   telgjum
2   segi   leggi   telgi
3   segja   leggja   telgja
             
Past            
1 Sg.   saga   laga   telga
2   sagir   lagir   telgir
3   sagi   lagi   telgi
             
1 Pl.   sgum   lgum   telgum
2   sgu   lgu   telgu
3   sgu   lgu   telgu

The verb verja, vari 'defend', stem var-i/j-, illustrates the forms of the short stem verbs. The active forms are as follows.

Weak I   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(var-i/j-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   ver   verja    
2   verr   verir   ver
3   verr   veri    
             
1 Pl.   verjum   verim   verjum
2   veri   veri   veri
3   verja   veri    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   vara   vera    
2   varir   verir    
3   vari   veri    
             
1 Pl.   vrum   verim    
2   vru   veri    
3   vru   veri    
             
Infinitive   verja        
             
Pres. Ptc.   verjandi        
             
Past Ptc.   varir        

The short stem middle forms are as follows.

Weak I   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(var-i/j-)            
             
1 Sg.   verjumk   verjumk    
2   versk   verisk   versk
3   versk   verisk    
             
1 Pl.   verjumsk   verimsk   verjumsk
2   verizk   verizk   verizk
3   verjask   verisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   vrumk   verumk    
2   varisk   verisk    
3   varisk   verisk    
             
1 Pl.   vrumsk   verimsk    
2   vruzk   verizk    
3   vrusk   verisk    
             
Infinitive   verjask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   verjandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   varizk        

The verb fella, felldi 'fell (transitive)', stem fall-i/j-, illustrates the forms of the long stem verbs. The active forms are as follows.

Weak I   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(fall-i/j-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   felli   fella    
2   fellir   fellir   fell
3   fellir   felli    
             
1 Pl.   fellum   fellim   fellum
2   felli   felli   felli
3   fella   felli    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   fellda   fellda    
2   felldir   felldir    
3   felldi   felldi    
             
1 Pl.   felldum   felldim    
2   felldu   felldi    
3   felldu   felldi    
             
Infinitive   fella        
             
Pres. Ptc.   fellandi        
             
Past Ptc.   felldr        

The long stem middle forms are as follows.

Weak I   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(fall-i/j-)            
             
1 Sg.   fellumk   fellumk    
2   fellisk   fellisk   fellsk
3   fellisk   fellisk    
             
1 Pl.   fellumsk   fellimsk   fellumsk
2   fellizk   fellizk   fellizk
3   fellask   fellisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   felldumk   felldumk    
2   felldisk   felldisk    
3   felldisk   felldisk    
             
1 Pl.   felldumsk   felldimsk    
2   fellduzk   felldizk    
3   felldusk   felldisk    
             
Infinitive   fellask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   fellandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   fellzk        
38. The Subjunctive

The subjunctive generally describes an event which is reported by the speaker as not actual. This may mean that the event is potential ('were I your brother...'), supposed ('assuming this be true...'), reported ('I've heard he would walk at night...'), desired ('Thy kingdom come...'), in contrast to actual ('I am your brother'), known ('It is true that...'), witnessed ('I saw that he walked...'), or realized ('as we forgive those who trespass...'). ON has two subjunctive formations, one built from the present stem of the verb, the other built from the past stem. The distinction, however, is not one of tense -- it cannot be, since the subjunctive denotes an event which is unreal, and therefore cannot be located in time. The distinction between Past and Present Subjunctive, then, is essentially one of the event viewed as a complete whole (Past Subjunctive) versus the event viewed as incomplete (Present Subjunctive), or rather, viewed without specific reference to its completion (though it may in fact be completed). The formation and use of the subjunctive in ON is described in the following sections.

38.1. Present Subjunctive

The endings of the present subjunctive are as follows.

    Present Subj.
     
1 Sg.   -a
2   -ir
3   -i
     
1 Pl.   -im
2   -i
3   -i

These forms are added to the present stem of verbs. Strong verbs exhibit no fronting of the stem vowel in the singular -- the stem vowel remains unchanged throughout the paradigm. Weak verbs, by contrast, show fronting only when there is a thematic -i/j following the stem. This fronting then occurs throughout the paradigm. Preterite-present verbs form the present subjunctive using the stem of the present plural. The verbs kalla 'call', telja 'count', and fra 'bring' illustrate the present subjunctive of weak verbs. The verbs gefa 'give', taka 'take', hlaupa 'leap', and bja 'offer' illustrate the present subjunctive of strong verbs, while vita 'know' illustrates the paradigm for preterite-presents.

Weak               Pret.-Pres.
                 
Stem   kall-a-   tal-i/j-   fr-i/j-   vit-
                 
1 Sg.   kalla   telja   fra   vita
2   kallir   telir   frir   vitir
3   kalli   teli   fri   viti
                 
1 Pl.   kallim   telim   frim   vitim
2   kalli   teli   fri   viti
3   kalli   teli   fri   viti
                 
Strong                
                 
Stem   gef-   tak-   hlaup-   bj-
                 
1 Sg.   gefa   taka   hlaupa   bja
2   gefir   takir   hlaupir   bjir
3   gefi   taki   hlaupi   bji
                 
1 Pl.   gefim   takim   hlaupim   bjim
2   gefi   taki   hlaupi   bji
3   gefi   taki   hlaupi   bji

The present subjunctive of the preterite-present verbs munu 'may' and skulu 'shall' alternately occur with fronted stem vowel, e.g. ek muna or ek myna, vr munim or vr mynim, ek skula or ek skyla, vr skulim or vr skylim.

The present subjunctive of vera 'be' is irregular:

vera   Singular   Plural
         
1   s   sm
2   sr   s
3   s   s

Some of the forms of the subjunctive of vera are the same as certain indicative forms of sj, so that the possibility of formal confusion arises. Generally context makes the distinction clear.

The present subjunctive is often used in the following circumstances:

  • direct wishes, which are introduced by a form of vilja 'want' and the conjunction at; for example, vil ek at vitir at..., literally 'I want that you know this...'.
  • conditions of negative import, usually introduced by at, tt 'although, despite' a similar phrase; for example, at eigir ar gfga frndr... 'though you have noble kin there...'. Note, however, that simple conditions often use ef 'if' with the indicative, as in Modern English: ef hefir heilan hug... 'if you have sound intent...'.
  • assumption or indirect report, often introduced by tla 'intend', vnta 'expect', ltask 'seem'; for example, tlum vr at hafir grt etta vi einri itt 'we hoped you would have done that at your own behest'; er at tlan min, at essi kona kunni eigi at mla 'this is my intent, that this woman should not know how to speak'.
  • potential or probable event, for example, veit ek eigi, hvar s kona sitr, er mr s mikit happ at geta 'I don't know where that woman lies, whom it would be great luck for me to get.'
  • polite command, for example, vrr herra launi yr ann sma 'might our lord pay you the honor'.
38.2. Past Subjunctive

The endings of the past subjunctive are the same as those of the present subjunctive. The difference in formation concerns the stem: the past subjunctive is formed from the past stem of weak and preterite-present verbs, and from the past plural stem of strong verbs. The stem vowel is fronted in all forms, singular and plural, when applicable. The verbs kalla 'call', telja 'count', and fra 'bring' illustrate the past subjunctive of weak verbs. The verbs lta 'look', gefa 'give', fara 'go', hlaupa 'leap', and bja 'offer' illustrate the past subjunctive of strong verbs. munu 'shall', mega 'be able', kunna 'know how', and vita 'know' illustrate the paradigm for preterite-presents.

Weak               Strong
                 
Infin.   kalla   telja   fra   lta
                 
Stem   kallai-   tali-   fri-   lit-
                 
1 Sg.   kallaa   tela   fra   lita
2   kallair   telir   frir   litir
3   kallai   teli   fri   liti
                 
1 Pl.   kallaim   telim   frim   litim
2   kallai   teli   fri   liti
3   kallai   teli   fri   liti
                 
Strong                
                 
Infin.   gefa   fara   hlaupa   bja
                 
Stem   gf-   fr-   hlup-   bu-
                 
1 Sg.   gfa   fra   hlypa   bya
2   gfir   frir   hlypir   byir
3   gfi   fri   hlypi   byi
                 
1 Pl.   gfim   frim   hlypim   byim
2   gfi   fri   hlypi   byi
3   gfi   fri   hlypi   byi
                 
Pret.-Pres.                
                 
Infin.   munu   mega   kunna   vita
                 
Stem   mundi-   mtti-   kunni-   viss-
                 
1 Sg.   mynda   mtta   kynna   vissa
2   myndir   mttir   kynnir   vissir
3   myndi   mtti   kynni   vissi
                 
1 Pl.   myndim   mttim   kynnim   vissim
2   myndi   mtti   kynni   vissi
3   myndi   mtti   kynni   vissi

Verbs whose stem ends in a velar consonant (k or g) insert j before a following a or u; for example, taka 'take' has tkja, tkjum; draga 'drag' has drgja, drgjum. Note that the past subjunctive and past indicative forms of many weak verbs are the same; for example, kallair and fri may be either indicative or subjunctive, depending on context. The past subjunctive of vera 'be' is formed in a regular fashion from the past plural stem vr-:

vera   Singular   Plural
         
1   vra   vrim
2   vrir   vri
3   vri   vri

Uses of the past subjunctive parallel those of the present subjunctive. The past subjunctive is often used in the following circumstances:

  • indirect or polite wishes, for example, vilda ek at fstisk eigi t til slands 'I would want that you were not eager to go out to Iceland'. In such constructions, vil ek has the connotation of 'I want', in contrast to vilda ek 'I (would) wish'.
  • past conditions of negative import, for example, aldregi drakk (hann) sv, at eigi segi hann sik yrsta 'never did he drink such that he would not say he was thirsty.'
  • past assumption or indirect report, for example, Egill mlti, at eir skyldi ekki drekka 'Egil said that they should drink nothing.' Note that when the main verb is in the present tense, an indirect statement is in the indicative: Egill segir, at at var vnt 'Egil says that that was unlikely.'
  • event potential or probable in reference to the past, for example, Egill fann , at honum myndi eigi vi sv bit eira 'Egill then dicovered that he might not be able to tolerate this.'
  • indeterminate indirect question, in which the event under inquiry is not a specific fact; for example, sgerr spuri, hv'art au hefi mttver etit 'Asgerth asked whether they had eaten supper'. By contrast, and indirect question concerning a factual event uses the indicative: eir spuru, hv hann var ar kominn 'they asked why he had come there.'
39. Reflexive and Middle Verbs
39.1. Reflexive Formation

The reflexive forms of verbs are formed simply by suffixing -sk to the usual form of the verb. This suffix -sk derives from the accusative of the reflexive pronoun sn. The only exception to this procedure occurs for the first person forms, in which the suffix is -mk, derived from the accusative singular of the first person pronoun ek. The suffix -mk is used for singular and -msk for plural forms. The plural form, however, frequently appears as -mk, rendering it in most instances indistinguishable from the singular. Note that the vowel preceding -mk is always u in the first person singular, indicative or subjunctive. The m of the suffix coalesces with the final m of the first person plural ending to give only one m: -m + -mk > -mk. The final -r of verb forms is lost before the reflexive suffix. The weak verbs verja 'defend' and kalla 'call', and the strong verb gefa 'give', serve to illustrate the reflexive paradigms.

Indicative       Refl.       Refl.       Refl.
Present                        
                         
1 Sg.   ver   verjumk   kalla   kllumk   gef   gefumk
2   verr   versk   kallar   kallask   gefr   gefsk
3   verr   versk   kallar   kallask   gefr   gefsk
                         
1 Pl.   verjum   verjum(s)k   kllum   kllum(s)k   gefum   gefum(s)k
2   veri   verizk   kalli   kallizk   gefi   gefizk
3   verja   verjask   kalla   kallask   gefa   gefask
                         
Past                        
                         
1 Sg.   vara   vrumk   kallaa   klluumk   gaf   gfumk
2   varir   varisk   kallair   kallaisk   gaft   gafzk
3   vari   varisk   kallai   kallaisk   gaf   gafsk
                         
1 Pl.   vrum   vrum(s)k   klluum   klluum(s)k   gfum   gfum(s)k
2   vru   vruzk   klluu   klluuzk   gfu   gfuzk
3   vru   vrusk   klluu   klluusk   gfu   gfusk
                         
Subjunctive                        
Present                        
                         
1 Sg.   verja   verjumk   kalla   kllumk   gefa   gefumk
2   verir   verisk   kallir   kallisk   gefir   gefisk
3   veri   verisk   kalli   kallisk   gefi   gefisk
                         
1 Pl.   verim   verim(s)k   kallim   kallim(s)k   gefim   gefim(s)k
2   veri   verizk   kalli   kallizk   gefi   gefizk
3   veri   verisk   kalli   kallisk   gefi   gefisk
                         
Past                        
                         
1 Sg.   vera   verumk   kallaa   klluumk   gfa   gfumk
2   verir   verisk   kallair   kallaisk   gfir   gfisk
3   veri   verisk   kallai   kallaisk   gfi   gfisk
                         
1 Pl.   verim   verim(s)k   kallaim   kallaim(s)k   gfim   gfim(s)k
2   veri   verizk   kallai   kallaizk   gfi   gfizk
3   veri   verisk   kallai   kallaisk   gfi   gfisk
39.2. Use of Reflexives

Derived from the reflexive pronoun, the -sk suffix still functions as a true reflexive in some instances; for example, hann vari sik and hann varisk both mean 'he defended himself'. The full form of the reflexive pronoun and the suffix are not always interchangable, however, as in hann bari sik 'he struck himself' vs. hann barisk 'he fought'. In its role as a true reflexive, there are three basic uses of the -sk suffix:

  • general reflexive: the -sk suffix is interchangable with the full form of the reflexive pronoun (sik, sr), often with verbs involving bodily motion; for example: lagisk hon nir ara rekkju 'she laid herself down on another bed'; hann settisk nir 'he set himself down'; hann nefndisk Gilli 'he called himself Gilli'; Kjartan dvalisk ar um hr 'Kjartan settled himself there for a while'.
  • subject of subordinate clause: verbs of saying, thinking, perceiving, etc. employ a construction similar to the accusative-and-infinitive of Classical Greek and Latin. When the subject of the subordinate clause is the same as the subject of the head verb (the verb of saying), the verb of the subordinate clause is put in the infinitive and its subject (which is the same as the head verb's subject) is denoted by the accusative of the reflexive pronoun. This reflexive is often suffixed to the verb of saying as -sk; for example: hann kvazk fara skyldu vestr 'he said that he should travel west' (literally: 'he said himself to need to go west'); san hugisk hann sofna 'then he thought he would sleep'; Skrnir lzk ganga mundu ok eigi fss 'Skirnir conceded that he would go, but not willingly'.
  • reciprocal: when the reflexive refers to a plural, equivalent to the reciprocal hvr annan 'each other, one another', the reflexive appears as the suffix -sk; for example: eir unnusk mikit fstbrr 'the foster-brothers loved each other greatly'; skilusk skipin 'then the ships separated from one another'; spyriask eir tena 'they ask each other about the news'.

Another important use of the -sk suffix is the marking of the middle voice in Old Norse. To gain insight into the middle voice (compare Classical Greek and Latin), consider the verb 'soak' in Modern English. The sentences

    'I soaked my shirt in detergent for an hour' and
    'My shirt was soaked my me in detergent for an hour'

are logically equivalent (representing the same event), but display a difference in voice. The first sentence is active, in which the agent ('doer', or 'logical subject' -- here 'I') is also the grammatical subject. In this sentence, the patient ('receiver', or 'logical object' -- here 'my shirt') is the grammatical object. By contrast, in the second sentence 'My shirt was soaked by me...', the patient is the grammatical subject, and the agent is expressed by a circumlocution (a prepositional phrase). Now consider a third sentence:

    'My shirt soaked in detergent for an hour.'

In this sentence, the agent-patient distinction breaks down. If we wish to force this sentence into the active-passive dichotomy, we may do so only with some effort. If we ascribe to the shirt authority in the soaking action, then we may say this sentence is equivalent to 'My shirt soaked itself in detergent...', and so the sentence may be viewed as active, but reflexive. If we do not allow the shirt to be the agent of its own soaking, then the sentence is equivalent to 'My shirt was soaked in detergent...', and so the sentence may be viewed as passive, but with no reference to the actual agent. Because of the nature of some verbs, it is better to admit a third category to the active-passive distinction. We call constructions of the type 'My shirt soaked in detergent...' illustrations of the middle voice.

Middle constructions are quite common in Old Norse and occur with a wide variety of verbs. This construction is common with verbs denoting 'seem', 'appear', or the like, usually in conjunction with a dative. For example: sv lizk oss, sem slkum mlum s vel fellt at svara 'so it seems to us, that in such matters it would be suited to answer'; ba hann ara menn hyggja at, hvrt (eim) sv sndisk 'he told the other men to consider whether it would thus seem fitting (for them)'. Verbs dealing with emotional or psychological states, or where the agent is otherwise indeterminate, use the -sk suffix. For example: allir undruusk, eir er s hann 'all marvelled who saw him'; en es eyksk at vru tali it sjaunda hvert r viku... 'but when for our reckoning each seventh year should be augmented by a week...'; frunautar hans gerusk frir 'his travelling companions then became incapacitated'. Middle constructions often involve verbs whose meaning, such as 'turn, open, close, grow', etc., can be either transitive or intransitive in Modern English. The equivalent of the intransitive in ON usually takes the -sk suffix: hafi Gunnarr snizk hauginum 'Gunnar had turned to the mound'; haugar opnask 'the mounds are open'.

As is seen from some of the preceding examples, the use of reflexive forms may be difficult to distinguish from a true passive. Consider the following examples: skip bask 'ships are set up'; landit eyddisk af 'the land would be made desolate'; spurusk au tindi til Nregs 'the reports were heard in Norway'.

The -sk suffix is not uncommon in impersonal constructions: s er mr ausst gipta Olafs, at honum glapisk sv mjk sonaeignin 'this for me is Olafs most obvious misfortune, that so great a lack of progeny befell him'. A related construction occurs in poetry with forms ending in -umk, where -mk is equivalent to the dative form mr: s erumk (= es mr) lkn 'that is a comfort to me'; stndumk (= stendr mr) til hjarta hjrr 'the sword sticks in my heart'. In Snorri's description of Skathi's marriage, one finds lei erumk (= eru mr) fjll..., ulfa ytr ttumk (= ttu mr) illr vesa 'the hills are hateful to me..., the cry of wolves seemed to me to be horrible'.

Often the -sk suffix has no obvious reflexive or middle connotation, but rather serves to change the meaning of the verb. Sometimes this occurs in conjunction with the addition of an adverbial, e.g. kanna 'search, explore', but kannask vi 'recognize' in kannask margir vi, ef heyra kenningarnafn mitt 'many recognize if they hear my nickname'. Sometimes there is no adverbial element to signal the change of meaning, e.g. lta 'let', but ltask 'pass away, die', as in hversu margt hefir hr fyrirmanna ltizk 'how many noble men have died here?' Often such uses may be seen as reflexive or middle when an older or less common shade of meaning of the suffixless verb is used. For example, if one glosses vega as 'smite', then vegask 'fight' in at (sver) var sv gott at sjlft vsk 'that (sword) was so good that it would fight by itself' is not a reflexive use. But if vega is glossed as 'lift', then vegask might be construed reflexively as 'lift oneself', and the preceding sentence should be translated as '... that the sword itself could lift/move itself'. Given context and the fact that it is a sword which is moving, the second translation still implies that the sword could fight by itself.

40. Tense and Aspect
40.1. Relative Time Marking

The subjunctive may be used to set events relative to one another. The conjunction r 'before' introduces clauses whose verb may be either subjunctive or indicative. When the subordinate verb is indicative, the events are simply related chronologically. For example: heldusk eir eigi lengi vi, r eir vru yfirkomnir at mi 'they did not hold out long before they were overcome with fatigue'; ok hvarf til hans, r Egill steig bak 'and he embraced him before Egil climbed on back (of the horse)'. When the subordinate verb is subjunctive, the relation is more intentional than necessarily temporal, where the subordinate verb gives a purpose or reason. For example: vil ek, at t'u vitir at, r vit slim kaupi essu 'I want you to know this, before we (should) strike this bargain'.

The auxiliary verb hafa is used to mark an event as anterior to another. The present formation is the perfect: sem Njll hefir sagt 'as Njal has said'. The past formation is the pluperfect: hafi hann ltit heita mungt 'he had let the ale brew'.

40.2. The Perfect

The verb hafa is used with the past participle to denote an event which is viewed as completed, but with relevance to the time-frame of the utterance or main verb. The nature of the perfect straddles the concepts of both tense and aspect. Early uses suggest that the perfect originally denoted a completed event. This use soon gave way to denoting a completed event with continuing relevance, and in this sense the ON perfect is not exactly equivalent to the perfective aspect, which denotes an event without reference to internal time structure. The perfect employs a conjugated form of hafa in conjunction with a form of the past participle. The past participle in early texts agrees in gender, case and number with the direct object of hafa, but this later gives way to the neuter accusative singular of the participle (the supine) regardless of the gender of the direct object. By the time of the classical ON period, the two constructions are in free variation, e.g. ek hefi kallat hann or ek hefi hann kallaan 'I have called him'. The same distinction holds for the pluperfect, which employs past forms of hafa to denote an event anterior to another event in the past. For example: hann hafi st hana or hann hafi hana sna 'he had seen her'.

Intransitive verbs of motion may form the perfect with vera as auxiliary. The participle in such constructions modifies the subject, and always agrees in gender, case and number. For example: hon er farin 'she has travelled'; Gunnarr var kominn at Hlarenda 'Gunnar had come to Slope's End'. The neuter nominative singular of the participle may be used in impersonal constructions, e.g. komit var at Hlarenda um kveldit 'it was come to Slope's End around evening'. One occasionally finds such intransitive verbs with hafa as auxiliary: Gunnarr hafi komit at Hlarenda fyrr um daginn 'Gunnar had come to Slope's End before daybreak'.

40.3. The Future

There is no morphological future in Old Norse. The present is often employed in a future sense. For example: ar liggr hann bndum til ragnarkkrs 'there he lies in bonds until the end of the world', where liggr 'lies' has the sense of 'lies now and will lie from this moment on'.

The future is also formed using modal auxiliaries in conjunction with a main verb in the infinitive. munu 'will' and skulu 'shall' are the most common modals. When the two are distinct, munu signifies inclination, while skulu denotes determination. For example: muntu m'er, Freya, fjarhams lj 'will you, Freya, lend me your feather-dress?'; hann skal standa, er bi himinn ok jr hefir farizt 'he (the gods' residence) shall stand when both heaven and earth have perished'.

The modal munu does not always signify future meaning, but often connotes supposition akin to 'might'. For example: munt engis lofs ykkjask urfa at bija 'you might suppose yourself to need ask no permission'.

40.4. Historical Present

Old Norse makes frequent use of the historical present. This usage is common to Modern English, as typified by the opening line of many jokes: 'Two guys walk into a bar...'. In such situations, the present is used to refer to an action which occurred in the past. In rhetorical terms, the present is used to add vividness to the narrative, imparting a heightened sense of reality for the listener. The same is found in Classical Greek and Latin historical narratives. But the classical languages typically employ the historical present only in restricted contexts. Old Norse, by contrast, makes such extensive use of the historical present that it is likely much of the 'vividness' has been bleached out by the time of classical ON texts. A close examination of spoken Modern English finds similar usage occurs in informal conversation: 'I handed him the money, he gives me a stern look, and I walked away.' Though the historical present's use in ON narrative seems to be rather idiosyncratic, a few general tendencies may be observed. In passages where the historical present occurs, a past tense form must be used at the beginning. In extended passages, the historical present must alternate frequently with past tenses. Shifting between historical present and past tense rarely occurs in dialogue. Consider the following example, en Loki fr fyrir ok leggst nir milli steina tveggja; drgu eir netit yfir hann 'but Loki went ahead and lies down between two stones; they drew the net over him'.