Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa, 3 [Vol. 7, 183-4]

[7-8] ... yfir ‘... about [it]’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1833) emended ms. ‘høf.. hvfer’ to ófir, supposedly a variant of váfir (yfir) ‘is imminent, threatens’. Finnur Jónsson read ‘þof..n vfer’ (1887) and later ‘þof..r yfer’ (Skj A), but in Skj B he followed Sveinbjörn in emending the word to ófir and connecting it with yfir. Jón Helgason (1932-3) accepted the older reading ‘høf..’ and explained the <h> in ‘hvfer’ (=yfir) at the beginning of the following l. as an attempt to restore alliteration which had been disturbed by the evidently intrusive ‘h’ in ‘høf..’. While doubting the existence of the form ófir = váfir, Jón offered no alternative explanation. It seems at least as likely that yfir should belong with þegja to form the expression þegja yfir e-u ‘keep silent about something’. Kock suggested høfum = œfum (from Low German oven ‘exercise, do’ [NN §2490]), but one does not expect a Low German loan-word in a text of this date.

references

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