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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eil Þdr 22III l. 3

skelfra — trembles


1. skjalfa (verb): shake - intrans.


[3] skelfra: skalf eigi U


[3] skelfra ‘trembles’: Lit. ‘does not tremble’ (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. plus the negation ‑a). The negation ‑a reinforces the linking Þórs né Þjalfa. Unlike in st. 11/7, where skalfa appears in the pret., the verb in this helmingr is in the pres. tense and this may have to do with the rhyme. In st. 11 the second helmingr has aðalhending in all lines; hence Þjalfa would rhyme with the pret. skalfa. The present helmingr has the usual alternation of skot- and aðalhending, and skelfra rhymes with Þjalfa. Kock (NN §2246) rejects skelfr because, in his opinion, a stef should not contain any changes, but this argument is not strong enough to overturn the evidence of most of the mss (R, , W) in favour of the reading of U, skalf eigi ‘did not tremble’.



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