Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 237-8.
At lǫgðu skip skatnar
skilit; fell herr á þiljur;
svômu jôrn í ômu
óðhǫrð Skota blóði.
Stall drapa — strengir gullu;
stál beit, en rann sveiti;
broddr fló; bifðusk oddar
bjartir — þengils hjarta.
Skatnar lǫgðu skip skilit at; herr fell á þiljur; óðhǫrð jôrn svômu í ômu blóði Skota. Hjarta þengils drapa stall; strengir gullu; stál beit, en sveiti rann; broddr fló; bjartir oddar bifðusk.
Men steered ships decisively to the attack; troops slumped to the decking; rage-hard iron blades swam in the dark blood of Scots. The ruler’s heart was not struck with terror; bow-strings shrilled; steel bit, and gore flowed; the spear-head flew; shining sword-points quivered.
Mss: 332ˣ(23), Flat(131ra), R702ˣ(37v), 48ˣ(344v marg) (Orkn)
Readings:  skilit: ‘skilid’ R702ˣ  ômu: aumu Flat, mu 48ˣmarg  ‑hǫrð: borð Flat, horð 48ˣmarg  drapa: drepa Flat, drapa 48ˣmarg
Context: As for st. 6, which st. 7 follows directly.
Notes:  skatnar ‘men’: Since the remainder of the helmingr describes the shedding of Scottish blood it seems probable that the skatnar who steered ships into the attack (lǫgðu at) are the men of Orkney and that the troops who fell (fell) (l. 2) are the Scots. —  skilit ‘decisively’: The ms. form ‘skilit’ in 332ˣ and Flat is most likely to be n. nom./acc. sg. of the p. p. from skilja ‘separate, discern’. ‘Skilid’ in R702ˣ is ambiguous, since in the orthography of that ms. it could represent either -it or -ið. (a) Skilit is taken here as an adverbial use of the n. sg. p. p. of skilja. This usually has the sense ‘clearly, distinctly’ and occurs in phrases involving ‘distinct’ hearing or telling, e.g. Hfr ErfÓl 12/7I skilit frá ek ‘I heard clearly’. The adj. skilinn, however, can be applied to human actions as well as words in the sense ‘astute, reasonable’ (see Fritzner: skilinn 2), and this supports the interpretation ‘decisively, unhesitatingly’ adopted here (so also Finnur Jónsson in Skj B and Finnbogi Guðmundsson in ÍF 34, 47 n.). (b) Skilið, if n. acc. pl. applied to skip ‘ships’ would mean ‘separate’, i.e. not linked together. But the writer of Orkn (ch. 20) certainly did not understand the words thus, for he states that both leaders tied their fleets together. — [5, 8] hjarta þengils drapa stall ‘the ruler’s heart was not struck with terror’: Drapa is 3rd sg. pret. indic. of drepa ‘strike’ with the suffixed negative -a. The idiom, which also appears c. 1000 in Eil Þdr 11/1, 4III and in Arn Hryn 12/7-8 (and see Note), probably means ‘the heart stops beating’, with drepa stall meaning ‘stop, make halt’ (Halldór Halldórsson 1965, 38-64). See also Sturl Hákkv 38/1, 4.
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