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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 13II/4 — liðs ‘troop’

Fjǫrð lét fylkir verða
forntraddan mó spornat
(leynumk lítt) á Fjóni
(liðs skjǫldunga á miðli).
Muna fyr Magnús synja
menn Sveins, þeirs nú renna,
— upp fara mǫrg í morgin
merki — stórra verka.

Fjǫrð lét fylkir verða spornat forntraddan mó á Fjóni; leynumk lítt á miðli liðs skjǫldunga. Menn Sveins, þeirs nú renna, muna synja stórra verka fyr Magnús; mǫrg merki fara upp í morgin.

Last year the ruler had [men] tramp the anciently-trodden moor [lit. had the moor ancient-tramped] on Fyn; we [I] hardly hide in the midst of the princes’ troop. Sveinn’s men, who are now fleeing, will not deny great deeds on Magnús’s part; many banners mount aloft this morning.


[4] liðs: lið H, Hr


[4] liðs skjǫldunga ‘the princes’ troop’: There is no obvious reason for the plurality of princes here, for Magnús alone dominates poetry and prose, and modern eds seem to have been untroubled by the pl., translating it as sg. There is no sg. skjǫldungi of which this could be gen. sg., and a better explanation might be that skjǫldunga has a general, quasi-adjectival sense ‘fit to serve princes’, or else that the gen. pl. is used for metrical reasons. Fms 12 explains that the troops of the enemy kings are close together, but the sg. liðs tells against that.



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