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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Óldr 1I/3 — at ‘to’

Svá frák hitt, at hôva
hǫrgbrjótr í stað mǫrgum
(opt kom hrafn at heipta)
hlóð valkǫstu (blóði).
Endr lét Jamta kindir
allvaldr í styr falla
(vanðisk hann) ok Vinða
végrimmr (á þat snimma).

Svá frák hitt, at hǫrgbrjótr hlóð hôva valkǫstu í mǫrgum stað; hrafn kom opt at blóði heipta. Allvaldr, végrimmr, lét endr kindir Jamta ok Vinða falla í styr; hann vanðisk á þat snimma.

Thus I have learned this, that the shrine-destroyer piled up high corpse-heaps in many a place; the raven often came to the blood of strife. The mighty ruler, fierce against heathen temples, formerly caused the kin of the Jamtr and Wends to fall in the mêlée; he became accustomed to that early.


[3] at: þars 310


[3, 4] kom at heipta blóði ‘came to the blood of strife’: Although heipta occurs in no ms., it could have been the starting point for the existing readings: ‘hamna’ (normalised hafna) in FskBˣ, for which a possible meaning is suggested below; the uninterpretable ‘hæfta’ in FskAˣ; and dat. pl. heiptum ‘strife’ in 310, which makes good sense but leaves blóði ‘blood’ (l. 4) stranded and sits uncomfortably with its preceding þars. (a) The construal adopted here is favoured by Finnur Jónsson in Fsk 1902-3 and in LP: heipt 1; also by Bjarni Einarsson in ÍF 29. (b) In Skj B Finnur takes at with blóði, hence opt kom hrafn at blóði ‘the raven often got blood’, while translating heiptum as med fjendtligt sind ‘with hostile mind’ and taking it with hlóð ‘heaped’ (l. 4) and the clause built around it. However, if the dat. reading heiptum were correct the immediately preceding prep. at would govern it rather than the more distant blóði (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Kock (Skald and NN §473) reads hafna ... blóði ‘crews’ blood’.



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