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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Óldr 6I/5 — Ý ‘of the bow’

Gerði seims (með sverði)
sverðleik í Mǫn skerðir
(eyddi ulfa greddir
ógnblíðr Skotum víða).
Ýdrógar lét œgir
eyverskan her deyja
— Týr vas tjǫrva dýrra
tírargjarn — ok Íra.

Skerðir seims gerði sverðleik í Mǫn; ógnblíðr greddir ulfa eyddi Skotum víða með sverði. Œgir ýdrógar lét eyverskan her ok Íra deyja; Týr dýrra tjǫrva vas tírargjarn.

The diminisher of gold [GENEROUS MAN] made sword-sport [BATTLE] in Man; the battle-glad feeder of wolves [WARRIOR] destroyed the Scots widely with the sword. The terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR] caused the army from the Isles and the Irish to die; the Týr <god> of precious spears [WARRIOR] was eager for glory.


[5] Ý‑: ver‑ J1ˣ, ‘V‑’ 54, Bb


[5] œgir ýdrógar ‘the terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’: Either of the readings -drógar or -drauga(r) could form a warrior-kenning with ýr ‘yew’, hence ‘bow’, and œgir ‘terrifier’; cf. Gsind Hákdr 7/1 œgir almdrógar ‘terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’, where the majority of mss have -draug. (a) Dróg f. is recorded in prose with the sense ‘stripe’ but with the sense ‘string’ only in poetry; drógar is the reading of the main ms. and is adopted by most eds in this stanza. (b) Draugr elsewhere, probably in the sense ‘log’, combines with determinants referring to weapons, treasure or battle to form warrior-kennings (Meissner 264-5, and cf. Note to ÞHjalt Lv 1/5). This reading in the present stanza would yield ýdrauga œgir ‘terrifier of bow-logs [WARRIORS > RULER/WARRIOR]’.




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