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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 31II/2 — ulf* ‘the wolf’

Gera vas gisting byrjuð
gnóg, en ulf* ór skógi
sonr á sôr at spenja
Sigvorðar kom norðan.

Gnóg gisting vas byrjuð Gera, en sonr Sigvorðar kom norðan at spenja ulf* ór skógi á sôr.

Plentiful hospitality was initiated for Geri <wolf>, and the son of Sigurðr [= Haraldr] came from the north to entice the wolf from the forest onto the wounds.

readings

[2] ulf*: ulfr all

notes

[2] ulf* ‘the wolf’: (a) Emendation of nom. sg. ulfr in the mss to acc. sg. ulf, as first proposed by Konráð Gíslason (1879a, 189; Nj 1875-8, II, 75), is attractive, since without it there are two potential subjects for the verb kom ‘came’: sonr Sigvorðar ‘Sigurðr’s son, Haraldr’ and ulfr, and the former, as a human subject, appears more likely given that kom is accompanied by norðan ‘from the north’. (b) The ms. reading can be retained if á is read as the 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, possess, have’, hence á sár/sr at spenja ‘has a wound/wounds to entice (with)’, i.e. can entice the wolf with his enemies’ wounds. This interpretation is offered by Faulkes, citing Frank’s suggestion of a connection between spenja and speni ‘teat’ (SnE 1998, I, 87, 400 and Frank 1978, 86). Spenja means to ‘entice’ or ‘attract’ (especially sby to change their allegiance or location). Sveinbjörn Egilsson had hesitantly adopted the same cl. arrangement, suggesting ‘Sigurðr’s son has wounds to cause’ (filius Sigurdi vulnera habet inferenda, SnE 1848-87, I, 476-7).

grammar

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