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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 8II/3 — of ôm ‘dark’

Vann, þás Venðr of minnir,
vápnhríð konungr síðan;
sveið of ôm at Jómi
illvirkja hræ stillir.
Búk dró bráðla steikðan
blóðugr vargr af glóðum;
rann á óskírð enni
allfrekr bani hallar.

Konungr vann síðan vápnhríð, þás Venðr of minnir; stillir sveið of ôm hræ illvirkja at Jómi. Blóðugr vargr dró búk, bráðla steikðan, af glóðum; allfrekr bani hallar rann á óskírð enni.

The king worked then a weapon-blizzard [BATTLE], which Wends remember; the ruler singed around dark corpses of evil-doers at Wollin. The bloody wolf dragged a body, swiftly-roasted, from the embers; the most ravenous slayer of the hall [FIRE] darted over unbaptised brows.


[3] of ôm: ofan Flat


[3] sveið of ôm hræ ‘singed around dark corpses’: (a) Sveið of ‘singed around’ here is supported by a citation for svíða um in Fritzner: svíða 1, and of is assumed to be the prep. of ‘over, around’ (later um). It could alternatively be the expletive particle. The corpses may be dark (m) because stained in blood (cf. Arn Þorfdr 7 í mu blóði Skota ‘in the dark blood of Scots’) or because they were burned. (b) Skj B reads sveið ófm hræ illvirkja ‘burned many evil-doers’ bodies’ (brændte mange ildgærningsmænds legemer), and the same solution is adopted in Skald and Whaley 1998. However, as pointed out in Andersson and Gade (2000, 469), this is unmetrical, and the l. must read sveið of m at Jómi (an A-type l.). Additionally, svíða ‘singe’ when transitive normally takes an acc. object, not dat., and although it would be possible to construe ófm illvirkja ‘not a few evildoer(s)’ as a poss. dat. qualifying n. acc. sg./pl. hræ ‘corpse(s)’ this is the less obvious analysis.



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