Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 9II/1 — Ulfs ‘on the wolf’s’

Ulfs tuggu rauð eggjar,
eitt þars Torfnes heitir,
— ungr olli því þengill —
— þat vas mánadag — fránar.
Sungu þar, til þinga,
þunn fyr Ekkjal sunnan
sverð, es siklingr barðisk
snarr við Skotlands harra.

Fránar eggjar rauð tuggu ulfs, þars eitt heitir Torfnes; ungr þengill olli því; þat vas mánadag. Þunn sverð sungu þar fyr sunnan Ekkjal, es siklingr, snarr til þinga, barðisk við harra Skotlands.

Bright blades grew red on the wolf’s mouthful [CORPSE], at a place called Tarbatness (Torfnes); young, the ruler caused that; it was a Monday. Slender swords sang there south of the Oykell, as the princeling, swift into conflict, fought with Scotland’s lord.


[1] tuggu ulfs ‘on the wolf’s mouthful [CORPSE]’: Tugga f. ‘chew, chewed mouthful’ also occurs in three examples of tugga Munins ‘Muninn’s <raven’s> mouthful [CORPSE]’ (LP: tugga). The noun tuggu appears to be dat. here, and the use of rauð ‘reddened’ impersonal. There could alternatively be an understood pronominal subject, hence ‘[He] reddened bright blades’. (b) The variant tugga (R702ˣ) would be nom. sg., subject to rauð in tugga ulfs rauð fránar eggjar ‘the corpse reddened bright blades’; this is definitely the lectio facilior.




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