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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 10II/6 — brezkum ‘a British’

Hátt bar Hjalta dróttinn
hjalm at geira jalmi
— ógnstœrir rauð Írum
odd — í ferðar broddi.
Minn dróttinn naut máttar
mildr und brezkum skildi;
hendi Hlǫðvis frændi
hermenn ok tók brenna.

Dróttinn Hjalta bar hjalm hátt í broddi ferðar at jalmi geira; ógnstœrir rauð odd Írum. Mildr dróttinn minn naut máttar und brezkum skildi; frændi Hlǫðvis hendi hermenn ok tók brenna.

The lord of Shetlanders [= Þorfinnr] bore his helmet high in the vanguard of his troop in the tumult of spears [BATTLE]; the sweller of battle-dread [WARRIOR] reddened his point on Irishmen. My bounteous lord made use of his strength beneath a British shield; Hlǫðvir’s kinsman [= Þorfinnr] captured warriors and began burning.


[6] und brezkum skildi ‘beneath a British shield’: Perhaps the shield was a war-trophy captured in a raid on the Bretar or perhaps ‘British’ shields were prized as being particularly fine. On the meaning of brezkr, see Note to st. 14/3.



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