Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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TorfE Lv 2I/2 — fǫgru ‘a handsome’

Margr verðr sekr at sauðum
seggr með fǫgru skeggi,
en ek at ungs í Eyjum
allvalds sonar falli.
Hætt segja mér hǫlðar
við hugfullan stilli;
Haralds hefk skarð í skildi
— skala ugga þat — hǫggvit.

Margr seggr með fǫgru skeggi verðr sekr at sauðum, en ek at falli ungs sonar allvalds í Eyjum. Hǫlðar segja mér hætt við hugfullan stilli; hefk hǫggvit skarð í skildi Haralds; skala ugga þat.

Many a man with a handsome beard is convicted for sheep, but I [am convicted] for the death of the young son of the mighty ruler [= Hálfdan] in the Islands [Orkney]. Freeholders say there is danger for me from the resolute ruler; I have cut a notch in Haraldr’s shield; I shall not fear that.


[2] fǫgru: breiðu 332ˣ, R702ˣ


[2] seggr með fǫgru skeggi ‘a man with a handsome beard’: The intention behind this phrase is unclear. Mundal (1993, 258) interprets it as a vocative, separate from the adj. margr and apostrophising King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, but that seems forced. The reading fǫgru ‘handsome’ is to be preferred over breiðu ‘broad’, though both make sense, because it appears in mss of Orkn as well as of Hkr and ÓT; breiðu is printed in Orkn 1913-16, von See (1960) and ÍF 34.



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