Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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TorfE Lv 5I/8 — undir ‘under’

Eru til míns fjǫrs margir
menn of sannar deilðir
ór ýmissum ôttum
ósmábornir gjarnir.
En þó vitu þeygi
þeir, áðr mik hafi felldan,
hverr ilþorna arnar
undir hlýtr at standa.

Margir ósmábornir menn ór ýmissum ôttum eru gjarnir til fjǫrs míns of sannar deilðir. En þó vitu þeir þeygi, áðr hafi mik felldan, hverr hlýtr at standa undir ilþorna arnar.

Many high-born men of various families are eager for my life because of justified conflicts. And yet they do not know, before they have killed me, who gets to stand under the sole-thorns [CLAWS] of the eagle.


[7-8] standa undir ilþorna arnar ‘stand under the sole-thorns [CLAWS] of the eagle’: It is possible that this phrase prompted the inclusion of the ‘blood-eagle’ motif in the prose of Orkn and Hkr (von See 1960, 36-7 and Note to Lv 3/1, 4). If so, the phrase has been misunderstood since it merely presents the familiar stereotyped vignette of the carrion bird devouring a fallen warrior.



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