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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 14II/7 — skýflir ‘destroyer’

Fekk í fylkis skikkju
fangramligr ótangi;
rekkr réð hart at hnykkja
hildingi fémildum.
Sterkr vas stála Bjarki;
staka kvôðu gram nǫkkut;
afl hefr eggja skýflir
orðvandr fyr hyggjandi.

Fangramligr ótangi fekk í skikkju fylkis; rekkr réð at hnykkja fémildum hildingi hart. Bjarki stála vas sterkr; kvôðu gram staka nǫkkut; orðvandr skýflir eggja hefr afl fyr hyggjandi.

The strong-gripped rascal grabbed the cloak of the leader; the man managed to jostle the generous war-leader severely. The Bjarki <legendary hero> of weapons [WARRIOR] was strong; they said the prince stumbled a bit; the speech-impeded destroyer of edges [WARRIOR] has strength instead of intelligence.

readings

[7] skýflir: ‘skyklir’ R702ˣ

notes

[7] skýflir ‘destroyer’: The main ms. has ‘skyklir’. In the left-hand margin is written ‘skiklir eggia / a verbo eg skek’, while below the st. is written in square brackets ‘eggia skyflir, aff eg skyfr’, both by the same scribe as of the main text. It is not clear whether these represent his attempts to read his exemplar or to make sense of the word. It is assumed here that skiklir is the scribe’s attempt to make sense of what he can read, while skýflir is proposed as an emendation, adopted here. The verb skýfa, to which he links it (similarly AEW: skyflir), is glossed in LP as hugge itu ‘cut in two’ while AEW translates as schieben ‘shove, push’ (similarly Fritzner); both meanings are noted in ÍF 34. A meaning such as ‘destroyer’ is however also suggested by the kenning gullskýflir ‘gold-waster’ in Gsind Hákdr 4/3I. It is not clear where Bibire’s 1988 translation of skýflir as ‘skirmisher’ comes from.

kennings

grammar

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