Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hildr Lv 1I/5 — ulf ‘a wolvish enemy’

Hafnið Nefju nafna;
nú rekið gand ór landi
horskan hǫlða barma;
hví bellið því, stillir?
Illts við ulf at ylfask
Yggs valbríkar slíkan;
muna við hilmis hjarðir
hœgr, ef renn til skógar.

Hafnið nafna Nefju; nú rekið gand, horskan barma hǫlða, ór landi; hví bellið því, stillir? Illts at ylfask við slíkan ulf Yggs valbríkar; muna hœgr við hjarðir hilmis, ef renn til skógar.

You renounce Nefja’s namesake [= Hrólfr]; now you banish the wolf, the wise brother of freeholders, from the land; why do you risk that, lord? It is dangerous to threaten such a wolvish enemy of the Yggr <= Óðinn> of the slain-plank [SHIELD > WARRIOR (= Haraldr)]; he will not be gentle with the ruler’s herds if he runs to the forest.


[5] ulf: ‘ylf’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ


[5, 6] slíkan ulf Yggs valbríkar ‘such a wolvish enemy of the Yggr <= Ó̃ðinn> of the slain-plank [SHIELD > WARRIOR (= Haraldr)]’: (a) The kenning Yggs valbríkar ‘of the Yggr of the slain-plank’ refers to Haraldr, and his ulfr ‘wolf’ is his outlaw and enemy, Hrólfr (see LP: ulfr 4). (b) Skj B and Skald emend Yggs (gen.) to Yggr (nom.) and take the noun as a base-word in a warrior-kenning addressing Haraldr: Yggr valbríkar ‘Yggr of the slain-plank [SHIELD > WARRIOR]’, but this goes against all ms. witnesses. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) retains Yggs and construes ulf Yggs valbríkar ‘the wolf of the slain-plank of Yggr [SHIELD > WARRIOR]’. That kenning is overdetermined, however, because ‘slain-plank’ alone is a shield-kenning and hence Yggs ‘of Yggr’ is redundant.



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