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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 21I/5 — ófôum ‘not a few’

Gladdr sté jarl á eyddan
— él vigra þraut — sigri
grimmr með gengi framligt
Grábak móins *akri.
Lét ófôum ýtis
elds lauðar hal dauðum
vitr af Vánar otrum
verðung á k*af slungit.

Jarl, gladdr sigri, grimmr *akri móins, sté á eyddan Grábak með framligt gengi; él vigra þraut. Vitr verðung ýtis elds lauðar lét ófôum dauðum hal slungit af otrum Vánar á k*af.

The jarl [Eiríkr], gladdened by victory, cruel to the field of the viper [GOLD], stepped aboard the cleared Grábak (‘Grey-back’) with a fine company; the blizzard of spears [BATTLE] ceased. The wise troop of the impeller of the fire of the draw-plate [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] had not a few dead men slung off the otters of Ván <river> [SHIPS] into the deep.


[5] ófôum: ‘ofaín’ Bb


[5] ófôum ‘not a few’: Gullberg (1875) takes ms. ófáin as an unattested adj. (f. nom. sg. or n. nom./acc.) ‘uncoloured, dull’ (following the gloss ‘pale, white’ in CVC: fáinn), cf. the p. p. fáinn ‘garish’ (Fritzner: fáinn). This is certainly a lectio difficilior in comparison to ófôum ‘not a few’, and it chimes with the colourful description of the corpses in the following stanza, but it cannot modify dauðum hal (dat. sg.) ‘dead man’ (translated as pl. above in accordance with English idiom) or anything else in the helmingr .



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