Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 23I/8 — †fꜹrf† ‘…’

Varð fyr Vinða myrði
víðfrægt, en gramr síðan
gerðisk mest at morði,
mannfall við styr annan.
Hlym-Narfi bað hverfa
hlífar flagðs ok lagði
Jalks við ǫndurt fylki
ǫndur †fꜹrf† at landi.

Víðfrægt mannfall varð fyr myrði Vinða við annan styr, en síðan gerðisk gramr mest at morði. Hlífar flagðs hlym-Narfi bað hverfa ǫndur Jalks †fꜹrf† at landi ok lagði við ǫndurt fylki.

There was a widely renowned slaughter before the killer of the Wends [= Hákon jarl] in the second battle, and then the ruler eagerly set out for battle. The Narfi <supernatural being> of the din of the troll-woman of the shield [(lit. ‘din-Narfi of the troll-woman of the shield’) AXE > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Ragnfrøðr?] ordered the ski of Jálkr <sea-king> [SHIP] to be turned towards land and pulled up alongside the front of the host.


[8] †fꜹrf†: ‘þorf’ F, ‘forf’ 325VIII 1, ‘vorp’ 61, 53, 54, Bb


[8] fꜹrf ‘…’: So far no interpretation of the ms. readings (fǫrf, vorpþǫrf) has been conclusive. Most previous interpreters assume that the word formed an expression for ‘ship’ in conjunction with ǫndur Jalks ‘ski of Jálkr <sea-king>’. Specific suggestions have been: (a) Fǫr Jalks ǫndurs ‘the vehicle of the Jálkr of the ski [= Ullr > SHIP]’ (Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 152), to which Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) objects because of the short syllable fǫr. (b) Eggert Ó. Brím (ÓT 1892, 375) interprets þǫrf as an adv. in the sense of þarflega ‘as it was necessary’, but does not comment on the grammatical form. (c) Kock (NN §§404, 2244) suggests two configurations of the three words ǫndurr ‘ski’, fors ‘of the wave/waterfall’ and Jalks ‘of Jálkr/sea-king’ that could yield a ship-kenning, but in both the word fors ‘waterfall’ is superfluous.



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