Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 1I/4 — samr ‘ful’

Tolf frák tekna elfar
tálaust viðu bála;
olli Ôleifr falli
eirsamr konungr þeira.
Svía tyggja leitk seggi
sóknstríðs (firum) ríða
(bǫl vas brátt) til Heljar
(búit mest) Sigars hesti.

Frák tálaust tolf viðu bála elfar tekna; Ôleifr, eirsamr konungr, olli falli þeira. Leitk seggi sóknstríðs tyggja Svía ríða hesti Sigars til Heljar; mest bǫl vas brátt búit firum.

I heard without equivocation that twelve trees of the pyres of the river [GOLD > MEN] were captured; Óláfr, the merciful king, caused their death. I saw the men of the battle-hard king of the Swedes [= Óláfr sœnski] ride the horse of Sigarr <legendary king> [GALLOWS] to Hel; the greatest harm was quickly prepared for the men.


[4] eirsamr: ‘eiarsamr’ R686ˣ, eirlaust 972ˣ, Peringskiöld 1697 I


[4] eirsamr ‘merciful’: No text has precisely this spelling, but it seems to be indicated by the readings and by the context. Eirsamr is preferable as the lectio difficilior, while the variant eirlaust ‘mercilessly’ is doubtless influenced by ‑laust in l. 2. Kock (NN §1870) points out that Sigvatr uses the paradox of the gentle, merciful king dealing ruthlessly with miscreants again in st. 5.



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