skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 4I/5 — bað ‘ordered’

Goll buðu opt, þeirs ollu
úthlaupum, gram kaupask
rautt, en ræsir neitti,
ríklunduðum undan.
Skǫr bað hann með hjǫrvi
— herland skal svá verja —
— ráns biðu rekkar sýna
refsing — firum efsa.

Buðu, þeirs ollu úthlaupum, opt ríklunduðum gram rautt goll kaupask undan, en ræsir neitti. Hann bað efsa skǫr firum með hjǫrvi; svá skal verja herland; rekkar biðu sýna refsing ráns.

Those who carried out plundering expeditions often offered the mighty-spirited prince red gold to buy themselves off, but the ruler refused. He ordered men’s hair to be cut with the sword; that is how to defend the people’s land; the warriors suffered visible punishment for their robbery.

readings

[5] bað: bauð papp18ˣ, J2ˣ, bar 68, lét 61, Bb, Flat, Tóm

notes

[5, 8] hann bað efsa skǫr firum með hjǫrvi ‘he ordered men’s hair to be cut with the sword’: The image of hair-cutting noted by Kock (NN §658) here and in st. 6 (cf. also st. 14) may be a form of humiliating punishment (see Ebel 1999, 240). It is also doubtless a euphemism for beheading. Efsa is recorded only here. Kock compares OE efesian ‘clip, shear, cut’, and the fact that Sigvatr spent time in England and is known for his lexical resourcefulness makes OE influence possible.

grammar

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