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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 9I/4 — aflfátt ‘with scant support’

Olmr erumk harmr, sás hilmir
hafði; golli vafðan
jǫfurr kreisti sá austan
aflfátt meðalkafla.
Gagn fengu því þegnar,
þeir at hôlfu fleiri
— hvǫtuð tælði þat hildar —
— hvôrungi frýk — vôru.

Harmr, sás hilmir hafði, erumk olmr; sá jǫfurr kreisti meðalkafla, vafðan golli, aflfátt austan. Þegnar fengu gagn því, at þeir vôru hôlfu fleiri; þat tælði hvǫtuð hildar; frýk hvôrungi.

The grief that the ruler had rages at me; that prince clenched the sword-grip, wound about with gold, with scant support from the east. The subjects won victory because they were twice as many; that ensnared the inciter of battle [WARRIOR = Óláfr]; I fault neither side.


[4] aflfátt: aflat J2ˣ, 61, Tóm, afl sitt 321ˣ


[3-4] aflfátt austan ‘with scant support from the east’: Aflfátt is only otherwise attested in the form aflafátt (see Fritzner: aflafár). It is taken here as an adverbial n. adj. (cf. verða e-m aflafátt ‘sby has little support’). As an alternative to the present construal, aflfátt austan could be taken with the rel. clause: sás hilmir hafði, aflfátt austan ‘that the ruler had with scant support from the east’. Either way the reference is to poor support from the east, i.e. from the Swedes: see Note to st. 8/5.



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