Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Sv) 5II/3 — eigi ‘never’

Mánadag kvaddi níðingr sína
menn; drífu hart til vápna sennu
— Þúfuskíter þrífisk eigi
þann morgin til Sverrisborgar.
Ýtar reistu merki at móti
margar stengr, ok bǫrðusk lengi;
Baglar standa í banni allir;
brunnu skip, þás kappar runnu.

Mánadag kvaddi níðingr menn sína; drífu hart til sennu vápna þann morgin til Sverrisborgar; Þúfuskíter þrífisk eigi! Ýtar reistu merki at móti, margar stengr, ok bǫrðusk lengi; allir Baglar standa í banni; skip brunnu, þás kappar runnu.

On Monday, the wretch summoned his men; they gathered quickly to the quarrel of weapons [BATTLE] that morning, to Sverresborg; may Þúfuskíter (‘Hillock-shit’) never thrive! People raised standards against them, many poles, and they fought for a long time; all Baglar are excommunicated; ships burned, when champions fled.


[3] Þúfuskíter þrífisk eigi ‘may Þúfuskíter (“Hillock-shit”) never thrive’: As the l. stands in 327 and 81a (Þúfuskítr þrífisk eigi), it is hypometrical (7 syllables) and the last internal rhyme falls on the fourth rather than on the penultimate syllable. The spelling of the last element of the cpd pers. n. in Flat and 81a (‘-skitur’) reflects C14th spelling with excrescent -u. The 304ˣ variant ‘-skijter’, which has been adopted in this edn, is peculiar, because the excrescent vowel is otherwise rendered as <u> in that ms. As it stands, <e> can either represent [e] or [i], and it is unclear whether this spelling represents a later attempt to achieve the correct number of syllables in the l. or an original spelling. For excrescent -e- in Norw., see ANG §161b. This is admittedly early for desyllabification to occur in Norway (see ANG §161; Seip 1955, 137-9), but not unlikely, given the fact that the l. must have been recited with much emphasis. Kock (NN §§2124, 2991B) gives the following emendation: Þúfuskítr enn eigi þrífisk ‘may Þúfuskítr yet never thrive’. That reading violates the w. o. in independent clauses (finite verb in position 4 rather than in position 2). Þúfuskítr (or -skíter) ‘Hillock-shit’ was the nickname of the Baglar king, Ingi (see Note to Lv 4/3 above). The Baglar claimed that Ingi was the son of Magnús Erlingsson, while the Birkibeinar maintained that he was a Dane called Þorgils þúfuskítr (see ÍF 30, 194). The nickname refers to manure being carted away and left on hillocks (so Finnur Jónsson 1907, 299).



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