Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 7VII/2 — djarf*liga ‘presumptuously’

Ungr vǫndumk ek, yngvi,
opt djarf*liga at hvarfa,
(lítt gáðak þá) þjóðar,
(þín) ept vilja mínum.
Enn snørak jafnan inni,
illt ráð þás mik villti,
dýrðhittandi dróttinn
dáðrakkr, við þér hnakka.

Yngvi þjóðar, ungr vǫndumk ek opt djarf*liga at hvarfa ept mínum vilja; gáðak þá þín lítt. Enn snørak jafnan inni hnakka við þér, dáðrakkr dýrðhittandi dróttinn, þás illt ráð villti mik.

Prince of the people [= God], as a young man I often presumptuously developed the habit of wandering according to my desire; I paid you little heed then. Further I always turned my back on you inwardly, deed-bold, glory-finding Lord, when evil counsel led my heart astray.


[2] djarf*liga: ‘erfilega’ B


[2] djarf*liga ‘boldly, presumptuously’: It is not possible to make sense of B’s reading opt erfiliga ‘often with difficulty’ in this context, and various suggestions for emendation have been made. Finnur Jónsson modifies Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s ofderfilega (1844, adopted by Kempff 1867, 2) to ofderfil*a, hap. leg., which he glosses dristigt ‘boldly, audaciously’ (LP). Kock (NN §2928) suggests ofherfliga ‘very wickedly’, comparing Gamli’s confession of sinful behaviour in 53/3-4 þótt atferðin ór yrði stórum herfilig ‘even though my behaviour were to become very shameful’. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 253-4) observes that the poet often uses phrases with opt, and suggests a further emendation of Finnur’s text to opt derfila ‘often presumptuously’. Since derfila is not otherwise attested, he makes two alternative suggestions: óþerfila ‘useless, inconvenient’ and opt djarfliga ‘often presumptuously’. Although emendation to opt djarfliga necessitates a further emendation, to hvarfa, to satisfy the aðalhending in l. 2, this edn, with Black (1971, 154), follows Jón’s suggestion, on the ground that it preserves B’s opt.



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