Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 10I/8 — skeiðar ‘of the ship’

Sjalfr bað svartar kylfur
Sveinn harðliga skeina
— nær vas áðr í óra
auðvôn róit hônum —,
þás til góðs, en gjóði
gǫrt fengusk hræ svǫrtum
Yggs, lét herr of hǫggvit
hrafni skeiðar stafna.

Sveinn sjalfr bað skeina svartar kylfur harðliga — áðr vas róit nær hônum í auðvôn óra —, þás herr lét stafna skeiðar of hǫggvit til góðs hrafni, en hræ fengusk gǫrt svǫrtum gjóði Yggs.

Sveinn himself commanded the black stem-fittings be cut off ruthlessly — previously the rowing was close to him in our expectation of riches —, when [his] army had the stems of the ship hewn off, to the benefit of the raven, and corpses were provided amply for the black osprey of Yggr <= Óðinn> [RAVEN/EAGLE].


[8] skeiðar: ‘steiþar’ R686ˣ


[7, 8] herr lét stafna skeiðar of hǫggvit ‘[his] army had the stems of the ship hewn off’: Either this is a restatement of the cutting down of the kylfur in ll. 1-2 or, if kylfa is only the upper part of the ship’s stems, a further development; cf. Note to l. 1 above. The construal adopted by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) is not credible because it takes of ‘over’ as a prep. with skeiðar ‘ships’, but in this position it must be the expletive particle.



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