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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 3 [Vol. 2, 211-12]

[7, 8] fýst bað gram* hlífa sér ‘urgently, they begged the prince to protect them’: (a) Fýst is taken here as the n. form of the p. p. fýstr, lit. ‘impelled, encouraged,’ used adverbially, hence ‘urgently’. Dygg ferð Jaðarbyggva ‘the worthy host of the people of Jæren’ is construed as being the implied subject of bað ‘begged’ as well as the explicit subject of beið ‘awaited’, and gram ‘prince’ as the object of bað; sér refers back to ferð. The emendation of gramr to gram is justifiable on the grounds that the scribe of Hr frequently alters the text when puzzled by its syntax. (b) Kock (NN §2020) construed ll. 7-8 similarly, but read fýst as f. nom. sg. of fýstr, qualifying ferð, hence ‘eager host’. (c) Finnur Jónsson’s solution in Skj B was to construe: gramr bað fýst ... hlífa sér ‘the prince bade [his own] zeal be his defence’, but this seems semantically difficult.


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