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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 4. Þorfinnsdrápa, 19 [Vol. 2, 251-2]

[7-8] hreggsvǫl dúfa hafði fezk hrími ‘the snow-cold billow had fastened itself in frost’: The nom. hreggsvǫl dúfa ‘snow-cold billow’ is subject to hafði which, since it has no object, must be an auxiliary verb, forming a pluperfect tense with a p. p. (a) There is no p. p. in the helmingr as it stands but the emendation of ‘fast’ to fezk, i.e. fest-sk from festa ‘fasten’, adopted here produces one. Alternatives are: (b) Björn Magnússon Ólsen suggested emending hrími to hrímat ‘encrusted with frost’ (1909, 301; also Finnbogi Guðmundsson, ÍF 34). This is plausible, and the verb hríma is known in ModIcel. (Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4), but the only trace of it in ON is in the past participles óhrímaðr and óhrímðr, which mean ‘not encrusted with soot’ (Fritzner: úhrímaðr; úhrímðr). (c) Kock (NN §835) emends líma to límat ‘encrusted’ and reads: Hafði hreggsvǫl dúfa | hrími fast um límat ‘The snow-cold billow had encrusted [it] thickly with frost’. An objection to this is that the object of hafði ... límat must be understood as a repetition, now acc. sg., of blu tjaldi ‘dark sail/awnings’ in l. 6. An advantage is that sleit tjaldi ‘wore out the sail/awnings in the previous cl. would be explained.


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