Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 5II/5 — framm ‘ahead’

Afkarlig varð jarla
orðgnótt, sús hlaut dróttinn;
fylgði efnð, þvís ylgjar
angrtælir réð mæla:
at framm í gný grimmum
grafnings und kló hrafni
fúss lézk falla ræsir
feigr eða Danmǫrk eiga.

Orðgnótt jarla, sús dróttinn hlaut, varð afkarlig; efnð fylgði, þvís angrtælir ylgjar réð mæla: at ræsir lézk fúss falla feigr und kló hrafni framm í grimmum gný grafnings eða eiga Danmǫrk.

The lordly wealth of words with which the liege was endowed was prodigious; his deeds matched what the grief-beguiler [GLADDENER] of the she-wolf [WARRIOR = Magnús] did say: that the prince said, glad, he would fall doomed under the claw of the raven, ahead in the cruel clash of the graven shield [BATTLE], or else possess Denmark.


[5] framm ‘ahead’: (a) The adv. is construed here with í gný ... grafnings, hence ‘ahead in the battle, in the vanguard’. Although the adv. is usually directional, a static sense is also attested in phrases such as aptr ok fram(m) ‘fore and aft’. (b) Kock (NN §819), assumes a temporal sense ‘further, in the future’ (vidare, allt framjent), but his two other citations (Sigv ErfÓl 11/2I and ÞjóðA Magn 7/8) could equally well support interpretation (a), since, as in st. 5, framm is juxtaposed with a phrase meaning ‘in battle/battle-array’. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28, 33 n.) construes falla framm together as ‘fall on his face’ (falla á grúfu).



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