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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 9II/4 — skjaldaðr ‘shielded’

Gagn fekk gjǫfvinr Sygna
— gekk hildr at mun — vildra,
hinns á hæl fyr mǫnnum
hreinskjaldaðr fór aldri.
Dunðu jarlar undan
— eir fekka lið þeira —
— mannkyn hefr at minnum
morgun þann — til borgar.

Gjǫfvinr vildra Sygna fekk gagn, hinns hreinskjaldaðr fór aldri á hæl fyr mǫnnum; hildr gekk at mun. Jarlar dunðu undan til borgar; lið þeira fekka eir; mannkyn hefr þann morgun at minnum.

The gift-friend of prized Sygnir [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] gained victory, he who, bright-shielded, never took to his heels before men; the battle went to his wish. The earls thundered away to the stronghold; their troop did not receive mercy; the race of men holds that morning in memory.


[4] ‑skjaldaðr: so Hr, skaldar Mork, Flat, H


[4] hreinskjaldaðr ‘bright-shielded’: I.e. equipped with a bright shield. (a) Although a hap. leg., the Hr reading hreinskjaldaðr resembles the phrase hreinir þremir randa ‘shining rims of shields’ (SnSt Ht 8/7, 8III) and the adjectival past participles skjaldaðr and fagrskjaldaðr ‘equipped with a (beautiful) shield’, and makes excellent sense as an epithet qualifying hinn ‘he’, i.e. Haraldr. This reading is adopted here, as in Skj B and Skald. (b) However, it is possible that hreinskjaldaðr is a happy emendation by the scribe of Hr, and that hreinskjaldar ‘of the bright shield’ is the original reading. It is the lectio difficilior, and has the stronger ms. support, but it is difficult to place within the syntax of the helmingr. The possible constructions are gagn hreinskjaldar ‘victory of the bright shield’, hildr hreinskjaldar ‘battle of the bright shield’ and fyr mǫnnum hreinskjaldar ‘before the men of the bright shield’ (presumably ‘warriors’), but none of these expressions can be paralleled.



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