skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 39VII/3 — ǫldum ‘men’

Fnyk þola flærðar auknir
fleygjendr þrimu leygjar
— þar liggr elds á ǫldum
íma — frost með bríma.
Mǫrgs ǫnnur þar manna
meiri ógn ok fleira
angr, an ór megi tunga,
óvegs, frá því segja.

Fleygjendr leygjar þrimu, auknir flærðar, þola fnyk, frost með bríma; þar liggr íma elds á ǫldum. Mǫrgs ǫnnur meiri ógn óvegs manna þar ok fleira angr, an tunga ór megi segja frá því.

Flingers of the flame of battle [SWORD > WARRIORS], swollen with falsehood, endure stench, frost with flame; there lie embers of fire upon men. Many another greater terror for dishonourable men is there and more sorrow than our [my] tongue is able to describe.

notes

[3-4] þar liggr íma elds á ǫldum ‘there lie embers of fire upon men’: The problem here concerns both the case and meaning of ms. ‘ima’. There is a complex of semantically related nouns in ON: ím n. ‘dust, ashes’, íma f. ‘battle, she-wolf’ (‘dusky one’), and ímr m. ‘wolf’ (‘dusky’) (see LP: íma, ímr). Sveinbjörn Egilsson (cf. LP (1860): íma) and Kempff retain the ms. reading íma, taking this as the nom. form of íma f. in the sense ‘embers’, for which there is no other attested example in either poetry or prose. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to ímu, and arranges þar liggr frost með bríma á ímu elds ǫldum ‘there lies frost with flame on the men of the fire of battle [SWORD > WARRIORS]’. He takes íma f. to mean ‘battle’, a sense attested in several poems, whose eldr is a sword (see also LP: íma, ǫld). Kock accepts this emendation without comment.

grammar

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