Re: [norse_course] Re: ylgr
A random search for the word YLGR in poetry yielded the following
examples, which might be of interest to those members who like to
whet their linguistic skills:
In the Codex Upsaliensis of Snorri's "Poetic Diction", we find the
following half-stanza attributed to Einarr Skúlason:
Leyg rýðr ætt á ægi
Óláfs skipa sólar
(YLGR brunar hvatt) ins helga
(hrægjörn í spor örnum).
Ætt Óláfs ins helga = The kinsman of St. Olaf
rýðr = reddens, smears with red (blood)
leyg sólar skipa = flame of sun of ships (= the sword)
á ægi = at sea ;
hrægjörn ylgr = the corpse-greedy she-wolf
brunar hvatt = rushes forward quickly
í spor örnum = in the eagles' tracks (immediately after the eagles)
All of which is normal, except for the slightly puzzling
fact that the first part seems to refer to a battle at
sea, while the second part refers to a land-battle.
The carrion-animals, raven, eagle, and wolf, are frequent
motifs in battle-poetry. Hundreds of variants of the basic
formula (animal eats corpse) are found in the poetic corpus.
Here are four "one-liners" from a half-stanza by Óttarr the
Örn drekkr undarn,
YLGR fær af hræm sylg,
opt rýðr ulfr kjöpt,
ari getr verð þar.
The eagle drinks breakfast,
the she-wolf gets a sip from corpses,
frequently the wolf stains his jaws red,
the eagle finds his dinner there.
A valiant warrior was properly described in poetry
as "feeder of the wolf", "provider of the raven's
yule-feast", or as in these lines from Sighvatr
Tönn rauð tolfta sinni
Tírfylgjandi = The glory-follower
rauð tönn YLGJAR = reddened the she-wolf's tooth
tolfta sinni = for the twelfth time.
The corpse itself was called "raven's dinner", or some
such equivalent, as in the following half-stanza, quoted
by Snorri from Einar skálaglamm's famous Vellekla:
Fjallvönðum gaf fylli,
fullr varð, - en spjör gullu -
hrafn á ylgjar tafni.
Which must be read:
Herstefnandi gaf fylli = The army-leader gave (their) fill
fjallvönðum hröfnum = to the mountain-accustomed ravens,
(en spjör gullu) = (and the spears resounded) ;
hrafn varð fullr = the raven became full (gorged himself)
á YLGJAR tafni = on the she-wolf's catch (corpses).
Many more examples can be provided, but I'm sure the above
will do for the time being. Any language-related questions
will be answered if asked.
- YLGR - She-wolf
This is a favorite word among linguists. It has cognates
all over the Indo-European family.