Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 321.
|Einn ek vissa, hvé alla vegu
sullu sútir mér;
| mér hrolla buðu|
heim á hverju kveldi.
Ek einn vissa hvé sútir sullu mér alla vegu; heljar meyjar buðu mér heim hrolla á hverju kveldi.
I alone knew how agonies surged over me in all directions; Hell’s maidens dealt shivers home to me every evening.
Mss: 166bˣ(47r), papp15ˣ(4r-v), 738ˣ(81v), 214ˣ(150v), 1441ˣ(584), 10575ˣ(6r), 2797ˣ(234)
Readings:  vissa: vissi 166bˣ, papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘viss[...]’ 214ˣ  hvé: hversu papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ; alla: á 1441ˣ; vegu: vega papp15ˣ, 1441ˣ, 2797ˣ  mér: so papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, er mér 166bˣ  hrolla: ‘hroll[...]’ 214ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 38: AI, 633, BI, 641, Skald I, 312, NN §§2151, 2564B; Bugge 1867, 363, Falk 1914, 18, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 14, Fidjestøl 1979, 65, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 69-70, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 44, 116.
Notes:  mér ‘to me’: 166bˣ has er ‘which’ before mér, but it is not present in most mss. Njörður Njarðvík (1993, 116) notes similarly redundant er in sts 49 and 50 ( though in fact 166bˣ has ec rather than er in st. 49). — [4-6] heljar meyjar buðu mér heim hrolla á hverju kveldi ‘Hell’s maidens dealt shivers home to me every evening’: Several interpretations of these ll. have been offered. Njörður Njarðvík (1993, 116) suggests hrolla-heim as a cpd object of buðu ‘offered me a world of shivers’, but observes that the poem does not normally split compounds like this. Skj B and LP: hrolla make heim the acc. in an acc.-inf. construction with hrolla, a verb meaning ‘to shiver’ or ‘to collapse’, hver aften skulde verden gyse (være kold) for mig ‘every evening the world would shiver (be cold) for me’ (Skj), or verden skulde for mig være som ved at falde sammen ‘the world should be for me as if it were collapsing’ (LP). It is preferable to take heim as adverbial, meaning lit. ‘home’, metaphorically (and untranslatably) ‘right to me’ (as in English ‘to hit home’) and hrolla as acc. pl. of hrollr ‘shiver’; here we follow Marold’s suggestion in Whaley et al. 2002, 72. The fever that racks the speaker every evening is sent by maidens from Hell. Who these women might be is unclear; Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 41) suggests they are personifications of sickness, but the figures seem rather to be evidence of the poem’s syncretic tendencies, paralleled by the dísir of 25/1. As Fidjestøl (1979, 42) points out, the context does not exclude the possibility that norns or valkyries may be part of the phrase’s frame of reference, and thus that Hel, the goddess, is also intended. —  heim á hverju kveldi: As it stands, the l. is unmetrical. Skj B and Skald, following Gering (1902, 465-6), have produced a metrically regular l. by reversing the position of heim and kveldi, á hverju kveldi heim.