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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Sólarljóð (Sól) - 83

not in Skj

Sólarljóð (‘Song of the Sun’) — Anon SólVII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Sólarljóð’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 287-357.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [6]. Sólarljóð, digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 628-40, BI, 635-48)

SkP info: VII, 333-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

54 — Anon Sól 54VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 54’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 333-4.

Vestan sá ek fljúga        vánardreka
        ok fell á Glævalds götu;
vængi þeir skóku,
        svát víða þótti mér
        springa hauðr ok himinn.

Vestan sá ek vánardreka fljúga ok fell á götu Glævalds; þeir skóku vængi, svát hauðr ok himinn þótti mér springa víða.

From the west I saw a dragon of expectation flying and it landed on Glævaldr’s road; they shook their wings, so that earth and heaven seemed to me to spring widely apart.

Mss: 166bˣ(47v), papp15ˣ(5v), 738ˣ(82r-v), 214ˣ(151r), 1441ˣ(585), 10575ˣ(8r), 2797ˣ(235)

Readings: [1] Vestan: vitar 738ˣ, 214ˣ    [3] fell: felli 10575ˣ    [4] þeir skóku: skóku þeir 10575ˣ    [5] þótti mér: þótti meir 738ˣ, mér þótti 2797ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [6]. Sólarljóð 54: AI, 636, BI, 644, Skald I, 313; Bugge 1867, 365-6, Falk 1914, 31, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 17, Fidjestøl 1979, 67, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 83-4, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 60, 129.

Notes: [1-2]: Skj B and Skald divide these ll. thus: Vestan sák | fljúga vánardreka. — [1] vestan ‘from the west’: See Note to 55/2 for the significance of cardinal directions in the poem. — [2] vánardreka ‘dragon of expectation’: The meaning of vánar- is not entirely clear; presumably the dragon expects to prey on souls. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 50-1) takes Ván as a river-heiti, as in Grí 28/8, and interprets the creature as Leviathan (Job XLI). The number of dragons is also unclear; more than one dragon is suggested by þeir skóku ‘they shook’ in l. 4, but fell ‘fell’ in l. 3 is universally sg. in the mss. — [3] fell á götu Glævalds ‘fell on Glævaldr’s road’: Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 83-4) suggests that it is the narrator’s soul which lands there, hence the sg. verb. Glævaldr has been taken by most eds as an otherwise unknown pers. n., though Skj B and LP: glævaldr take it as a common noun cpd of uncertain meaning, suggesting the first element is either associated with glær ‘sea’ or with glær adj. ‘transparent, clear, shining’. Bugge (1867, 366) tentatively suggests glæv-ellds ‘of glowing flame’. Following Bugge, Falk (1914, 31-2) reads fella glævalds götu, translating efterlatende en lysende ildstripe ‘leaving a glowing trail’, eliminating the sg. verb. — [4] þeir skóku ‘they shook’: Skj B and Skald emend the pl. verb to sg. skók. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 84) explains the pl. by assuming that the dragon of l. 2 is accompanied by others. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 51) suggests that the pl. verb refers both to the vánardreki and to Glævaldr, also envisaged as a winged being. Njörður Njarðvik (1991, 194) notes earlier eds’ comparison of the dragon with the dragon of Revelations XII. Many visions have similar dragon-like beasts who devour souls, e.g. Dugg (Cahill 1983, 58-61).

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