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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal, 62 [Vol. 3, 1173]

[All]: For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 31-2 as well as Section 4 of the General Introduction in SkP I. Snorri’s explanation for the creation of hrynhent ‘flowing-rhymed’ (see Context above) is reflected in the syntactic structure of this stanza. If the words in positions 1-2 (odd lines) and 5-6 (even lines) are omitted, we are left with a metrically and syntactically correct dróttkvætt stanza, a variant of tilsagt ‘annotated’ (st. 25) in the even lines: snýr á ógnar áru | — undgagl veit þathagli; | drífr at hreggi hlífa | — hjǫrr vélir fjǫréli; | heldr of fjǫrnis foldir | — fólk skipta svádriptum; | lýstr of hilmi hraustan | — hans fregnum styrregni ‘hail snows on envoys of battle [WARRIORS]; the wound-gosling [RAVEN/EAGLE] knows that; the blizzard drifts in the gale of shields [BATTLE]; the sword entraps lives; snow-drifts endure around lands of the helmet [HEADS]; the armies arrange it thus; rain strikes down around the brave hero; we hear of his warfare’.


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