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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði, 11 [Vol. 3, 1225]

[5-8]: These lines constitute the stef or ‘refrain’ of Mhkv and appear again at sts 14/5-8, 17/5-8, and 20/5-8. The refrain also occurs in Flat (Flat 1860-8, I, 583) at the end of Haralds saga hárfagra, which tells of the king’s bewitchment by the beautiful Snjófríðr (Snæfríðr ‘snow-beautiful’). The text of the two refrains differs slightly here, suggesting that the scribe of Flat may have written it out from memory. The story of Snjófríðr is told in Ágrip (Ágr chs 3-4, ÍF 29, 5-7) and Haralds saga hárfagra (HhárfHkr ch. 25, ÍF 26, 125-7); see Mundal (1997). See also Hhárf SnædrI. On the relationship between these tales and Ormr Woman, see Poole (1982); on Saami in Old Norse literature, Hermann Pálsson (1997 and 1999b).


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