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Runic Dictionary

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 3. Stanzas from Snorra Edda (SnE) - 18

2.1: Stanzas from Snorra Edda — Anon (SnE)III

Kari Ellen Gade, Margaret Clunies Ross and Matthew Townend 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Stanzas from Snorra Edda’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 512. <> (accessed 18 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18 

SkP info: III, 525

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Anon (SnE) 13III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 13’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 525.

This helmingr (Anon (SnE) 13) is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , A, B (and 744ˣ) and C of Skm (SnE) and in TGT (mss A and W). It is anonymous in all mss. In Skj Finnur Jónsson dates it to the tenth century, but it cannot be older than the middle of the eleventh century (see Note to l. 1 below).

Hrauð í himin upp glóðum
hafs; gekk sær af afli;
bǫrð, hykk, at ský skerðu;
skaut Ránar vegr mána.

Hrauð glóðum hafs upp í himin; sær gekk af afli; hykk, at bǫrð skerðu ský; {vegr Ránar} skaut mána.

The embers of the ocean were thrown up towards heaven; the sea moved powerfully; I believe that prows pierced the clouds; {the road of Rán <goddess>} [SEA] dashed against the moon.

Mss: R(38v), Tˣ(40r), A(13r), B(6r), 744ˣ(35v), C(7v) (SnE); A(7v), W(109) (TGT)

Readings: [1] glóðum: ‘gloð[…]’ B, ‘glodum’ 744ˣ    [2] sær: sjór A(13r), C, A(7v), sjár B, sæ W;    af: ‘[…]’ B, af 744ˣ    [3] bǫrð: borð A(13r), B, A(7v), W;    hykk at ský (‘hygg ec at sky’): ‘[…]’ B, ‘hýgg ek at ský’ 744ˣ;    skerðu: so C, ‘skorþa’ or ‘skorþi’ R, ‘scordo’ Tˣ, skerði A(13r), B, A(7v), W

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], III. C. Om sørejser 1: AI, 184-5, BI, 174, Skald I, 93; SnE 1848-87, I, 500-1, II, 451, 534, 600, III, 103, SnE 1931, 175, SnE 1998, I, 95; SnE 1848-87, II, 174-5, 424, TGT 1884, 29, 110, TGT 1927, 82, 107.

Context: In Skm the helmingr illustrates that the name of Rán, wife of the sea-giant Ægir, can be used in kennings for ‘sea’ (vegr Ránar ‘the road of Rán’). In TGT it is given as an example of yperbola ‘hyperbole’ which is defined as follows (TGT 1927, 82): … yfirganga sannleiks yfir þat framm, sem trúanligt er, sem hér er kveðitHér er óeiginlig líking ok merking milli mǫru-elds ok náttúruligs loga ‘… the exaggeration of truth beyond that which is believable, as is said here … Here there is an improper comparison between, and an interpretation of, phosphorescence and normal fire’.

Notes: [1]: This is a Type A-line with a resolved second lift and a heavy dip in position 4, which is a metrical type that originated among the skalds of the Norwegian king Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson (d. 1066). See Note to Hharð Gamv 2/1II and Kuhn (1983, 68). Hence it is highly unlikely that the present helmingr is older than from c. 1050 (see Introduction above). — [1-2] hrauð glóðum hafs ‘the embers of the ocean were thrown’: The verb hrjóða ‘throw, fling’ is used impersonally with glóðum ‘embers’ as the dat. object. ‘The embers of the ocean’ refer to phosphorescence (ON mǫrueldr; see Context above). — [1] hrauð; himin ‘were thrown; heaven’: Himinhrjóðr lit. ‘sky-devastator’ (or ‘one with horns so high that they pierce the sky’) is the name of an ox (see Þul Øxna 2/1 and Note to Anon Þorgþ II l. 5). The similarity between the name and the wording of l. 1 could be coincidental, but in view of the imagery conjured up in l. 3 (‘the sea dashed against the moon’), the play on words is more likely to have been deliberate (see the next Note). — [3] bǫrð ‘the prows’: The A, B, W variant borð ‘board’, in the meaning ‘ship’s planking’ or even as pars pro toto for ‘ship’, is also possible, but less likely in view of the imagery of the elongated prows cast skywards as the ships toss in the heavy sea (see the previous Note). — [3] skerðu ‘pierced’: So C. The ending of the word is difficult to make out in R, and the sg. form skerði in A, B and W was likely caused by the subject borð ‘board’ (the A, B, W variant) in the same line.

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