Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Brúðkaupsvísur (Brúðv) - 33

not in Skj

Brúðkaupsvísur (‘Vísur about a Wedding’) — Anon BrúðvVII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Brúðkaupsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 527-53.

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SkP info: VII, 545-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

23 — Anon Brúðv 23VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 545-6.

‘Þetta hæfir þier trautt;
þú gjöriz viltr nú,
gjóða, mun svá giefaz yðr
grennir’, kváðu brúðmenn.
‘Virðaz mun sjá fira ferð
fráleit, ef þú gjörir svá,
Gautr, ef þú glepr, mætr
gullstaups, brullaup.’

‘Þetta hæfir þier trautt; nú gjöriz þú viltr; svá mun giefaz yðr, {grennir gjóða}’, kváðu brúðmenn. ‘Sjá ferð fira mun virðaz fráleit, ef þú gjörir svá, {mætr Gautr gullstaups}, ef þú glepr brullaup.’

‘This hardly suits you; now you have gone astray; so it will turn out for you, {feeder of ospreys} [WARRIOR]’, said the groomsmen. ‘This journey of men will seem very bad, if you do so, {excellent Gautr <= Óðinn> of the golden cup} [MAN], if you confound the wedding feast.’

Mss: 721(14v), 1032ˣ(107v), 399a-bˣ(9-10), 2166ˣ(9-10)

Readings: [3] svá: sjá 721, 1032ˣ, 399a‑bˣ, sá 2166ˣ    [7] Gautr: ‘go᷎tur’ 721    [8] brullaup: ‘brudlo᷎p’ 721, 1032ˣ

Editions: ÍM II, 133.

Notes: [3] gjóða (m. nom. gjóñr) ‘of ospreys’: Lat. pandion haliaetus. — [3] svá ‘so’: Emendation suggested by Jón Helgason. — [4] grennir ‘feeder’: The base-word of a typical warrior-kenning, with the determinant filled by a word for a bird of prey or carrion bird (LP: grennir 2), which is usually qualified by a term for battle or blood in order to form a raven- or eagle-kenning. It is possible, however, to understand the base-word grennir in the kenning grennir gjóða ‘feeder of ospreys’ in a different sense, ‘the one who makes the ospreys thinner’ (cf. LP: grenna 1, grennir 1), that is, an ineffectual warrior who does not serve the carrion up to the birds of prey. That interpretation is more in line with what we know about the young man, who appears to be peaceful and devout, rather than a great warrior. The men following him to the wedding-feast might not have regarded his peaceful nature as a good quality. The poet’s word-play could be unintentionally ironic, but it offers an interesting and humorous interpretation. — [6] fráleit ‘very bad’: The word is marked as ‘younger Icel.’ in the ONP database. The oldest examples in the database of the Institute of Lexicography (see Orðabók Háskólans: fráleitur) are from the middle of C16th: þat einginn laustr sie suo og fraleitur, ... at hræsnin kunne eigi medur faugru alite yfer at slietta ‘that no vice is so very bad […] that hypocrisy could not with fair appearance smooth it over’; Gud hann yfergefur þuilijka menn j fraleitt sinne ‘God, he leaves such men in very bad company’. — [7] Gautr: All the mss have the spelling go᷎tur. That has been normalized to Gautr here, because the scribe of 721, from which the other mss derive, seems to use the ‘o᷎’ sign for [au]. In l. 8 of this st. he writes ‘brudlo᷎p’ and the scribe of 1032ˣ uses the exact same spelling, while Jón Sigurðsson writes ‘brúðlaup’ in 399a-bˣ as does the scribe of 2166ˣ. The normalized form götur (pl. of gata ‘road’ f.) does not make any sense in this context, whereas Gautr <= Óðinn> is a common base-word in man- or warrior-kennings. The choice of the name Gautr as a base-word could be interpreted as a criticism (Guðrún Nordal 1999, 78-81). The young man has shown himself to be brigðlyndr og lausgieðr ‘fickle-minded and slack-willed’, as Mary described him in st. 15, by first breaking his promise to her by agreeing to marry a young woman, and then breaking his promise to his kinsmen, as well as the girl’s family by calling off the engagement on the eve of the wedding. Jón Sigurðsson suggested gætir ‘keeper’ in the margin in 399a-bˣ. That gives a full rhyme with mætr ‘excellent’ (but in an odd l.) and makes good sense in the context, ‘keeper of the golden cup’. Gautr offers a more interesting interpretation of the st. and does not involve emendation, so that reading has been adopted here.

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