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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 4. Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) - 38

not in Skj

2.2: Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise — Anon (TGT)III

Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 536. <> (accessed 28 September 2021)

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cross-references:  21 = Anon (TGT) 17III 

SkP info: III, 544

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Anon (TGT) 10III

also: Anonymous Poems, Verses about a woman 2

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 544.

Því hefk heitit mey mætri,
mest nema hamlan bresti.

Hefk heitit mætri mey því, nema mest hamlan bresti.

I have promised the excellent girl that, unless the greatest obstacle fails.

Mss: W(103), A(4v) (l. 1), A(5v) (l. 1), W(105) (l. 1) (TGT)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 28: AI, 600, BI, 600, Skald I, 292, NN §176; SnE 1818, 315, 321, SnE 1848, 186, 189, SnE 1848-87, II, 116-17, 136, 411, 416, III, 141, TGT 1884, 18, 22, 77, 88, 187, TGT 1927, 53, 63, 96-7.

Context: Cited as an example of soloecismus involving a change of case (fallaskipti; TGT 1927, 53). The fragment (l. 1 only) is cited again in the metaplasmus section to illustrate apocope, i.e. the loss of letters or syllables from the end of a word (TGT 1927, 63). In both instances Óláfr applies the native term orðkólfr (lit. ‘word-club’; not otherwise attested) to this figure in the context of Norse poetry.

Notes: [All]: The change of case here is in the use of the acc. of the person (mey) instead of the dat. (meyju) with the verb heita. In the second citation l. 1 illustrates apocope, the loss of the final syllable (-ju) in the same word. — [All]: Ms. W is chosen here as the main ms. as the second line is lacking in A in both citations. — [2] nema mest hamlan bresti ‘unless the greatest obstacle fails’: Mest ‘greatest’ here is taken as strong f. nom. adj. with hamlan ‘the obstacle’ (so SnE 1848-87TGT 1884 and Skj B). The meaning is unclear and Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) puts an elipsis between mest hamlan and bresti. Later (TGT 1927, 96-7) he takes mest as an adv. belonging to the first clause, which leads to the following interpretation: Hefk heitit mest mætri mey því, nema hamlan bresti ‘I have mostly promised the excellent maiden that, unless the obstacle fails’. — [2] hamlan ‘obstacle’: This noun (from the weak verb hamla ‘injure, hinder’) is a hap. leg. and the meaning is uncertain (cf. LP: hamlan, translated as hindring (eller lemlæstelse?) ‘obstacle (or mutilation?)’).

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