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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Svartr á Hofstöðum (Svart)

volume 8; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

VIII. Skaufhala bálkr (Skauf) - 42

not in Skj

Svartr (desyllabified Svartur) á Hofstöðum (Svart) is named in a first-person epilogue to Skaufhala bálkrBálkr about Tassel-tail’ (Svart Skauf 42/4) but his identity is uncertain. The internal evidence of the language and metre of Skauf, together with circumstantial evidence and an evaluation of the sources, point to Svartr Þorleifsson (d. 1392) from Hofstaðir, Reykhólar, Þorskafjörður, north-western Iceland, as the most likely candidate, though two other members of his family were also named Svartr and associated with Hofstaðir and there are two further traditions about authorship (see Introduction to Skauf). Very little is known about Svartr’s life. He appears to have been severely wounded during a fight at the alþingi in 1361, and the year before he died (1391) he went to Norway (see Storm 1888, 367, 407, 420). He apparently had two sons, Páll and Gísli (Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 222).

Skaufhala bálkr — Svart SkaufVIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 948.

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SkP info: VIII, 959

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Svart Skauf 5VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 5’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 959.

Svarar grenlægja         gömul á móti:
‘Nú eru á burtu         börn okkur roskin,
en þau ung,         sem eftir sitja,
og enn ekki         á legg komin.

{Gömul grenlægja} svarar á móti: ‘Nú eru roskin börn okkur á burtu, en þau, sem sitja eftir, ung og enn ekki komin á legg.

{The old lair-lier} [VIXEN] answers in return: ‘Now our grown children have left, and those who remain [are] young and [have] not yet reached adulthood.

Mss: 603(81), Rask87ˣ(112r)

Readings: [3] eru: so Rask87ˣ, er 603;    á: í Rask87ˣ    [4] okkur: okkar Rask87ˣ;    roskin: roskinn Rask87ˣ    [6] sitja: eru Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 242, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 230, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 154, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 58.

Notes: [3] eru ‘are’: So Rask87ˣ. Er ‘is’ (603) is ungrammatical since the subject börn ‘children’ (l. 2) is pl. — [4] okkur ‘our’: Okkar ‘our’ (Rask87ˣ) is a later form of the dual poss. pron., from the second half of the C15th. See Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, II, 180, 205), Björn K. Þórólfsson (1925, 45) and Bandle (1956, 349-50). — [5]: The line is hypometrical, kviðuháttr rather than fornyrðislag. — [6] sitja ‘remain’: The Rask87ˣ variant eru ‘are’ is unmetrical, with two alliterative staves in an even line. — [8]: The line apparently lacks alliteration, because it would be unusual for the alliteration to fall on the (normally) unstressed proclitic preposition (á lit. ‘on’) in initial position (though see st. 36/2).

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