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Svartr á Hofstöðum (Svart)

volume 8; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

VIII. Skaufhala bálkr (Skauf) - 42

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 21 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42 

SkP info: VIII, 959

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Svart Skauf 6VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 959.

‘Lítill er missir         í mínum ungum;
atvinna brestr         okkur bæði.
Hafðir þú áður         hæri útvegu*;
nægtir voru þá         og nógar vistir.

‘Lítill missir er í ungum mínum; atvinna brestr okkur bæði. Áður hafðir þú hæri útvegu*; nægtir voru þá og nógar vistir.

‘There is little lacking in my young ones; sustenance fails for us both. Earlier you had better remedies; there was abundance then and plentiful provisions.

Mss: Rask87ˣ(112v)

Readings: [1] Lítill: Lítið Rask87ˣ;    missir: ‘missur’ Rask87ˣ    [6] útvegu*: útvegur Rask87ˣ

Editions: Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 230, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 154-5, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 58-9.

Notes: [All]: This and the following stanza are transmitted only in Rask87ˣ and therefore not edited in Kölbing (1876) and CPB. — [1] lítill missir er ‘there is little lacking’: The Rask87ˣ readings lítið and ‘missur’ have been emended in keeping with the other eds: ‘missur’ is not an Icelandic word, and missir lit. ‘want’ is m. nom. sg., requiring the m. nom. sg. (lítill ‘little’) of the adj. (lítið is n. nom. or acc. sg.). The sense of this clause must be that the vixen is defending her cubs by saying that there is nothing wrong with them; rather, the parents are to blame for the dire situation. — [3] atvinna (f. nom. sg.) ‘sustenance’: Jón Þorkelsson (1922-7) and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) give atvinnu f. acc. sg., treating this as the object in an impersonal construction, but that is not necessary and not supported by the ms. — [6] útvegu* ‘remedies’: Taken here as m. acc. pl. either declined as a u-stem (see ANG §358.4), or as an a-stem with the later ending ‑u (see Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II, 175). Both Jón Þorkelsson (1888; 1922-7) and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) retain the ms. reading útvegur, which can only be construed as a (desyllabified) m. nom. sg. and makes no sense syntactically.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated