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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, 962

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Svart Skauf 11VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 962.

‘Betra er nú         bráða að leita,
en þá fyrðar         fie sitt geyma.
Liggja með brúnum         lömb hvervetna
en á fjalli         feitir sauðir.’

‘Nú er betra að leita bráða, en þá fyrðar geyma fie sitt. Lömb liggja hvervetna með brúnum en feitir sauðir á fjalli.’

‘It is better to look for meat now than when men are watching their livestock. Lambs lie everywhere along the ridges and fat sheep in the mountains.’

Mss: 603(81), Rask87ˣ(113r)

Readings: [4] geyma: corrected from ‘geime’ in another hand Rask87ˣ    [6] hvervetna: so Rask87ˣ, hvetvetna 603    [7] en: og Rask87ˣ;    fjalli: fjöllum Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 243, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 230, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 155, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 60.

Notes: [All]: The vixen is still speaking here. — [All]: During the summer in Iceland, sheep and lambs stay in the mountains until they are rounded up in the autumn. They begin to come down from the mountains on their own in late August and early September, often after the first night of frost. — [6] hvervetna ‘everywhere’: So Rask87ˣ. Hvetvetna ‘whatever’ (603) must be a scribal error. — [7]: The Rask87ˣ version of this line, og á fjöllum ‘and in the mountains’ is an equally good reading.

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