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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, 963

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

12 — Svart Skauf 12VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 963.

‘Sá er nú tími,’         segir rebbhali,
‘sem seggir munu         að sauðum ganga.
Víst er alstaðar         vón upp hieðan,
mun á fjöllum         mannferð mikil.’

‘Nú er sá tími,’ segir rebbhali, ‘sem seggir munu ganga að sauðum. Víst er alstaðar vón hieðan upp, mikil mannferð mun á fjöllum.’

‘Now is the time,’ says Foxtail, ‘when men will search for the sheep. There’s certainly the expectation everywhere from now on [that] a great commotion of men will [be] in the mountains.’

Mss: 603(81), Rask87ˣ(113r)

Readings: [1] nú: om. Rask87ˣ    [2] rebbhali: so Rask87ˣ, ‘rebbali’ 603    [6] upp: so Rask87ˣ, um 603    [7] mun: muni Rask87ˣ;    fjöllum: so Rask87ˣ, fjöllum nú 603    [8] mannferð: mannmergð Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 243, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 231, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 155, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 60.

Notes: [2] rebbhali ‘Foxtail’: So Rask87ˣ. Formed from rebbi ‘fox’ and hali ‘tail’ (cf. ModIcel. rebbi ‘fox’). — [6] upp hieðan ‘from now on’: For upp lit. ‘up’ (so Rask87ˣ), see st. 10/5. CPB renders this as um hunda ‘about dogs’, which has no support in the mss. — [7] á fjöllum ‘in the mountains’: So Rask87ˣ. ‘now’ (á fjöllum nú) in 603 is extrametrical and repeats ‘now’ in l. 1. The adv. has been retained by earlier eds. — [8]: The line is unmetrical, with two alliterating staves in an even line. The Rask87ˣ variant, mannmergð ‘crowd of people’, adds a third initial [m] to a syllable with secondary stress.

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