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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, 968

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Svart Skauf 20VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 20’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 968.

‘Það var í morgin,         þá eg heiman fór;
hafða eg feingið mier         feitar bráðir,
bundið bagga         og á bak mier lagðan;
hugðumz heim flytja         hann til bygða.

‘Það var í morgin, þá eg fór heiman; eg hafða feingið mier feitar bráðir, bundið bagga og lagðan á bak mier; hugðumz flytja hann heim til bygða.

‘It happened this morning, when I was out; I had obtained fat meat for myself, tied up a bag and put it on my back; I intended to bring it home to the settlements.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(113v)

Readings: [1] morgin: morgun Rask87ˣ    [2] heiman fór: fór heiman Rask87ˣ    [3] mier: om. Rask87ˣ    [5] bundið: batt eg mier Rask87ˣ    [6] bak mier lagðan: bakið lagði Rask87ˣ    [7] hugðumz: hugði Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 244, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 232, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 156, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 63.

Notes: [1] í morgin ‘this morning’: All earlier eds omit the prep. í lit. ‘in’ against both mss. Í morgun ‘this morning’ (Rask87ˣ) is also possible. — [2]: The Rask87ˣ variant of this line, þá eg fór heiman is also possible. — [2] heiman ‘out’: Heiman usually denotes motion away from home, but in this instance the word may have had the meaning ‘home’ rather than ‘from home’ (see Þorsteinn Þ. Víglundsson and Eigil Lehmann 1967: heiman). — [5-6]: Rask87ˣ provides the reading eg batt mier bagga og lagði á bakið ‘I tied my bag up and put it on [my] back’, which also makes good metrical and syntactic sense. — [7] hugðumz ‘I intended’: Hugði ‘thought’ (Rask87ˣ) is possible, but looks like a simplification.

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