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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, 969

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

21 — Svart Skauf 21VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 969.

‘Þá varð mier litið         í lág eina,
hvar að háfættr maðr         hljóp kallandi.
Fór með hónum         ferlíki mikið
kolsvart að lit;         kenda eg hunza.

‘Þá varð mier litið í eina lág, hvar að háfættr maðr hljóp kallandi. Mikið ferlíki, kolsvart að lit, fór með hónum; eg kenda hunza.

‘Then I happened to see from a fallen tree where a long-legged man was running shouting. A large monstrous thing, coal-black in colour, ran with him; I recognised the dog.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(113v-114r)

Readings: [1] Þá: Þar Rask87ˣ;    varð: so Rask87ˣ, var 603    [3] hvar að: þar Rask87ˣ;    maðr: mann Rask87ˣ    [7] að: á Rask87ˣ    [8] kenda eg hunza: ‘kend eg, hund sä!’ Rask87ˣ

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

Notes: [1] þá ‘then’: Þar ‘there’ (Rask87ˣ) is an equally plausible reading. — [2] í eina lág ‘from a fallen tree’: Lit. ‘into a fallen tree’. Although í with the acc. case normally means ‘into’ and is used with verbs denoting motion, the usage here is paralleled. Cf. ÍF 6, 10: nú heyrði Gísli í skóginn ‘now Gísli heard from the forest’. See also Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, II, 277: í II.A.1.b). — [3] hvar að ‘where’: I.e. hvar er ‘where’. here functions like the rel. particle er (see NS §267 and Björn K. Þórólfsson 1925, 48-9). So also Kölbing (1876) and Jón Þorkelsson (1888; 1922-7). CPB emends to hvar and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) to hvar er. Þar ‘there’ (Rask87ˣ) is syntactically awkward (‘then I happened to see … there was running’). — [3] maðr (m. nom. sg.) ‘man’: The Rask87ˣ variant mann is a later nom. form from the late C14th (see Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II, 178, Björn K. Þórólfsson 1925, 27 and Bandle 1956, 256). — [8] hunza ‘the dog’: The scribe of Rask87ˣ clearly misunderstood this word and rendered it as hund sá lit. ‘dog that’ where hund is m. acc. sg. and is the demonstrative pron. in the m. nom. sg. Hunzi ‘dog’ is not otherwise attested in Old Norse prose or poetry. It is a derivation (hund-si) with a *-san-suffix; cf. bersi ‘bear’, kramsi, krumsi ‘raven’ etc. See Note to Eil Þdr 2/7III.

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