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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, 972

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Svart Skauf 25VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 972.

‘Var gren þetta         grjóti um hvorfið;
mátti hundur þar         hvergi inn komaz.
Gó hann grimmliga,         þá hann gat ekki
garpr ginmikill         gripið mig tönnum.

‘Þetta gren var um hvorfið grjóti; hundur mátti hvergi komaz inn þar. Hann gó grimmliga, þá hann gat ekki gripið mig tönnum, ginmikill garpr.

‘This den was surrounded by stones; the dog could not get in anywhere there. He howled horribly when he was not able to catch me with his teeth, the jaw-mighty fellow.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(114r)

Readings: [1] gren: greni Rask87ˣ    [2] grjóti: grjót Rask87ˣ;    hvorfið: horfið Rask87ˣ    [3] þar: om. Rask87ˣ    [6] þá: þó Rask87ˣ;    hann gat: gat hann Rask87ˣ    [7] garpr: ‘grettur’ Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 244, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 232, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 157, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 64-5.

Notes: [1] gren (n. nom. sg.) ‘den’: Greni n. dat. sg. (Rask87ˣ) is grammatically incorrect. — [2] grjóti (n. dat. sg.) ‘by stones’: Instrumental dat. is required here, and the Rask87ˣ variant, grjót (n. nom. or acc. sg. or pl.), is incorrect. — [2] hvorfið ‘surrounded’: So Kölbing (1876), CPB and Jón Þorkelsson (1888; 1922-7). For the restoration of <v> in this and similar words, see ANG §235.1.a Anm. 1. Horfið ‘surrounded’ (Rask87ˣ) is the regular form (adopted by Páll Eggert Ólason 1947). — [6] þá hann gat ekki ‘when he was not able’: Þó gat hann ekki ‘yet he was not able to’ (Rask87ˣ) is also possible but less preferable from a metrical point of view, as a Type A with anacrusis rather than a Type C. Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) has gat þó ekki ‘yet [he] was not able to’, which is not supported by either of the mss. — [7] garpr ‘fellow’: The Rask87ˣ variant, ‘grettur’, is difficult to make sense of.

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