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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, 973

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

26 — Svart Skauf 26VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 973.

‘Þar húkta eg,         þó mier ilt þætta,
heldr hundeygður,         og hræddumz dauða.
Hljóp hinn háfætti         fyrir holu munna;
hafði staf stóran;         stakk inn til mín.

‘Þar húkta eg, þó þætta mier ilt, heldr hundeygður, og hræddumz dauða. Hinn háfætti hljóp fyrir munna holu; hafði stóran staf; stakk inn til mín.

‘There I cowered, though I thought it bad for me, rather dog-eyed, and feared death. The long-legged one ran before the mouths of the hole; he had a large stick; he jabbed [it] in at me.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(114r-v)

Readings: [2] þætta: þætti Rask87ˣ    [3] hund‑: hvass‑ Rask87ˣ    [4] og: om. Rask87ˣ;    hræddumz: hræddiz Rask87ˣ    [8] stakk: so Rask87ˣ, og stakk 603

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 244, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 233, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 157, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 65.

Notes: [2] þætta (1st pers. sg. pret. subj.) ‘I thought’: So Kölbing (1876) and Jón Þorkelsson (1888). The Rask87ˣ variant þætti, if taken as 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. (but see Note to st. 22/4 above), can be construed impersonally as þó þætti mier ilt ‘though it seemed bad to me’ and is adopted in CPB and by Jón Þorkelsson (1922-7) and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947). — [3] hundeygður ‘dog-eyed’: So Kölbing (1876), CPB and Jón Þorkelsson (1888; 1922-7), but without the excrescent [u] in ‑eygður, which makes the line hypometrical (see Note to st. 13/5). Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) gives hundeygr (see Note to st. 19/3). Hvasseygður ‘keen-eyed’ (Rask87ˣ) is also a possible reading. The cpd hundeygr (with the variant hundeygðr) is found in SvB Lv 3/6V (Gr 35) and glossed in LP: hundeygr as med skamfulde, luskende öjne ‘with eyes that are ashamed, furtive’. — [8] stakk ‘jabbed’: So Rask87ˣ. Og ‘and’ in the 603 reading (og stakk ‘and jabbed’) is extrametrical, but adopted by all earlier eds. Stakk is 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of the strong verb stinga ‘jab, stab’.

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