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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 28 May 2022)

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SkP info: VIII, 978

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

33 — Svart Skauf 33VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 33’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 978.

‘Hef eg íhentað mier         hákallslykkjur
og höggið mier         hvinna snepla.
Eiga mier allir,         ef eg einskis dyl,
ýtar oftliga         ilt að launa.

‘Eg hef íhentað mier hákallslykkjur og höggið mier snepla hvinna. Allir ýtar eiga að launa mier ilt oftliga, ef eg dyl einskis.

‘I’ve fetched myself shark-loops and cut myself thieves’ snippets. All people often have bad deeds to repay me, if I deny nothing.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(115r)

Readings: [1] Hef eg (‘Hefi eg’): so Rask87ˣ, Hefi 603;    íhentað: hent Rask87ˣ    [4] snepla: ‘‑snapa’ Rask87ˣ    [5] allir: ýtar Rask87ˣ    [6] einskis dyl: dyl einskis 603, nýt einskis Rask87ˣ    [7] ýtar: allir Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 245, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 234, CPB II, 384, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 158, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 67.

Notes: [1] hef eg ‘I’ve’: Lit. ‘have I’. So Rask87ˣ (‘Hefi eg’). Ms. 603 has hefi. The normalisation is in keeping with the 603 readings of sts 30/1, 31/1 and 32/1 (see also Note to st. 20/1). — [1] íhentað ‘fetched’: Hap. leg. Hent ‘fetched’ (Rask87ˣ followed by Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7 and Páll Eggert Ólason 1947) is less preferable from a metrical point of view, and looks like a lectio facilior. — [2] hákallslykkjur ‘shark-loops’: Hákarl is a shark (Somnius microcephalus). CPB II, 610 glosses hákarlslykkjur as ‘the flesh of sharks hung and dried’. — [4] hvinna ‘thieves’’: Hvinnr was a person guilty of petty theft. See Note to Mgóð Lv 1/2II. — [5] eiga (3rd pers. pl. pres. indic.) ‘have’: On the form eiga, earlier eigu, see ANG §532.4 and Bandle (1956, 423). — [5, 7] allir; ýtar ‘all; people’: Rask87ˣ has these words in the reverse order (ýtar (l. 5) and allir (l. 7)), which is also possible. — [6]: As it stands in 603, ef eg dyl einskis ‘if I deny nothing’ (so also Kölbing 1876, CPB and Jón Þorkelsson 1888), the line is unmetrical because the main stave falls on the second lift (einskis ‘nothing’). That is also the case with the Rask87ˣ variant ef eg nýt einskis ‘if I enjoy nothing’ (so Páll Eggert Ólason 1947). The present edn follows Jón Þorkelsson (1922-7). The clause ‘if I deny nothing’ is somewhat obscure, but it must refer to the fox’s own discourse – he is confessing or bragging or some mixture of the two. The Rask87ˣ variant ‘if I enjoy nothing’ makes no sense in the context.

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