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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, 979

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

34 — Svart Skauf 34VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 34’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 979.

‘Forðaz vissa eg         vielar gjörvallar,
þó að fyrðar þær         fyrir mig setti.
Þurfti eingi         þess að leita,
því að eg vissa         vielar gjörvallar.

‘Eg vissa forðaz gjörvallar vielar, þó að fyrðar setti þær fyrir mig. Eingi þurfti að leita þess, því að eg vissa gjörvallar vielar.

‘I knew how to escape every single trap, though people set them for me. No one needed to try that, because I knew all traps.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(115r)

Readings: [1] vissa: kunna 603, Rask87ˣ    [3] þær: om. Rask87ˣ    [4] setti: settu Rask87ˣ    [5] eingi: einginn Rask87ˣ    [7] að: om. Rask87ˣ    [8] vielar gjörvallar: vóða allan Rask87ˣ

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

Notes: [1] vissa ‘knew’: Both mss have kunna ‘knew’ which is unmetrical because the line lacks alliteration. The emendation is in keeping with most earlier eds. See also the verbal repetition in ll. 7-8. — [3] þær ‘them’: Omitted in Rask87ˣ, which is possible but less preferable since it requires full stress on þó in the conj. þó að ‘although’. — [4] setti (3rd pers. pl. pret. subj.) ‘set’: Lit. ‘would set’. Settu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘set’ (Rask87ˣ) is also possible. — [5] eingi ‘no one’: Einginn ‘no one’ (Rask87ˣ) is a later form (attested in the second half of the C14th and common in the C15th; see Björn K. Þórólfsson 1925, 50 and Bandle 1956, 373). — [8]: The Rask87ˣ variant of this line vóða allan ‘all danger’ is also possible.

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