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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

35 — Svart Skauf 35VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 979.

‘Fannz sá eingi         fyrr nie síðar
hundr háfættur         eða hestr í bygðum,
að mig á hlaupi         hefði uppi;
var eg frára dýr         en flestöll önnur.

‘Eingi sá háfættur hundr eða hestr, að hefði mig uppi á hlaupi, fannz fyrr nie síðar í bygðum; eg var frára dýr en flestöll önnur.

‘No long-legged dog or horse that could catch me in a chase was found in the settlements, early or late; I was a swifter animal than almost all others.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(115r)

Readings: [1] eingi: þá einginn Rask87ˣ    [3] hundr: maður Rask87ˣ    [4] eða: nie Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 245, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 234, CPB II, 384, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 158, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 68.

Notes: [1] eingi ‘no’: For the Rask87ˣ variant, einginn ‘no’, see Note to st. 34/5. — [2] fyrr nie síðar ‘early or late’: Lit. ‘earlier nor later’, two adverbs in the comp. degree. — [3] hundr ‘dog’: Maður ‘man’ (Rask87ˣ) is possible but less likely both in terms of sense (the other references in this stanza are to animals) and metre (a noun without alliteration preceding the first alliterating stave). The variant was likely prompted by this reading in st. 21/3 above. — [3] háfættur ‘long-legged’: Earlier eds (except Kölbing 1876) omit the excrescent [u] in ‑fættur, which results in a hypometrical line. See Note to st. 13/5. — [4] eða ‘or’: Nie ‘nor’ (Rask87ˣ) is possible (and preferred by Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7 and Páll Eggert Ólason 1947).

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