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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, 981

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

37 — Svart Skauf 37VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 37’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 981.

‘Mun eg til rekkju         reika verða;
mier tekr verkur         að vaxa í síðu.
Svó hef eg ætlað:         sjá mun dagr koma
mier yfir höfuð         minn inn síðasti.

‘Eg mun verða reika til rekkju; verkur tekr að vaxa í síðu mier. Svó hef eg ætlað: sjá dagr, minn inn síðasti, mun koma yfir höfuð mier.

‘I’ll have to stagger to bed; the pain begins to increase in my side. This is what I’ve expected: this day, my last one, will come upon me.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(115v)

Readings: [5] hef eg (‘hefc’): hefi eg Rask87ˣ    [6] sjá mun: sá muni Rask87ˣ    [7] mier yfir höfuð: yfir höfuð mier Rask87ˣ    [8] minn: hinn Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 245, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 234, CPB II, 384, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 159, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 68.

Notes: [3] verkur ‘the pain’: All earlier eds omit the excrescent [u], which makes the line hypometrical. See Note to st. 13/5. — [5] hef eg ‘I’ve’: Lit. ‘have I’. Rendered in 603 as ‘hefc’. See Note to st. 30/1. — [6] sjá dagr ‘this day’: Sá dagr ‘that day’ (Rask87ˣ) is also possible, but was likely caused by the fact that the scribe failed to understand the form sjá (m. nom. sg.) ‘this’ because that pron. was replaced by þessi ‘this’ after the C14th (see ANG §470 Anm. 2, Björn K. Þórólfsson 1925, 46 and Bandle 1956, 352). — [6] mun (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) ‘will’: The subj. form of the verb, muni ‘would’ (Rask87ˣ), is less likely in the present context. — [7]: This line, mier yfir höfuð lit. ‘my over head’ (so 603), is unmetrical unless we assume suspended resolution on the second lift. That is also the case with the Rask87ˣ variant, yfir höfuð mier lit. ‘over head my’, which would require suspended resolution on the first lift. — [8] minn ‘my’: Hinn ‘that’ (Rask87ˣ) is syntactically awkward (hinn inn síðasti ‘that one the last’) and must represent an attempt to achieve h- alliteration with höfuð ‘head’ in the previous line.

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