Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. 4. Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason (Ól) - 7

not in Skj

2.1: Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason — Anon ÓlI

Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1061.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: A. 9. Af et digt om Olaf Tryggvason (AII, 462-3, BII, 494-5)

SkP info: I, 1067

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Anon Ól 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason 6’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1067.

Upp dró hilmir heppinn
hugstrangr á Orm langan
mann, sá er mentir kunni
mest, af sjó í festi.
‘Víst hefir vöknað næsta
vendr dyrðill þinn, frændi,’
yngvi öðrum kóngum
†aflagðr† fyrir sagði.

Heppinn, hugstrangr hilmir, sá er kunni mentir mest, dró mann í festi upp af sjó á Orm langan. ‘Vendr dyrðill þinn hefir víst næsta vöknað, frændi,’ sagði yngvi fyrir, †aflagðr† öðrum kóngum.

The lucky, strong-minded lord, who was most able in skills, dragged the man on a rope up out of the sea onto Ormr langr (‘Long Serpent’). ‘Your fine cloak has surely got almost soaked, kinsman,’ declared the prince, … other kings.

Mss: 61(72r) (ÓT); 761bˣ(151r)

Readings: [4] festi: fest 61, ‘festi’ 761bˣ    [6] vendr: ‘uændr’ 61    [7] yngvi: ‘yngi’ 61, 761bˣ;    kóngum: ‘k̄gm’ 61, 761bˣ    [8] fyrir: ‘fara’ 761bˣ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], A. 9. Af et digt om Olaf Tryggvason 6: AII, 462-3, BII, 495, Skald II, 270, NN §3347; Finnur Jónsson 1884-91, 115-16, 120-2, ÓT 1958-2000, III, xxxiv, AM 61 1982, 23-4.

Notes: [All]: Óláfr’s words are very similar to those quoted in ÓT (1958-2000, II, 233): hvat er nv frændi. huart hefir vo᷎knat dydrillinn þinn ‘what’s up, kinsman, has your fine cloak/tail got soaked?’. ÓTOdd is less close, and also says the king swam after Þorkell rather than pulling him up on a rope, as ÓT and the stanza relate. The incident is reminiscent of the Akkerisfrakki episode in Hallfreðar saga in which Óláfr also supplies a rope to help people in trouble at sea (see Hfr Lv 4V (Hallfr 5), ÓTr Lv 1V (Hallfr 6) and Lindow 2007). — [2] Orm langan ‘Ormr langr (“Long Serpent”)’: Óláfr Tryggvason’s famous ship Ormr inn langi is here referred to using the strong form of the adj. langan (m. acc. sg.). — [4] festi (f. dat. sg.) ‘a rope’: Minor emendation is necessary here to restore the line-final disyllabic cadence. Ms. 761bˣ has festi, but the underlining of ‘i’ may indicate doubt or conjecture. — [6] vendr ‘fine’: Another minor emendation. The word is rare, but a similar sense is found in vend ljóð ‘excellent songs’ in the C16th Pontus rímur I, 90/2 (Pontus rímur 1961, 16, 461). This sense of vendr seems to be connected with vandr ‘difficult’ and vandaðr ‘elaborate, choice’ (from vanda ‘to make carefully, take pains over’); see ÍO: vendur; AEW: vendr. Ólafur Halldórsson (AM 61 1982, 24) argues that vendr here is ‘close, near’ (Fritzner IV: vendr), and should be construed with frændi ‘kinsman’. This is also possible (Þorkell is said in some sources to be Óláfr’s uncle; see Introduction) but seems less apposite, as the splendour of Þorkell’s cloak, also stressed in st. 7, is what gives the anecdote its point. The rhyme of vend- : frænd- finds parallels in the rímur (Finnur Jónsson 1884-91, 121). — [6] dyrðill ‘cloak’: This word is usually explained as meaning ‘tail, stump’ (ÍO, ONP: dyrðill), in which case ÓT’s prose (see Note to [All] above) must be using it as a pars pro toto for Þorkell himself. Alternatively, as the prose sources imply, it could mean ‘precious garment, finery’ (from dýrð f. ‘splendour, splendid thing’, ONP: dýrðill; cf. ÍF 25, 268 n. 1). Dyrðill is both a common noun and Þorkell’s nickname, which appears in the younger metathesised form as dyðrill in some mss (cf. ÍF 25, 268; ÍF 26, 302 n. 2). It is taken here as a reference to Þorkell’s splendid cloak (see st. 7), but it could equally well refer to Þorkell; Skj B translates vendr dyrðill þinn as a direct address: du, din prægtige Dyrdil ‘you, fine Dyrðill’. — [7] yngvi ‘the prince’: Ólafur Halldórsson in ÓT 1958-2000 reads yngri ‘younger’, but as he notes in AM 61 1982, 24, yngvi is a possible expansion of the abbreviation (and so Skj A).  — [7] kóngum ‘kings’: Abbreviated in the ms. The younger disyllabic contracted form of konungum (dat. pl.) ‘kings’ is metrically necessary here; see Note to st. 4/2. — [8] †aflagðr† ‘…’: Previous eds were baffled by this word, which is only otherwise attested in ModIcel. (OHá: aflagður ‘laid off, disused’) and seems most likely to be an alternative inflectional form of ON aflaginn, which ONP glosses as ‘deviated from, abandoned’. The context suggests praise of Óláfr ‘above other kings’ is intended; a tentative translation of aflagðr öðrum kóngum could then be ‘set apart above other kings’, cf. Fritzner: leggja af 2. — [8] sagði fyrir ‘declared’: The function of fyrir, normally ‘for, before’, is unclear. It is tentatively taken with sagði here, though segja fyrir most often means ‘foretell, prescribe’. It is unlikely to govern öðrum kóngum ‘other kings’ since separated from it. Both Árni Magnússon (761bˣ) and Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) expand the abbreviated word to fara ‘to go’ rather than fyrir, but this is still more difficult to explain.

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