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Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Rolf Stavnem;

1. Rekstefja (Rst) - 35

Nothing is known about this skald (HSt) except what can be deduced from his nickname, which has been identified with the farm-name Höll, in Þverárhlíð, Mýrasýsla, western Iceland (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 185), and from the poetry attributed to him. His main extant work is the drápa Rekstefja (HSt Rst), whose ambitious praise of Óláfr Tryggvason might well point to Iceland at the end of the twelfth century or somewhat later (see Skj, and Introduction to the poem below). Hallar-Steinn has been identified (e.g. by Wisén 1886-9, I, 143) with the eleventh-century poet Steinn Herdísarson (SteinnII), but this is implausible. HSt Frag 1, of uncertain origin but probably attributable to this poet, may also commemorate Óláfr Tryggvason, while HSt Frag 2-5III represent a love-lorn poet. These fragments are preserved only in treatises on poetics and grammar, and are therefore edited in SkP III, as are two further fragments, HSt Frag 6-7III.

Rekstefja (‘Split-refrain’) — HSt RstI

Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘ Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ 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. 893. <> (accessed 25 October 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35 

Skj: Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja (AI, 543-52, BI, 525-34); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5

SkP info: I, 929

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

27 — HSt Rst 27I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 27’ 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. 929.

Annarr ǫðlings manna
ókvíðinn réð síðan
— stígr varð stála sveigi
strangr — í bjarg at ganga.
Hôtt fjall hvárki mátti
— hans vas líf þrotit — klífa
eldrunnr ǫlna foldar
upp eðr niðr frá miðju.

Síðan réð annarr manna ǫðlings at ganga ókvíðinn í bjarg; stígr varð strangr {sveigi stála}. {{{Ǫlna foldar} eld}runnr} mátti hvárki klífa hôtt fjall upp eðr niðr frá miðju; líf hans vas þrotit.

Then one of the ruler’s men started to go, fearless, up the crag; the route was hard {for the swinger of steel weapons} [WARRIOR]. {The tree {of the fire {of the land of fish}}} [(lit. ‘fire-tree of the land of fish’) SEA > GOLD > MAN] could climb neither up nor down the high mountain from the middle; his life had come to an end.

Mss: Bb(112rb); 61(64ra), 53(61va), 54(58vb), Bb(94va), Flat(62ra) (ÓT)

Readings: [3] varð: var Bb(94va)    [4] strangr: strangt Flat;    bjarg: berg all others    [7] ‑runnr: ‑auðr 54, Bb(94va)

Editions: Skj: Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja 27: AI, 550, BI, 532, Skald I, 259; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 230 (ch. 237), Flat 1860-8, I, 465; SHI 3, 262, CPB II, 299, Wisén 1886-9, I, 49, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 271-3.

Context: See st. 26. One man retreats in terror, but the other gets stuck on the crag and shouts for help.

Notes: [2, 4] réð ... at ganga ‘started to go’: Or strictly ‘decided to go’. Réð could alternatively be taken as a pleonastic auxiliary. — [7] ǫlna ‘of fish’: Cf. Note to st. 15/6.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated