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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson (RvHbreiðm)

12th century;

III. Háttalykill (Hl) - 84

Skj info: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson (AI, 512-528, BI, 487-508).

Skj poems:

No biography, so editor and volume are not set in this entry.

Háttalykill (‘The old key to verse-forms’) — RvHbreiðm HlIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1001. <> (accessed 26 October 2021)

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for reference only:  10x 

Skj: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson: Háttalykill, o. 1145 (AI, 512-28, BI, 487-508); stanzas (if different): 1b | 2a | 2b | 3a | 3b | 4a | 4b | 5a | 5b | 6a | 6b | 7a | 7b | 8a | 8b | 9a | 9b | 10a | 10b | 11a | 11b | 12a | 12b | 13a | 13b | 14a | 14b | 15a | 15b | 16a | 16b | 17a | 17b | 18a | 18b | 19a | 19b | 20a | 20b | 21a | 21b | 22a | 22b | 23a | 23b | 24a | 24b | 25a | 25b | 26a | 26b | 27a | 27b | 28a | 28b | 29a | 29b | 30a | 30b | 31a | 31b | 32a | 32b | 33a | 33b | 34a | 34b | 35a | 35b | 36a | 36b | 37a | 37b | 38a | 38b | 39a | 39b | 40a | 40b | 41a | 41b

SkP info: III, 1010

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — RvHbreiðm Hl 2III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1010.

Barn at aldri         þykkik brǫgnum vesa,
        þó hefk forn tíðendi fregin.
Sannligar sǫgur
        þykkjumk ek …
        fyr lǫngu liðnar.

Þykkik brǫgnum vesa barn at aldri, þó hefk fregin forn tíðendi. Þykkjumk ek sannligar sǫgur … fyr lǫngu liðnar.

I seem to men to be a child in age, yet I have heard ancient tidings. True tales I believe … long ago passed.

Mss: papp25ˣ(42r), R683ˣ(125r)

Readings: [2] brǫgnum: so R683ˣ, ‘be\ra/gnum’ papp25ˣ    [3] fregin: ‘…’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [4] Sannligar: ‘… annlegar’ papp25ˣ, ok andligar R683ˣ

Editions: Skj: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 1b: AI, 513, BI, 488, Skald I, 239, NN §3112; Hl 1941, 34, 36-7.

Context: As st. 1 above. The stanza is introduced by the heading Fragmenta totius ad primam cant [sic] ‘Fragments of everything pertaining to the first poem’ (papp25ˣ).

Notes: [1] barn at aldri ‘a child in age’: Rǫgnvaldr must have been at least in his early forties when Hl was composed, and this phrase is most likely some sort of modesty topos that is not to be understood literally – i.e. the poet is saying that his is a childish composition provoking the listeners’ response. — [2]: See st. 1/2. — [3]: The line is incomplete, and Jón Sigurðsson and Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848, 239 n. 1) add fregit ‘heard’, which has been adopted in Skj B and Skald. Hl 1941 suggests fregin (n. acc. pl.) ‘heard’ to agree with tíðendi (n. acc. pl.) ‘tidings’ (adopted in the present edn). — [4] sannligar ‘true’: So Hl 1941, assuming that Rugman failed to decipher the first letter of this word. The mss read ‘… annlegar’ (papp25ˣ) and ‘og andligar’ (R683ˣ) sǫgur ‘(and) spiritual tales’, which Rugman translates as sacras historias ‘sacred stories’ (R683ˣ). Because this phrase hardly fits the context, Skj B (and Skald) supply the reading ǫðlinga sǫgur ‘tales of heroes’. The <e> in the suffix ‘-legar’ (papp25ˣ) must reflect Norwegian vowel harmony (see Hl 1941, 109). — [5]: The line is corrupt and cannot be restored with any certainty. Jón Sigurðsson (followed by SnE 1848, 239 n. 2) suggested the following reading of ll. 4-5: ok andligar sögur | þykjom ek allar kunna ‘and I believe I know all spiritual tales’. Skj B has ǫðlinga sǫgur… þykkjumk segja kunna, translated as fortællinger om gæve mænd … mener jeg at kunne fortælle ‘I believe I can tell tales of prominent men’, which violates the metre (alliteration on the second, rather than on the first lift in l. 4), and Skald supplies oðlinga sǫgur | þykkjumk inna kunna ‘I believe I can tell tales of heroes’. Hl 1941 restores the lines as follows: sannlegar sǫgur | þykkjumk ek segja kunna ‘I believe I can tell true tales,’ which is closest to the ms. reading and does not violate the metre. — [6] liðnar (f. acc. pl.) ‘passed’: This adj. (p. p. of the strong verb líða ‘pass’) agrees with sǫgur (f. acc. pl.) ‘tales’ (l. 4) but consists of a long plus a short syllable (the metre requires two short syllables). Kock (Skald) therefore emends to liðit (taken adverbially: fyr lǫngu liðit translated as för länge sedan föregånget ‘long ago passed’).

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