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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VIII. Krákumál (Krm) - 29

not in Skj

Krákumál — Anon KrmVIII (Ragn)

Rory McTurk 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Krákumál’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 706.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: H. Krákumál, et islandsk digt fra 12. årh. (AI, 641-9, BI, 649-56)

SkP info: VIII, 728

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Anon Krm 6VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 728.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Herr kastaði skjöldum,
þá er rægagarr rendi
ræstr at gumna brjóstum.
Beit í Skarpaskerjum
skærubíldr at hjaldri;
roðinn var randar máni,
áðr Rafn konungr felli.
Dreif ór hölða hausum
heitr á brynjur sveiti.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Herr kastaði skjöldum, þá er {ræstr rægagarr} rendi at brjóstum gumna. {Skærubíldr} beit at hjaldri í Skarpaskerjum; {máni randar} var roðinn, áðr Rafn konungr felli. Heitr sveiti dreif ór hausum hölða á brynjur.

We hewed with the sword. An army cast shields away when {the drawn corpse-hound} [SWORD] ran at the breasts of men. {The battle-lancet} [SWORD] bit in the conflict at Skarpasker; {the moon of the shield-rim} [SWORD] was reddened before King Rafn fell. Hot blood gushed from heads of men onto mail-coats.

Mss: 1824b(79v), 147(108r) (ll. 9-10), 6ˣ(87r) (Ragn); R702ˣ(29v), LR(202-203), R693ˣ(7r)

Readings: [1] Hjuggu vér með hjörvi: abbrev. as ‘híugu ver m h̄.’ 1824b, Hjuggum vér með hjörvi 6ˣ, LR, R693ˣ, abbrev. as ‘H. v: med h:’ R702ˣ    [3] gagarr: ‘hrę gagar’ ‘hraegagare W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘hraegagare’ LR, R693ˣ    [4] ræstr (‘rręstr’): ‘Restur’ with ‘Reistur W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘rreistur’ R702ˣ, ‘reistur’ LR, ‘(R)eistur’(?) with ‘Reistur’ in margin R693ˣ;    gumna: gunna R702ˣ, LR, R693ˣ    [5] Skarpa‑: skarpa with ‘Skarfa Worm’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘skarffua’ R702ˣ, ‘skarfua’ LR    [6] skærubíldr: ‘skęrí billdr’ 1824b, ‘Skeri billdur’ with ‘skæribilldur W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘skæribilldur’ R702ˣ, R693ˣ, ‘skaeribildur’ LR    [7] roðinn: roðin 1824b, R702ˣ, ‘Rodium’ R693ˣ    [9] Dreif ór hölða hausum: ‘dreíf (ur) heila haugum’(?) 147    [10] heitr á brynjur sveiti: so 6ˣ, R702ˣ, R693ˣ, ‘heitr a bre[...] sveiti’ 1824b, ‘[…] he(i)t(ur) a […]um su(eiti)’(?) 147, ‘heitum a brynniur sueite’ LR

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], H. Krákumál 6: AI, 643, BI, 650, Skald I, 317; Rafn 1826, 6-7, 105-7, Pfeiffer 1860, 124, CPB II, 341, Wisén 1886-9, I, 63, Krm 1891, 225, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 87, Finnur Jónsson 1905, 153, Ragn 1906-8, 187.

Notes: [3-4]: The initial <r> of rendi ‘ran’ in l. 3 and of ræstr ‘released, drawn’ in l. 4 indicates that, in conformity with the rules of alliteration (see Gade 1995a, 4), the initial <h> of the mss’ hrægagarr ‘corpse-hound’ (see the next Note) was not intended to be pronounced, cf. LP: hrægagarr and first Note to st. 2/10, above. — [3] rægagarr ‘the corpse-hound [SWORD]’: The noun gagarr ‘dog, hound’, here forming the base-word in a sword-kenning, is relatively rare. It occurs elsewhere only in the following instances: in Anon Darr 3/7V (Nj 55), where it also forms the base-word in a sword-kenning (hjálmgagarr ‘helmet-hound’), cf. Olsen (1933a, 98), and de Vries (1964-7, II, 40 n. 70), in Anon Mhkv 4/3III, Tindr Hákdr 4/3I and Egill Lv 2/4V (Eg 5), and in the prose of Ldn (ÍF 1, 184), in this last instance as a nickname for Þorgrímr Ljótsson (Þorgrímr gagarr ‘the Dog’). — [5] í Skarpaskerjum ‘in Skarpasker’: The reference is almost certainly to the islands referred to in ESk Run 8/3II in the phrase við Skǫrpusker ‘at Skǫrpusker’, and identified by A. B.Taylor (1965, 132-3; cf. ESk Run 8/3II and Note there; Townend 1998, 69-70) with the Farne Islands, a group of islands off the north-east coast of England (of Northumberland, cf. st. 14/4, below). If this p. n. in the form Skǫrpusker means ‘the sharp skerries’ (so SkP II, 557) or the ‘sharp rocks’ (Townend 1998, 70), this would imply that it is formed from the weak pl. form of the adj. skarpr ‘sharp’ used attributively with the noun sker n. pl. ‘skerries, rocks’, and that the dat. pl. form that would be expected here is Skǫrpuskerjum. That Skarpasker was an accepted nom. and acc. pl. variant form of Skǫrpusker, implying the dat. pl. form Skarpaskerjum, is perhaps suggested by its occurrence in one of the variant readings of ESk Run 8/3II as preserved in Mork (see SkP II, 557), and also in the prose introducing the relevant verse passage in Hkr (see ÍF 28, 329), where only the first half-stanza is preserved, though Skarpasker could be taken as n. acc. sg. rather than pl. in these instances. — [6] skærubíldr ‘the battle-lancet [SWORD]’: The emendation to skæru-/skœru- ‘battle-’, adopted first by Wisén (1886-9) and by subsequent eds, gives a more satisfying sword-kenning than the ms. readings followed by earlier eds, who read skeribildr (Rafn 1826), skeribíldr ‘sickle knife, cutting lancet’ (Sichelmesser, Pfeiffer 1860, 308), Krm (1891), which is weak semantically and unsatisfactory metrically. — [7] máni randar ‘the moon of the shield-rim [SWORD]’: This same kenning occurs in Egill Lv 32/3V (Eg 61); cf. de Vries (1964-7, II, 40 n. 68). — [8] Rafn konungr ‘King Rafn’: Nothing is known of this King Rafn (listed under Hrafn in LP: 1. hrafn). It is clear from the alliteration of the preceding line that his name was intended in this instance to be spelt and pronounced without the initial <h> (cf. first Note to st. 2/10 above).

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