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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Snorri Sturluson (SnSt)

13th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Háttatal (Ht) - 102

Skj info: Snorri Sturluson, Islandsk höfding og skjald, 1178-1241. (AII, 52-79, BII, 60-90).

Skj poems:
1. En drape om Skule jarl
2. Háttatal
3. Af et religiøst digt (?)
4. Lausavísur
4. Lausavísur

prose works

Háttatal — SnSt HtIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1094.

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Skj: Snorri Sturluson: 2. Háttatal, 1222-23 (AII, 52-77, BII, 61-88)

SkP info: III, 1129

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

23 — SnSt Ht 23III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 23’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1129.

Firrisk hǫnd með harra
hlumr, — líðr vetr af sumri —
en flaust við lǫg Lista
lǫng taka hvíld at gǫngu.
Ǫl mœðir lið lýða;
létt skipask hǫll in rétta,
en skál at gjǫf, góla,
gulls svífr tóm in fulla.

Hlumr firrisk hǫnd með harra – vetr líðr af sumri –, en lǫng flaust taka hvíld at gǫngu við lǫg Lista. Ǫl mœðir lið lýða; in rétta hǫll skipask létt góla, en in fulla skál svífr tóm at gjǫf gulls.

The oar-handle is removed from the hand at the lord’s [dwelling] – winter follows summer –, and the long ships take a rest after the journey by the sea of Lista. Ale wearies the host of men; the upright hall is easily occupied splendidly, and the full cup swings empty after the gift of gold.

Mss: R(47v), Tˣ(49v), W(142), U(47r) (l. 1), U(51v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Firrisk: Firrit U(47r);    harra: hara Tˣ    [2] af: at U    [3] flaust: flest W    [5] Ǫl: él U    [6] létt: so W, U, ‘let’ R, Tˣ;    in rétta: at réttu Tˣ, it rétta U    [7] at: of U;    góla: ‘gela’ U    [8] gulls: ‘gulz’ Tˣ

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 23: AII, 58, BII, 67, Skald II, 38, NN §§1304, 1305; SnE 1848-87, I, 632-3, II, 371, 384, III, 116, SnE 1879-81, I, 4, 76, II, 12, SnE 1931, 226, SnE 2007, 14; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 15.

Context: This variant of refhvǫrf is called refhvarfabróðir ‘the brother of fox-turns’. The antitheses occur at the end of each even line and are separated by one syllable (not adjacent as in refhvǫrf).

Notes: [All]: The headings are xvj. háttr ‘the sixteenth verse-form’ () and refhvarfa bróðir ‘the brother of fox-turns’ (U(47r)). — [All]: The antitheses are contained in the following words: vetr ‘winter’ : sumri ‘summer’ (l. 2); hvíld ‘rest’ : gǫngu ‘journey’ (l. 4); hǫll ‘slanting’ (rather than the noun hǫll ‘hall’) : rétta ‘upright’ (l. 6); tóm ‘empty’ : fulla ‘full’ (l. 8). This pattern of antitheses is not found elsewhere and must have been Snorri’s invention. — [2] hlumr ‘the oar-handle’: Hlumr has been altered in R to hlum (R*), which is syntactically possible but requires that hǫnd ‘the hand’ (l. 1) rather than hlumr is the subject of firrisk ‘is removed’ (‘the hand is removed from the oar-handle’). — [3] Lista ‘of Lista’: The southern-most part of Norway. — [6] in rétta (f. nom. sg.) ‘the upright’: This adj. can only qualify hǫll (f. nom. sg.) ‘hall’. If it were replaced by the U variant it rétta (n. nom. sg.) it would qualify ǫl (n. nom. sg.) ‘ale’ (l. 5) (it rétta ǫl ‘the good ale’; so earlier eds except Konráð Gíslason 1895-7). — [7] góla ‘splendidly’: Earlier eds take this adv. with svífr ‘swings’ (l. 8) and assume a meaning ‘merrily’ (SnE 1879-81, I, 99: froh, heiter), ‘pleasantly’ (Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, Skj B: behagelig), ‘powerfully, lively’ (LP: kraftig, livlig) or ‘readily’ (SnE 2007, 115). Góla is an adv. derived from the adj. góligr ‘fair, splendid’ (see Fritzner: góligr). — [8] tóm (f. nom. sg.) ‘empty’: The adj. qualifies skál ‘cup’, meaning that a cup that previously had been filled with beverage now swings empty after toasts in connection with gold that was distributed as gifts. Gulls ‘of gold’ is taken as an objective gen. (cf. NS §125). For drinking and the distribution of gifts at Hákon’s and Skúli’s residences, see sts 86-88 and 91 below, as well as Sturl Hákkv 28-33II. Skj B (and SnE 1848-87; SnE 1879-81; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; SnE 2007) treats this adj. as a qualifier to hǫll ‘hall’ (l. 6), which creates an awkward tripartite line (l. 8), while Kock (NN §1305) takes it as a noun (‘time of leisure’). The motif of drinking recurs in sts 24-5 below.

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