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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, 1173

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

62 — SnSt Ht 62III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 62’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1173.

Tiggi snýr á ógnar áru
— undgagl veit þat — sóknar hagli;
yngvi drífr at hreggi hlífa
— hjǫrr vélir fjǫr — brynju éli.
Vísi heldr of fjǫrnis foldir
— fólk skipta svá — boga driptum;
skúrum lýstr of hilmi hraustan
— hans fregnum styr — Mistar regni.

Tiggi snýr {hagli sóknar} á {áru ógnar}; {undgagl} veit þat; yngvi drífr {éli brynju} at {hreggi hlífa}; hjǫrr vélir fjǫr. Vísi heldr {driptum boga} of {foldir fjǫrnis}; fólk skipta svá; lýstr {regni Mistar} skúrum of hraustan hilmi; fregnum styr hans.

The lord turns {the hail of the attack} [ARROWS] towards {envoys of battle} [WARRIORS]; {the wound-gosling} [RAVEN/EAGLE] knows that; the ruler makes {the blizzard of the byrnie} [ARROWS] drift in {the gale of shields} [BATTLE]; the sword entraps lives. The leader keeps {snow-drifts of the bow} [ARROWS] around {lands of the helmet} [HEADS]; the armies arrange it thus; {the rain of Mist <valkyrie>} [ARROWS] strikes down in showers around the brave hero; we hear of his warfare.

Mss: R(50v), W(148) (SnE)

Readings: [1] áru: ára W    [2] ‑gagl: ‑gagls W;    þat: því W    [3] yngvi drífr: yngva dreif W;    hlífa: hlífar W    [4] fjǫr: fǫr W    [5] foldir: foldar W    [6] skipta: skiptir W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 62: AII, 68, BII, 78, Skald II, 43, NN §191; SnE 1848-87, I, 676-7, III, 127, SnE 1879-81, I, 10, 81, II, 24, SnE 1931, 241, SnE 2007, 27; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 38-9.

Context: This metre is called hrynjandi háttr ‘the flowing verse-form’. According to the commentary, the regular dróttkvætt has been expanded by two syllables per line (making the lines octosyllabic; see st. 61 above): in the odd lines, a disyllabic word has been added at the beginning of the line; in the even lines, a disyllabic word has been inserted after position 4.

Notes: [All]: For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 31-2 as well as Section 4 of the General Introduction in SkP I. Snorri’s explanation for the creation of hrynhent ‘flowing-rhymed’ (see Context above) is reflected in the syntactic structure of this stanza. If the words in positions 1-2 (odd lines) and 5-6 (even lines) are omitted, we are left with a metrically and syntactically correct dróttkvætt stanza, a variant of tilsagt ‘annotated’ (st. 25) in the even lines: snýr á ógnar áru | — undgagl veit þathagli; | drífr at hreggi hlífa | — hjǫrr vélir fjǫréli; | heldr of fjǫrnis foldir | — fólk skipta svádriptum; | lýstr of hilmi hraustan | — hans fregnum styrregni ‘hail snows on envoys of battle [WARRIORS]; the wound-gosling [RAVEN/EAGLE] knows that; the blizzard drifts in the gale of shields [BATTLE]; the sword entraps lives; snow-drifts endure around lands of the helmet [HEADS]; the armies arrange it thus; rain strikes down around the brave hero; we hear of his warfare’. — [1] tiggi ‘the lord’: For this form, see Note to st. 52/4. — [1] snýr ‘turns’: The verb snýr can be the 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of the verb snúa ‘turn’ or of a verb meaning ‘snow’ (*snjóa ‘snow’; OE, OHG snīwan) attested only in the 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. and p. p. (snivinn) (see AEW: snivinn; snýr). The latter verb does not take a personal subject (see e.g. Eyv Lv 12/1I). Following Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Finnur Jónsson (Skj B but apparently not in LP: snýja) construes an unattested inf. of a weak verb *snýja and takes tiggi ‘lord’ as the subject ‘the lord makes it snow’ (so also SnE 2007, 149), whereas Kock (NN §191) interprets snýr as pres. indic. of snúa. It may well be that Snorri invented a weak verb *snýja to preserve the battle/weather imagery (see Notes to st. 61/1 above), but because such a verb is otherwise unattested, the present edn follows Kock. For snúa e-u á e-n ‘turn sth. toward sby’, see Fritzner: snúa á 1. — [3, 4]: In the first helmingr, Skj B (with Konráð Gíslason 1895-7), takes at hreggi hlífa ‘in the gale of shields’ (l. 3) with hjǫrr vélir fjǫr ‘the sword ensnares lives’ (l. 4). — [5-8]: The present edn follows Skald and SnE 2007. Skj B, following Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848-87, III), renders the second helmingr as follows: Mistar regni heldr of fjǫrnis foldir vísi skiptir [W variant] svá boga driptum –, folkskúrum lýstr of hilmi hraustan; fregnum hans styr, translated as valkyriens regn raser omkring hovederne; – fyrsten styrer således buens hagl –; sværdbygerne slår ned omkring den tapre fyrste; vi hører fortælle om hans kamp ‘the valkyrie’s rain rages around the heads; the lord controls the bow’s hail thus; the sword-showers beat down around the brave lord; we hear of his battle’. This results in a highly tortuous word order (see the discussion in SnE 2007, 65). — [7] lýstr ‘strikes down’: Used impersonally with regni Mistar ‘the rain of Mist <valkyrie>’ as the dat. object.

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