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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, 1201

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

92 — SnSt Ht 92III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 92’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1201.

Getit vas grams fara;
gǫrt hefk mærð snara;
þengill mun þess vara;
þat namk lítt spara.
Finnrat frœknara
fœði gunnstara
mann né mildara
merkir blóðsvara.

Getit vas fara grams; hefk gǫrt snara mærð; þengill mun vara þess; lítt namk spara þat. {Merkir {blóðsvara}} finnrat {frœknara fœði {gunnstara}}, né mildara mann.

The lord’s expeditions have been recounted; I have made a powerful praise-poem; the ruler will be ready for that; I hardly held that back. {The stainer {of blood-birds}} [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Snorri] will not find {a bolder feeder {of battle-starlings}} [RAVENS > WARRIOR], nor a more generous man.

Mss: R(52v) (SnE)

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 92: AII, 75, BII, 86, Skald II, 47, NN §3263; SnE 1848-87, I, 708-9, III, 133, SnE 1879-81, I, 15, 84, II, 33, SnE 1931, 250, SnE 2007, 36-7; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 61-2.

Context: According to the commentary, this variant, which has identical end-rhymes extending throughout the stanza, has full runhenda ‘full end-rhyme’. The lines are all regularised málaháttr (Type D*2).

Notes: [1] getit vas fara grams ‘the lord’s expeditions have been recounted’: Lit. ‘it was told of the lord’s expeditions’. — [2] snara (f. acc. sg.) ‘powerful’: Taken here in the meaning ‘powerful, vigorous’ (LP: snarr 2). In prose and poetry, this adj. can mean ‘swift, brave, keen, intelligent’ (see Fritzner: snarr). Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Skj B translates it as hurtig, kort ‘quick, short’ and rask ‘swift’ (see LP: snarr 1); Faulkes (SnE 2007, 148) has ‘fine’. — [4] þat ‘that’: Kock (NN §3263) construes this as a subordinate conj. referring back to þess ‘that’ in the previous clause (‘the ruler may expect it that I held little back’). Aside from the fact that þat ‘that’ functioning as the conj. at ‘that’ appears to be rare (see LP: þat; Fritzner: þat 2), Kock’s interpretation is less attractive because þat alliterates and is fully stressed, which one should not expect if it were a conj. — [4] lítt ‘hardly’: Lit. ‘little’. Taken here in a negative sense ‘hardly, by no means’ (see LP: lítt). — [8] merkir blóðsvara ‘the stainer of blood-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Snorri]’: This refers to a warrior staining (lit. ‘marking’) a bird of prey with blood by providing it with carrion. Svǫrr is a species of bird (see Þul Fugla 3/1).

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