Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. 1. Eiríksmál (Eirm) - 9

not in Skj

2.1: Eiríksmál (‘Words about Eiríkr’) — Anon EirmI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Eiríksmál’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1003.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X]: I. A. [1]. Eiríksmál, fra omkr. 950 (AI, 174-5, BI, 164-6)

SkP info: I, 1008

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Anon Eirm 3I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Eiríksmál 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1008.

‘Hvat þrymr þar *,         sem þúsund bifisk
        eða mengi til mikit?
Braka ǫll bekkþili,
        sem myni Baldr koma
        eptir í Óðins sali.’

‘Hvat þrymr þar *, sem þúsund bifisk eða mengi til mikit? Ǫll bekkþili braka, sem Baldr myni koma eptir í sali Óðins.’

‘What is making a din there, as if a thousand were in motion, or an exceedingly great throng? All the bench-planks creak, as if Baldr were coming back into Óðinn’s residence.’

Mss: 761bˣ(105r-v); FskAˣ(37), 52ˣ(14v), 301ˣ(13r) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] þar *: þar Bragi all

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], I. A. [1]. Eiríksmál 3: AI, 175, BI, 165, Skald I, 89; Fsk 1902-3, 28 (ch. 7), ÍF 29, 78 (ch. 8); Möbius 1860, 231, Gordon 1957, 148, Jón Helgason 1968, 22.

Context: As for st. 1 (Fsk).

Notes: [1] hvat þrymr þar * ‘what is making a din there’: Here the metre changes from málaháttr to ljóðaháttr. The stanza is spoken by Bragi, god of poetry (named in st. 4/2), but the words þar Bragi ‘there Bragi’ in the mss have been variously treated by eds. (a) Retaining this reading, several eds regard ll. 1-3 as spoken by Óðinn, addressing Bragi (so Müller 1837, 333, Munch and Unger 1847, 114, Möbius 1860, Wisén 1870, 51, Holthausen 1896, Skj B, Skald, Lindquist 1929, 8, and presumably Fsk 1902-3). (b) Árni Magnússon (in 761bˣ) indicates his belief that kvað ‘spoke’ has dropped out before Bragi, and in this he is followed by Jón Helgason (1968) and ÍF 29. This makes better sense, as otherwise Óðinn would seem to be asking a question to which he already knows the answer (a problem remarked by von See 1963, 114). It also makes better sense of the implication in st. 4/2 that Bragi has just spoken. (c) Assuming kvað has indeed dropped out, however, kvað Bragi is to be regarded as inorganic, and as with the other identifications of speakers it is omitted here (see Introduction to the poem). — [2] þúsund ‘a thousand’: There is perhaps influence from Old English here: cf. OE þūsend(ealdor)mann ‘captain of a thousand’, etc. (Hofmann 1955, 43-4). — [5] myni koma ‘were coming’:  Or ‘would be coming’. Skald emends myni to pret. subj. myndi, but the pres. subj. is matched in bifisk ‘were in motion’ in l. 2. — [5] Baldr: A son of Óðinn, and a handsome and much-praised god (SnE 2005, 23), who was accidentally killed by the god Hǫðr, and remained in Hel, abode of the dead, despite attempts at rescue (SnE 2005, 45-8; see also Simek 1993, 26-32 on Baldr and his death). — [6] eptir ‘back’: Hofmann (1955, 46) remarks that the meaning is dependent on OE eft ‘back, again’ (the poet, he says, would in fact have used the form ept), as the adv. usually means ‘behind’. Lindquist (1929, 8) emends to aptr ‘back’. — [6] sali (m. acc. pl.) ‘residence’: In the sg. the word means ‘hall’.

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