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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson (FriðÞ)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 33

not in Skj

Lausavísur — FriðÞ LvVIII (Frið)

Not published: do not cite (FriðÞ LvVIII (Frið))

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SkP info: VIII, 194

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — FriðÞ Lv 1VIII (Frið 1)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 1 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 194.

Þat mun ek segja         seggjum várum,
at görla mun farit         gamanferðum.
Skulu ei skatnar         til skips fara,
þvíat nú eru blæjur         á blik komnar.

Þat mun ek segja seggjum várum, at görla mun farit gamanferðum. Skatnar skulu ei fara til skips, þvíat blæjur eru nú komnar á blik.

I will tell that to our [my] warriors, that pleasure trips will be completely out of bounds. Men must not go to the ship, because bed-sheets have now been placed on the bleaching ground.

Mss: papp17ˣ(358r), 109a IIˣ(145v), 1006ˣ(581), 173ˣ(83r) (Frið)

Readings: [1] Þat: om. 1006ˣ, 173ˣ    [2] seggjum várum: deleted and supplied again in the following line 173ˣ    [5] Skulu: skulum 109a IIˣ    [6] til skips: so all others, á skip papp17ˣ    [7] þvíat: því all

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 1: AII, 269, BII, 292, Skald II, 153-4; Falk 1890, 70-1, Frið 1893, 9, Frið 1901, 12; Edd. Min. 97.

Context: Friðþjófr and his men have been visiting Ingibjǫrg and her female companions at Baldrshagi ‘Baldr’s pasture’, while her brothers Helgi and Hálfdan are away. Friðþjófr tells Ingibjǫrg that, when her brothers return, she must spread linen sheets out to bleach on the rooftop of the highest building, called dísarsalr ‘hall of the goddess’, where he could see them from his farm at Framnes. The next morning he recites this stanza, and his men look across Sognefjorden and see that the roof of the hall is covered in white linen cloth.

Notes: [All]: This stanza and the two following (Frið 1, 2 and 3) are found only in B recension mss. The A text has neither the motif of the linen sheets nor the stanza itself (but see an apparent allusion in Frið 8/7-8). This stanza is in fornyrðislag. — [3-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj) and Kock (Skald) put the line division between mun and farit, producing a long-line comprising a regular Sievers Type B odd line plus a Type C2 even line with neutralisation (farit) and resolution (gaman-) in metrical positions 1-2. From the point of view of distribution of stress it is unlikely, however, that the auxiliary mun could receive full stress directly followed by the p. p. farit in an unstressed position after the metrical caesura. The lineation adopted here and in most eds results in an irregular Type B odd line followed by a hypometrical even line, unless we assume suspension of alliteration on the first element of the cpd (gaman-), which is rare but does occur in later poetry. — [3-4] at görla mun farit gamanferðum ‘that pleasure trips will be completely out of bounds’: Lit. ‘that it will be completely at an end with respect to pleasure trips’. On the usage of the p. p. of fara ‘go’ with dat. object in this sense, see LP: fara B2. — [7] þvíat ‘because’: For the common loss of at after svá ‘so that’, þó ‘although’ and því ‘because’ in the C14th, see NS §265, Anm. 2b. — [7-8] blæjur eru nú komnar á blik ‘bed-sheets have now been placed on the bleaching ground’: Before the discovery of chlorine in the late C18th, sunlight was the principal bleaching agent for whitening flax-woven linen, for light energy causes a reaction in wet flax, producing a hydrogen peroxide solution that bleaches the fabric. Until well into the C20th in Scandinavia, after washing the household linen, women would set it out to whiten and dry off on a bleaching ground (ON blik; cf. ModDan. bleg, ModNorw. bleik, ModSwed. blek), usually a patch of grass beside the house (cf. Falk 1919, 40; Schlabow 1978, 76). Although conceived in the B text of Frið as a prearranged signal, the gesture of washing and whitening linen bed-sheets (blæjur) may well symbolise the termination of the intimacies understood to have been enjoyed between the women at Baldrshagi and the men of Framnes. Cf. Oddrgr 6/4, 25/8 and 23/9, where references to blæjur indicate sexual intimacy.

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