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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjálmþér Ingason (Hjþ)

volume 8; ed. Richard L. Harris;

VIII. Lausavísur (Lv) - 16

not in Skj

Lausavísur — Hjþ LvVIII (HjǪ)

Not published: do not cite (Hjþ LvVIII (HjǪ))

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SkP info: VIII, 505

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Hjþ Lv 6VIII (HjǪ 13)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 13 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 505.

Mun þik snerta         Snarvendill fyrr,
en þú á seyði         setir konungs arfa.
Handar muntu missa         ok hátt æpa;
svá munum skilja,         skauð in aumasta.

Snarvendill mun snerta þik fyrr, en þú setir {arfa konungs} á seyði. Muntu missa handar ok æpa hátt; svá munum skilja, in aumasta skauð.

Snarvendill will touch you before you put {the heir of the king} [RULER = me, Hjálmþér] on the fire. You will lose your hand and shriek loudly; thus we will part, most wretched cunt.

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(269v), papp6ˣ(50r-v), ÍBR5ˣ(90) (HjǪ)

Readings: [1] Mun þik: þik mun papp6ˣ    [3] þú: þú alla papp6ˣ;    seyði: ‘seyd’ papp6ˣ    [5] Handar: hendr papp6ˣ    [6] ok: eða papp6ˣ    [7] munum: so papp6ˣ, munu vit 109a IIIˣ, munum vit ÍBR5ˣ    [8] in: hit papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis III 3: AII, 335, BII, 356, Skald II, 192; HjǪ 1720, 36, FSN 3, 481, FSGJ 4, 206, HjǪ 1970, 30, 88, 145.

Context: Hjálmþér responds to Ýma’s threat in the previous stanza by saying that things have gone badly for the cloth with which she has dried her hair and which had touched her glyrnur ‘cat’s eyes’, implying that she is a troll. He then speaks this provocative stanza.

Notes: [5] muntu missa handar ‘you will lose your hand’: The prose text following this stanza makes it clear that the reference here is to Ýma’s hand, which Hjálmþér has cut off at the wrist, not her whole arm, as Skj B has it, du vil miste din arm. — [8] in aumasta skauð ‘most wretched cunt’: A gross insult, because the word skauð often refers to the female genitalia, specifically the vagina (cf. Fritzner: skauð 1 and citations there as well as Note to Ǫrv 46/10), just as words for ‘sword’ and ‘knife’ can refer to the penis, and the mention of Snarvendill touching Ýma here is likely to carry sexual symbolism as well as being the instrument whereby Hjálmþér threatens to cut off her hand. The saga’s prose text following this stanza makes it perfectly clear that Ýma understands Hjálmþér’s idiom of sexualised aggression, because she responds by inviting him to have intercourse with her.

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