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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Not published: do not cite (Hjþ LvVIII (HjǪ))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, 511

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Hjþ Lv 8VIII (HjǪ 19)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 19 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 511.

Gakk þú framar hóti,         fyrr en þú á seyði dragir
þenna þjóðkonung;         þú ert flagð it hraustasta.
Ettu fram járnhrömmum,         ef þú afli treystir,
drós in dulrífa,         en ek mun dvergasmíði.

Gakk þú hóti framar, fyrr en þú dragir þenna þjóðkonung á seyði; þú ert it hraustasta flagð. Ettu járnhrömmum fram, ef þú treystir afli, in dulrífa drós, en ek mun {dvergasmíði}.

Advance a bit further before you drag this mighty king onto the fire; you are the boldest ogress. Unleash your iron claws, if you trust in your strength, wilful woman, and I will [unleash] my {dwarfs’ work} [SWORD].

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(270v), papp6ˣ(51r), ÍBR5ˣ(92) (HjǪ)

Readings: [1] hóti: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, hót 109a IIIˣ    [2] seyði: seyð all    [3] þenna: þennan all    [4] ert: om. ÍBR5ˣ;    flagð it hraustasta: flagðit hrausta 109a IIIˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, flagð ferligsta corrected from flagðit ferligsta in scribal hand papp6ˣ    [5] járnhrömmum: hrömmum papp6ˣ    [7] dulrífa: dulreyfa ÍBR5ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis III 9: AII, 336, BII, 357, Skald II, 193, NN§2616; HjǪ 1720, 39, FSN 3, 484, FSGJ 4, 209, HjǪ 1970, 33, 89, 148.

Context: Hjálmþér responds immediately to Hergunnr’s challenge in HjǪ 18 with a whetting stanza of his own.

Notes: [All]: The tone of the stanza is mock heroic, Hjálmþér referring to himself as a þjóðkonungr ‘mighty king’ (l. 3) and his opponent as a confirmed member of the flagð ‘ogress, troll-woman’ species (l. 4). In ll. 5-8, too, the conflict is presented as between the brute strength (afl, l. 6) of the ogress and the more sophisticated reliance of the hero on artefacts, here said to be the work of dwarfs (dvergasmíði, l. 8). A similar opposition is expressed in GrL 5. — [3] þenna ‘this’: All mss have þennan, with the same meaning, first a Norwegian form and later introduced into Old Icelandic mss (cf. ANG §470). — [4] flagð it hraustasta ‘the boldest ogress’: Line 4 is unmetrical as it stands. With the exception of Kock (cf. NN §2616; Skald), most eds have opted for the reading of papp6ˣ, because the line is metrical there, if ll. 3-4 are understood as a pair of ljóðaháttr lines, both with two alliterations each: þenna þjóðkonung | þú ert flagð(it) ferligsta ‘this mighty king | you are the most hideous ogress’. As a number of stanzas in this saga combine málaháttr and ljóðaháttr lines, this version of the text is plausible. However, this edn has preferred Kock’s case for emending the other mss’ hrausta to hraustasta in l. 4. — [5] ettu járnhrömmum fram ‘unleash your iron claws’: Skj B and Skald delete the suffixed pers. pron. in ettu fram ‘unleash’, lit. ‘incite forward’. Papp’s hrömmum ‘claws’ is metrical. — [8] en ek mun dvergasmíði ‘and I will [unleash] my dwarfs’ work [SWORD]’: The phrasal verb etja fram ‘unleash’ must be understood from l. 5. The cpd dvergasmíði ‘dwarfs’ work’ has been understood here as a sword-kenning, even though this noun may refer to skilfully crafted artefacts of many kinds, not necessarily swords; however, swords are most frequently referred to in this way, particularly in riddarasögur (see ONP: dvergasmíði). The concept that such artefacts were the work of dwarfs is connected with the idea, expressed in various Old Norse mythological contexts, that the dwarfs were the artisans who worked for the gods and produced their most prized weapons and equipment, like Óðinn’s spear, Gungnir, and Þórr’s hammer, Mjǫllnir (see SnE 1998, I, 41-2).

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