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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hǫrðr/Hringr (Hǫrðr)

volume 8; ed. Richard L. Harris;

VIII. Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

not in Skj

Lausavísur — Hǫrðr LvVIII (HjǪ)

Richard L. Harris (forthcoming), ‘ Hǫrðr/Hringr, Lausavísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 21 January 2022)

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SkP info: VIII, 533

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Hǫrðr Lv 3VIII (HjǪ 42 [a])

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 42 (Hǫrðr/Hringr, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 533.

The final lausavísur of HjǪ celebrate the coming of the heroes to the court of King Hringr Ptólómeusson, formerly known as Hǫrðr the swineherd in the enchanted disguise placed upon him by his amorous step-mother Lúða when he spurned her advances. Hjálmþér and Ǫlvir also meet the king’s two sisters, the princesses Álfsól and Hildisif, and recognise them as their two enchanted supernatural helpers Vargeisa and Skinnhúfa.

Hvat er þér Hjálmþér?         Hefir þú lit brugðit;
stórt er þér í hug,         þú starir á mik löngum.

Hvat er þér Hjálmþér? Þú hefir brugðit lit; er þér stórt í hug, þú starir á mik löngum.

What is the matter with you, Hjálmþér? You have changed colour; something weighty is on your mind, you stare at me for a long time.

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(280v), papp6ˣ(59r), ÍBR5ˣ(104) (HjǪ)

Readings: [2] brugðit: ‘[…]did’ ÍBR5ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis VI 1: AII, 340, BII, 362, Skald II, 196; HjǪ 1720, 73, FSN 3, 512, FSGJ 4, 237, HjǪ 1970, 59, 109, 177. 

Context: Hjálmþér recognizes his old companion Hǫrðr, even in his elevated state, and is disturbed by this recognition, perhaps by having lost face as the subject of deception regarding Hǫrðr’s true identity. Hringr looks at Hjálmþér and asks him what is wrong.

Notes: [All]: Like some other instances in fornaldarsögur (Keth Lv 2 and Gusi Lv 1 (Ket 3a and 3b), Rloð Lv 2 and KrákÁsl Lv 2 (Ragn 3a and 3b)) this helmingr and the one following form a single dialogue stanza between two protagonists, in this case Hringr/Hǫrðr and Hjálmþér. In each of these cases the split stanza expresses the strength of a close encounter between rivals (Ket), lovers (Ragn) or heroes (HjǪ). Skj A and B and Skald present sts 42a and 42b as a single stanza. — [1-2]: Exactly the same two lines, with the exception of the pers. n. Hjálmarr, occur in ǪrvOdd Lv 5 (Ǫrv 13), the opening stanza of Hjálmarr’s death-song, in which Ǫrvar-Oddr comments on how pale and near to death his wounded companion looks.

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