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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Signý Hálfdanardóttir (SigHálf)

volume 8; ed. †Desmond Slay;

VIII. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

not in Skj

Lausavísa — SigHálf LvVIII (Hrólf)

†Desmond Slay (forthcoming), ‘ Signý Hálfdanardóttir, Lausavísa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 19 January 2022)


SkP info: VIII, 541

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — SigHálf Lv 1VIII (Hrólf 1)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: †Desmond Slay (ed.) 2017, ‘Hrólfs saga kraka 1 (Signý Hálfdanardóttir, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 541.

Öll er orðin         ætt Skjöldunga
lofðungs lundar         at limum einum.
Bræðr sá ek mína         á berum sitja
en Sævils rekka         á söðluðum.

Öll ætt Skjöldunga, lundar lofðungs, er orðin at limum einum. Bræðr mína sá ek sitja á berum en rekka Sævils á söðluðum.

All the family of the Skjǫldungar, the princely trees <men>, have become branches only. My brothers I saw riding bareback, but Sævill’s men on saddled [horses].

Mss: 285ˣ(4r), 9ˣ(3v), 11ˣ(4r), 109a IIˣ(215r), papp17ˣ(228r) (Hrólf)

Readings: [1] er: so 9ˣ, 11ˣ, 109a IIˣ, eru 285ˣ, papp17ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 1. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hrólfs saga kraka 1: AII, 230, BII, 250, Skald II, 130, NN §116; Hrólf 1960, 8-9; Edd. Min. 61.

Context: On the way to visit her uncle King Fróði, who has killed her father King Hálfdan and suspects that her husband Sævill jarl must know the whereabouts of Hálfdan’s sons Hróarr and Helgi, the boys’ sister Signý reveals to Sævill in this stanza that the youths Hamr and Hrani in his retinue are in fact her brothers in disguise. The brothers, concealed under cowled cloaks as Hamr and Hrani, have been forbidden to accompany Sævill’s retinue (on saddled horses) to Fróði’s court. However, they seize unbroken colts and ride bareback behind the main party. Hrani’s (Hróarr’s) cowl falls from his face and Signý recognizes him immediately, bursts into tears, and utters this stanza.

Notes: [1] er orðin ‘have become’: This verb is sg. and its subject is ætt ‘family’ (l. 2), but is here translated pl. to account for the pl. appositional phrase lundar lofðungs ‘the princely trees’ (see Notes to l. 3 below). — [3] lundar lofðungs ‘the princely trees <men>’: Lit. ‘the prince’s trees’. — [3] lundar ‘trees <men>’: Marked as corrupt in CPB II, 361, but taken in the translation there as a nom. pl. (‘branches’, with limum einum translated as ‘mere shrub twigs’). It is understood in a similar way in NN §116, where Kock rejects Lundar, the reading in Skj B (Skjoldungernes, Lunds-kongens, hele slægt ‘the Skjǫldungs’, the Lund-king’s, whole family’), on grounds of the parallelism of lundar lofðungs and ætt Skjǫldunga, and the suitability of connecting an ambiguous lundar ‘trees, men’ with limum ‘branches’; Kock defends lundar as a kenning base-word without a determinant. This view is adopted here, and lundar is taken as nom. pl., in preference to taking it as a gen. sg., ‘all the family of the princely tree of the Skjǫldungar’. In either case the general meaning, that the (male) Skjǫldungar have been reduced to two mere boys, strictly viewed, is at odds with the prose of the saga, in which, as in other Scandinavian sources but not in the Old English tradition, Fróði too is a Skjǫldungr, the brother of Hálfdan.

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