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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjálmarr inn hugumstóri (Hjálm)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 19

not in Skj

Lausavísur — Hjálm LvVIII

Not published: do not cite (Hjálm LvVIII)

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SkP info: VIII, 827

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Hjálm Lv 4VIII (Ǫrv 14)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 14 (Hjálmarr inn hugumstóri, Lausavísur 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 827.

Sár hefk sextán,         slitna brynju,
svart er mér fyr sjónum,         sékat ganga.
Hneit mér við hjarta         hjörr Angantý*s,
hvass blóðrefill,         herðr í eitri.

Hefk sextán sár, slitna brynju, er mér svart fyr sjónum, sékat ganga. Hjörr Angantý*s hneit mér við hjarta, hvass blóðrefill, herðr í eitri.

I have sixteen wounds, a broken mail-coat, it is dark before my eyes, I cannot see to walk. Angantýr’s sword has pierced my heart, the sharp sword tip, hardened in poison.

Mss: 2845(64r), R715ˣ(10v) (Heiðr); 344a(17v), 343a(68v), 471(75r), 173ˣ(36v) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] sextán: so R715ˣ, 343a, 471, 173ˣ, xvi 2845, 344a    [3] mér: om. 173ˣ    [4] sékat ganga (‘sekat ek ganga’): so 471, ‘seka se ek ganga’ 2845, ‘seinka eg ad ganga’ R715ˣ, ‘svinkada ek ganga’ 344a, ‘sie ec ei ad ganga’ 343a, 173ˣ    [5] Hneit: ‘hnöt’ or ‘huöt’ corrected from ‘hnet’ or ‘huet’ R715ˣ    [6] Angantý*s: ‘a’ 2845, Angantýrs R715ˣ, 343a, 471, 173ˣ, ‘anḡ’ 344a    [7] hvass: ‘hars’ R715ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga IV 2: AII, 292-3, BII, 313, Skald II, 166; Ǫrv 1888, 102, Ǫrv 1892, 57, FSGJ 2, 257; Heiðr 1924, 12, 99, Heiðr 1960, 8; Edd. Min. 49, 52.

Context: In Heiðr, this stanza occurs immediately after Ǫrv 13, introduced with the words Hjálmarr qvað ‘Hjálmarr said’. In Ǫrv, Oddr asserts the rightness of his judgement that fighting Angantýr would be disastrous for them, but Hjálmarr is philosophical about his impending death, and utters this stanza.

Notes: [1] sextán sár ‘sixteen wounds’: This detail of the number of Hjálmarr’s wounds is given in the prose of the 2845 ms. of Heiðr, but not in R715ˣ or the Ǫrv mss. — [4] sékat ganga ‘I cannot see to walk’: The mss show variation between two verbs, viz. sjá ‘see’ (with the suffixed negative particles ‑a or ‑at), as in 2845, 343a, 471 and 173ˣ, and seinka ‘delay’ (R715ˣ and probably underlying 344a’s svinkada, as suggested in Edd. Min. 49 n.). The latter reading could make sense, ‘I delay walking, I have difficulty walking’. — [5] hneit mér við hjarta ‘has pierced my heart’: Mér is here and in l. 3 treated as a dat. of interest (‘for/to me’), but it may alternatively be a possessive dat., in which case one would read hneit við hjarta mér and er svart fyr sjónum mér (l. 3). — [7] blóðrefill ‘sword tip’: The lit. meaning of this cpd has been much debated, although there is no doubt that the cpd itself refers to the tip or blade of a sword (cf. Egill Hfl 8/4V (Eg 41), Þul Sverða 10/3III). At issue is the meaning of the noun refill, which most commonly refers to a tapestry or wall-hanging, but in some compounds, as here and in tannrefill ‘tusk-chisel’, clearly refers to a long sharp instrument. ONP: blóð-refill follows a suggestion of Liestøl that the allusion may be to the pattern-welded decoration of a sword blade that is likened to the effect of a woven tapestry. — [8] herðr í eitri ‘hardened in poison’: A commonplace of Old Norse and Old English heroic poetry. Cf. Beowulf ll. 1459-60a (Beowulf 2008, 50), of the sword Hrunting (ecg wæs īren, | ātertānum fāh, | āhyrded heaþoswāte ‘the blade was of iron, decorated with poison twigs, hardened in battle-blood’) and Heiðr 45/5-6, where both edges of Tyrfingr are said to be imbued with poison.

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