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Runic Dictionary

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Málsháttakvæði (Mhkv) - 30

5: Málsháttakvæði (‘Proverb poem’) — Anon MhkvIII

Roberta Frank 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1029> (accessed 23 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði, Et orknøsk(?) digt, omkr. 1200. (AII, 130-6, BII, 138-45)

SkP info: III, 1223

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Anon Mhkv 9III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1223.

Friggjar þótti svipr at syni;
sá var taldr ór miklu kyni;
Hermóðr vildi auka aldr;
Éljúðnir vann sólginn Baldr.
Ǫll grétu þau eptir hann;
aukit var þeim hlátrar bann;
heyrinkunn er frá hánum saga;
hvat þarf ek of slíkt at jaga.

Þótti svipr at {syni Friggjar}; sá var taldr ór miklu kyni; Hermóðr vildi auka aldr; Éljúðnir vann Baldr sólginn. Þau ǫll grétu eptir hann; {bann hlátrar} var þeim aukit; saga frá hánum er heyrinkunn; hvat þarf ek at jaga of slíkt.

It seemed a sudden loss concerning {the son of Frigg <goddess>} [= Baldr]; he was reckoned from a great family; Hermóðr wanted to extend his life; Éljúðnir <hall of Hel> had swallowed up Baldr. They all wept for him; {their ban of laughter} [SORROW] grew; the tale about him is very well known; why do I need to harp on it.

Mss: R(54v)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 9: AII, 132, BII, 140, Skald II, 75; Möbius 1874, 5, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.

Notes: [All]: Snorri Sturluson’s version of Baldr’s end in Gylf  (SnE 2005, 45-9) includes Hermóðr’s journey to Hel’s hall to rescue Óðinn’s son, a mission that failed when all creation did not lament the slain god. The Mhkv version of the myth portrays the tragic death of Baldr as an ordinary domestic tragedy rather than the beginning of the last days of the world. — [1-2]: Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB II, 365) emended this couplet to Friggjar þótti svipr at sveini | sá var tældr af Mistilteini ‘Frigg’s boy was snatched away, he was done to death by Mistiltoe’. — [1] Friggjar ‘of Frigg <goddess>’: Chief goddess, consort of Óðinn and mother of Baldr. Vsp 33 confirms her weeping at Baldr’s death. — [3] Hermóðr: Son of Óðinn (see Þul Ása I l. 6 and Note there) or servant of Óðinn (SnE 2005, 46-7). At Frigg’s command he rides to Hel’s compound in an attempt to restore Baldr to life. — [4] Éljúðnir ‘Éljúðnir <hall of Hel>’: Lit. ‘rain-damp’ (the first element of the cpd is él- ‘storm, rain’; cf. AEW: Éljúðnir). Hel’s residence, a name recorded elsewhere only in Gylf  (SnE 2005, 27).  — [5]: This suggestion of universal lamentation differs from Snorri’s account, in which one female figure (Loki in disguise) refuses to join in; but see Anon (Hrafn) 2/4IV dated 1196. — [6] bann hlátrar var þeim aukit ‘their ban of laughter [SORROW] grew’: Lit. ‘the ban of laughter [SORROW] grew for them’. The kenning occurs again only in GSúrs Lv 5/4V (Gísl 7). The word bann has juridical connotations and is found chiefly in legal and theological texts (ONP: bann). It appears in datable verse only from C11th on: e.g. hungrbann ‘ban on hunger’ i.e. ‘feasting’ (ÞjóðA Magnfl 7/4II); fjǫrbann ‘ban on life’ i.e. ‘death’ (Sigv Víkv 12/4I); friðbann ‘ban on peace’ i.e. ‘strife’ (Sigv ErfÓl 10/2I; Ólhv Hryn 6/2II). — [7] heyrinkunn ‘very well known’: The cpd is attested in poetry only in Mhkv; see also st. 29/2. — [8] jaga ‘harp on’: The verb occurs in the sense ‘chatter on, jabber, prattle’ in Orkney, Shetland and northern England (AEW: jaga).

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