This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.
Note to stanza
[1-4]: The syntactic relationships within this isolated helmingr are extremely elusive. The analyses presented here (beginning with the rationale for the construal above) have severe drawbacks, and one must suspect corruption in the text. (a) Taka is construed with the inf. bera, hence ‘begin to bear’, with mínir ungir synir ‘my young sons’ as the subject, and þung mein ‘heavy sorrows’ the object, to bera—all well-paralleled idioms. Sín en mik ‘his and I’ (l. 1) in R, Tˣ and W does not make sense, however the helmingr is construed, so that the U reading ‘syn vm mik’, normalised sýn of mik, has been adopted. Sýn ‘manifest, visible’ qualifies mein, and of mik is assumed to mean ‘for me, on my account’, cf. of/um sik in expressions such as sýsla/hyggja of sik ‘trouble about oneself’ (so Konráð Gíslason 1877, 56, and Skj B; Kock’s interpretations of taka and sýn in NN §827 are on the other hand unsupported by recorded usage). Of in l. 3 can hardly be the intensive prefix to the word þengils since þengils alliterates and must be fully stressed; nor can it be an expletive particle, since þengill does not belong to any of the categories of noun that usually follow the particle (Kuhn 1929a, 26-31). It is therefore construed as a causal prep., governing enda þess sessa þengils, hence ‘at/because of the death of the bench-mate of the monarch’. Morðkennds ‘battle-skilled’ or ‘battle-renowned’ in a eulogy for Þorfinnr seems most likely to refer to him, in the kenning sessa þengils ‘of the bench-mate of the monarch’ rather than the unnamed þengils ‘monarch’ embedded in the kenning. Þengill could refer to Óláfr helgi or to Magnús inn góði, both of whom Þorfinnr was obliged to placate (Orkn chs 18 and 30). Of enda þess morðkennds sessa þengils is understood as an elaboration of mein, hence ‘sorrows at the death of the battle-skilled bench-mate of the monarch’. The main objection to this analysis is that it presupposes an extremely complex w. o. in the helmingr. In particular, the placing of the finite verb taka, far from the beginning of the cl., is abnormal, as is that of of (l. 3) if þung mein of enda ‘heavy sorrows at the death’ are taken together. (b) The following analysis obviates these difficulties, but involves the assumption of some usages that are not precisely paralleled in ON. The st. is construed as Þung, sýn mein bera of mik; mínir ungir synir taka enda þessum sessa morðkennds þengils ‘Heavy, manifest sorrows loom over me; my young sons learn of the death of that bench-mate of the battle-skilled monarch.’ Bera of mik is here taken as predicate to þung mein, hence ‘heavy sorrows loom over me’. This use of bera of/yfir is attested in Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4: bera (p. 71, col. a) in a quotation from 1908 in which an observer states that he saw a black speck or cloud bera yfir Látrafjöllin ‘looming over Látrafjöll’. Taka is assumed to have the sense ‘hear, learn, receive news of’. This receives some support from idioms such as hann tók því vel ‘he received that favourably’ where því refers to news or a greeting; cf. also the partially synonymous nema, whose meaning shades into ‘take in, understand’ or ‘listen to’ (as in nemi drótt ‘let the retinue take in’, st. 15/1). The U variant þessum is taken with (enda) sessa þengils as a dat. indicating possession or respect, hence ‘death of that bench-mate of the monarch’. Since sessa is assumed to be dat. sg., morðkennds ‘battle-skilled’ must qualify þengils. (c) For a further set of possibilities, see Whaley 1998, 227-8.
|© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.|