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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 38III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 38’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1147.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Farar snarar fylkir byrjar;
freka breka lemr á snekkjum;
vaka taka vísa rekkar;
viðar skriðar at þat biðja.
Svipa skipa sýjur hepnar
sǫmum þrǫmum í byr rǫmmum;
Haka skaka hrannir blǫkkum
hliðar; miðar und kjǫl niðri.

Fylkir byrjar snarar farar; lemr freka breka á snekkjum; rekkar vísa taka vaka; biðja skriðar viðar at þat. Hepnar sýjur skipa, sǫmum þrǫmum, svipa í rǫmmum byr; hrannir skaka hliðar {blǫkkum Haka}; miðar niðri und kjǫl.
‘The leader embarks on swift journeys; greedy breakers are knocked against the warships; the ruler’s warriors begin to keep watch; they ask for speed for the ship after that. The lucky rivetings of the ships, with suitable edges, speed on in the strong wind; waves shake the sides of Haki’s <sea-king’s> horses [SHIPS]; there is motion down below the keel.

notes and context

The dróttkvætt variant is characterised by the same features as st. 37 above, except that the first two hendingar in each line fall on two short resolved syllables (metrical positions 1 and 2). The resolution on the second of these syllables is illicit in regular dróttkvætt metre.

This variant is attested only here. — In R, the stanza is recorded at the end of Ht, before Jómsvíkingadrápa (Bjbp JómsI), and it is written in the same hand as Ht. In W it is given after st. 54 below, and it is said to be in a metre invented by Veili (for Veili, see Note to st. 35 [All]). In U it is recorded after st. 37 as here (it is omitted in ).



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 38: AII, 62-3, BII, 71, Skald II, 40, NN §§1312, 1313, 2992B; SnE 1848-87, I, 650-1, II, 389, III, 120, SnE 1879-81, I, 6, 78, II, 17, SnE 1931, 232, SnE 2007, 19; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 24.


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