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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 78III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 78’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1189.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Hrǫnn skerr (hvatt ferr)
húfr kaldr (allvaldr);
lá brýtr (lǫg skýtr)
lim-Garmr (rangbarmr).
Brátt skekr (byrr rekr)
blán vegg (ráskegg);
jarl lætr almætr
ósvipt húnskript.

Kaldr húfr skerr hrǫnn; allvaldr ferr hvatt; {lim-Garmr} brýtr lá; rangbarmr skýtr lǫg. Skekr blán vegg brátt; byrr rekr {ráskegg}; almætr jarl lætr {húnskript} ósvipt.
‘The cold hull cuts the wave; the mighty ruler travels fast; the branch-Garmr <dog> [STORM] breaks the surf; the curved side of the ship thrusts aside the sea. The dark sail suddenly shakes; the breeze unfolds the sailyard-beard [SAIL]; the thoroughly glorious jarl leaves the decorated cloth of the mast-top [SAIL] unreefed.

notes and context

The name of the metre is alhnept ‘completely curtailed’. All lines are tetrasyllabic and have internal rhymes (aðalhendingar) on secondarily stressed syllables in positions 2 and 4. The internal rhymes are monosyllabic (hnept, see st. 77 above) and comprise the entire rhyming syllable (SnE 2007, 33: <ok lúkask> báðar í einn staf ‘and both [syllables] end with the same letter’). In the odd lines alliteration falls in positions 1 and 3. All lines are Type A2ab.

For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 49-50, 69-70 and 77-8. It is also attested in Ótt Óldr 1/4, 2/2, 5/2, 4 and 6/4.



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 78: AII, 72, BII, 82, Skald II, 45; SnE 1848-87, I, 694-7, III, 130-1, SnE 1879-81, I, 13, 83, II, 29, SnE 1931, 247, SnE 2007, 32-3; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 49-50.


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