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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinþ Frag 1III

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2017, ‘Steinþórr, Fragment 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 390.


text and translation

Forngǫrvan ák firnum
farms Gunnlaðar arma
horna fors at hrósa
hlítstyggs ok þó lítinn.

Ák at hrósa firnum {fors horna} {hlítstyggs farms {arma Gunnlaðar}} forngǫrvan ok þó lítinn.
‘I have to praise vehemently the waterfall of horns [MEAD] of the trust-wary freight of the arms of Gunnlǫð <giantess> [LOVER = Óðinn > POETRY] made of old, and yet meagre.

notes and context

In both Skm and LaufE, the helmingr is one of several cited to illustrate poetic circumlocutions referring to Óðinn.

The overall sense is that the poet is proud of his poetic craft (the mead of Óðinn, as poetry is called, for the reason offered in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 3-5), though it is modest.



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: Steinþórr, Af et ubestemmeligt digt: AI, 417, BI, 387, Skald I, 192; SnE 1848-87, I, 238-9, II, 304, 519, III, 5, SnE 1848, 51, SnE 1931, 90, SnE 1998, I, 9; LaufE 1979, 331.


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