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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallvarðr Frag 2VIII (Frið 21)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 21 (Hallvarðr, verses 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 218.


text and translation

Sex sé ek ausa         en sjau róa
dæsta drengi         í drifaveðri.
Þat er gunnhvötum         glíkt í stafni,
Friðþjófr er framm         fellr við árar.

Ek sé sex dæsta drengi ausa en sjau róa í drifaveðri. Þat er glíkt gunnhvötum í stafni, er Friðþjófr fellr framm við árar.
‘I see six exhausted men baling and seven rowing in the storm of sea-spray. That is like [seeing] a battle-bold one in the prow, when Friðþjófr falls forward over the oars.

notes and context

In the A redaction mss, this stanza follows Frið 20 with simply Ok enn kvað hann ‘and again he [Hallvarðr] spoke’. In the B redaction this is the first of Hallvarðr’s stanzas and is preceded by a prose passage describing the scene in Angantýr’s hall, from where the watchman Hallvarðr can see the doings of Friðþjófr and his men.

There is considerable variation between the A and B redactions here, especially in the first helmingr, which in B has: Menn sé ek ausa | í meginveðri | sex á Elliða | en sjau róa ‘I see six men on Elliði baling in the powerful storm and seven rowing’. Lines 3-4 of the A text are exactly the same as Frið 18/3-4 and l. 4 is the same as Frið 20/8. — [7-8]: No ms. has exactly this order of words, but all elements are present in one ms. or other. Most previous eds have emended to the text presented here in order to achieve metrical and syntactic regularity. Some of the scribal versions (e.g. 27ˣ) doubtless depend on the desyllabified form Friðþjófur to form a metrical line. The B redaction mss introduce the adj. frækna ‘bold’ in l. 7; this epithet characterises Friðþjófr in the B text and in later tradition, though it does not appear in the prose of the A redaction mss (but cf. Note to Frið 40/1).



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 20: AII, 274, BII, 296, Skald II, 156; Falk 1890, 77, Frið 1893, 19, 49, 74, Frið 1901, 29, Frið 1914, 18; Edd. Min. 100.


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