Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Runhent’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
Runhent is a subset of skaldic metres employing end rhyme rather than internal rhyme. Most commonly the rhymes are attached to the ends of alliterative fornyrðislag lines, as is shown by st. 4 of Einarr Skúlason’s Runhenda (ESk Run, c. 1155):
Funi kyndisk ﬂjótt,
en ﬂýði skjótt
sás hafði verr.
Funi kyndisk ﬂjótt, en herr Hísingar, sás hafði verr, ﬂýði skjótt. ‘Fire was kindled quickly, and the people of Hisingen, who had the worst of it, ﬂed fast.’
Other poems and lausavísur in SkP II composed in runhent with four metrical positions are Þjóðólfr Arnórsson’s praise poem to King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (ÞjóðA Run) and Sneglu-Halli’s (SnH) Lv 11 (both from the eleventh century). End rhyme could also be added to alliterative hexasyllabic metres (i.e. replacing the internal rhymes in dróttkvætt), and that is the case in ﬁve lausavísur from the twelfth century, namely, Anon (Hsona) 1, Rv Lv 31, Hbreiðm Lv, Árm Lv 3 and BjKálfs Lv. Consider lines 1-4 of BjKálfs Lv:
Fant sék hvern á hesti,
— hérs nú siðr inn vesti —
— leið eigum vér langa —
en lendir menn ganga.
Sék hvern fant á hesti, en lendir menn ganga; hérs nú inn vesti siðr; vér eigum langa leið. ‘I see every servant on a horse and the district chieftains are walking; now here’s the worst habit; we have a long way [to go].’