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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (MH) 1II

Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Magnúss saga góða ok Haralds harðráða 1’ 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, pp. 813-14.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Magnúss saga góða ok Haralds harðráða1

húmi ‘the dusk’

húm (noun n.): sea-spray

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herkunn ‘well-known’

herkunnr (adj.): [well-known]

notes

[2] sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg ‘from the south past well-known law-districts’: This could also be construed as fyr sunnan herkunn lǫg ‘south of well-known law-districts (see Okík Magn 1/8). Lǫg (n. acc. pl.) is taken here in the meaning ‘law-districts’ (so NN §908) rather than lǫg (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’ (so Skj B). The latter word cannot be reconciled with the attributive adj. herkunn (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘well-known’ (rather than herkunnan m. acc. sg.), and for the same reason herkunn cannot qualify gram (m. acc. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 4). For lǫg ‘law-districts’ see also Gísl Magnkv 2/8, 17/6 and Anon Nkt 19/2.

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fyr ‘past’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

notes

[2] sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg ‘from the south past well-known law-districts’: This could also be construed as fyr sunnan herkunn lǫg ‘south of well-known law-districts (see Okík Magn 1/8). Lǫg (n. acc. pl.) is taken here in the meaning ‘law-districts’ (so NN §908) rather than lǫg (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’ (so Skj B). The latter word cannot be reconciled with the attributive adj. herkunn (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘well-known’ (rather than herkunnan m. acc. sg.), and for the same reason herkunn cannot qualify gram (m. acc. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 4). For lǫg ‘law-districts’ see also Gísl Magnkv 2/8, 17/6 and Anon Nkt 19/2.

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lǫg ‘law-districts’

lag (noun n.; °-s; *-): layer; (pl.) law

notes

[2] sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg ‘from the south past well-known law-districts’: This could also be construed as fyr sunnan herkunn lǫg ‘south of well-known law-districts (see Okík Magn 1/8). Lǫg (n. acc. pl.) is taken here in the meaning ‘law-districts’ (so NN §908) rather than lǫg (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’ (so Skj B). The latter word cannot be reconciled with the attributive adj. herkunn (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘well-known’ (rather than herkunnan m. acc. sg.), and for the same reason herkunn cannot qualify gram (m. acc. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 4). For lǫg ‘law-districts’ see also Gísl Magnkv 2/8, 17/6 and Anon Nkt 19/2.

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sunnan ‘from the south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

notes

[2] sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg ‘from the south past well-known law-districts’: This could also be construed as fyr sunnan herkunn lǫg ‘south of well-known law-districts (see Okík Magn 1/8). Lǫg (n. acc. pl.) is taken here in the meaning ‘law-districts’ (so NN §908) rather than lǫg (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’ (so Skj B). The latter word cannot be reconciled with the attributive adj. herkunn (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘well-known’ (rather than herkunnan m. acc. sg.), and for the same reason herkunn cannot qualify gram (m. acc. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 4). For lǫg ‘law-districts’ see also Gísl Magnkv 2/8, 17/6 and Anon Nkt 19/2.

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daprar ‘the gloomy’

dapr (adj.): gloomy

notes

[3] daprar ‘gloomy’: This adj. (‘gloomy, mournful’) also occurs in Okík Magn 3/8.

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[3] með: fyrir Flat

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dauðan ‘dead’

2. dauðr (adj.): dead

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dýrnenninn ‘most enterprising’

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hefr ‘have been’

hafa (verb): have

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haldit ‘grieved’

halda (verb): hold, keep

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vana ‘lack’

-vana (adj.): [lack] < stríðvani (adj.)

[6] ‑vana: ‘‑uada’ Flat

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hafa ‘have’

hafa (verb): have

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hirðmenn ‘the retainers’

hirðmaðr (noun m.): retainer

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skylja ‘of that lord’

skyli (noun m.): lord

notes

[7] skylja (m. gen. sg.) ‘of that lord’: This noun could technically modify hǫfuð ‘head(s)’ (l. 8): hirðmenn hafa hulit hǫfuð skylja, þess’s fremstr vas jǫfra ‘the retainers have covered the head of the lord, who was the foremost of princes’ (ll. 7-8; so NN §§1147, 2787, citing Beowulf ll. 445b-46a and notes; Beowulf 2008, 143). However, that construction is highly unlikely from a metrical point of view, because enjambement on a non-alliterating noun (skylja ‘of the lord’) and an alliterating noun (hǫfuð ‘head’) is avoided in dróttkvætt poetry (see Gade 1995a, 202-05). For the custom of covering one’s head in grief at the death of a ruler, see Sv (ÍF 30, 148): En hverju gegnir þetta er allir menn drepa niðr hǫfði eða bera klæði yfir hǫfuð sér ‘But of what avail is this, that all men hang their head or pull clothes over their heads’. See also Sigv Berv 12/5-8 and Egill Lv 16/5-8V). The H-Hr variant (hirðmenn skylja hafa hulit hǫfuð, þats fremst vas jǫfra ‘the retainers of the lord have covered the head, which was the foremost of princes’) must be an attempt at syntactic simplification.

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vas ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[8] vas (‘var’): er Flat

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The retainers bring the body of Magnús inn góði Óláfsson back to Norway after his death in Denmark (on 25 October 1047).

For Magnús’s death and the grief of his men, see also Anon Nkt 34-5, ÞjóðA Lv 1 and Okík Magn 2-3. — [1-5]: The present edn follows NN §908. The w. o. of the Skj B version is very garbled. Finnur emends skeiðr ‘warships’ (l. 3) to veðrs (n. gen. sg.) ‘of the wind’ and gives the following reading: nú fara kunn veðrs dýr heim í húmi með þenna nenninn gram dauðan; her daprar fyr sunnan lǫg ‘now the familiar animals of the wind (i.e. ships) sail home in the dusk with this powerful dead king; people grieve south of the sea’.

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