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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Brúðv 24VII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur 24’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 546-7.

Anonymous PoemsBrúðkaupsvísur

text and translation

Byskupsttu fund fljótt
ferðir, sem gietið verðr,
með blíðum brynmeiðs
bjóði, hvie þar fór,
því að væntu vinir brátt
vígtungls boða ungs,
að bætir vel vitr
vansa snyri skapi hans.

Ferðir sóttu fund byskups fljótt með {blíðum bjóði {brynmeiðs}}, sem verðr gietið hvie þar fór, því að vinir {ungs boða {vígtungls}} væntu að {vel vitr bætir vansa} snyri brátt skapi hans.
‘The crowds quickly sought a meeting with the bishop along with the kind offerer of the byrnie-stick [SWORD > WARRIOR], as will be told, how that turned out there, because the friends of the young messenger of the battle-moon [SHIELD > WARRIOR] expected that the amply wise amender of disgrace [BISHOP] would soon change his [the young man’s] mind.

notes and context

In Brúðv, the bishop appears as something of a deus ex machina. In Mar his appearance and judgement are better motivated. In the D-version, the young man’s family and all the wedding party first try to persuade him to change his mind before taking him before the bishop. — [1-4]: This helmingr appears to be corrupt in 721, and several emendations have been proposed here to make sense of it. In l. 1, the emendation Byskups (gen.) already appears in 399a-bˣ, while 721’s ‘soktv’ has been emended to sóttu ‘they sought’, which is needed to rhyme with fljótt. In ll. 3-4 721’s brynmeið and bjóða have been emended to produce a regular warrior-kenning. The emendation of 721’s ferðar to ferðir (l. 2) was suggested by Jón Helgason. — [1-4]: [old note:] There are at least two ways of arranging this helmingr into a w.o. that makes sense. The first option (as in the Prose order and Translation above) involves two minor emendations (ferðir for scribal ferðar) and biskupi (acc.) for byskup (nom., dat.). This w.o. reveals a clever shift between past, present and future tense. The poet starts off with a verb in past tense, sóktu ‘visited, went’, then moves the story on to the present with a verb in pres., bjóða ‘invite’ and creates a certain tension or excitement with the future tense passive verðr getit ‘will be mentioned’. The first main clause Ferðir bjóða byskupi fljótt fund is interrupted with a relative cl. sem sóktu með blíðum brynmeið. The relative cl. amplifies the noun ferðir, but does not replace it (Höskuldur Þráinsson 1999, 176-8). The second main cl. verðr getit hve þar fór is split in two. The cl. arrangement of the helmingr is very complex if this interpretation is adopted: ababcbac. The second option is as follows: Ferðir * bjóða sóktu fljótt fund byskups með blíðum brynmeið; verðr getið hve þar fór ‘The troops of the offerer [MEN] soon went to visit the bishop with the kind mail-coat tree [WARRIOR]; it will be mentioned how it went there’. This arrangement involves choosing the reading of 399a-bˣ and 2166ˣ, byskups (gen.), instead of the reading in 721 and 1032ˣ byskup (nom.). The rel. sem needs to be omitted and bjóða taken as gen. sg. of bjóðr ‘offerer’ (m.) rather than the verb bjóða ‘to offer, invite’, in which case the determinant in the man-kenning seems to be missing. The cl. arrangement of the helmingr is then quite simple: abab. Both options have their faults.



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

ÍM II, 133.


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