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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 19I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 19’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 831.

Þormóðr KolbrúnarskáldLausavísur
18x1920x

Ála þryngr at éli
ǫrstiklandi miklu;
skyldut skelknir hauldar
— skalmǫld vex nú — falma.
Búumk við sókn, en slœkni-
seggr skyli -orð of forðask,
es at geirþingi gǫngum,
gunnreifr, með Ôleifi.

{Ǫrstiklandi} þryngr at {miklu éli Ála}; hauldar skyldut falma skelknir; {skalmǫld} vex nú. Búumk við sókn, en gunnreifr seggr skyli of forðask slœkniorð, es gǫngum at {geirþingi} með Ôleifi.

{The arrow-shooter} [WARRIOR = Óláfr] presses towards {the great storm of Áli <legendary king>} [BATTLE]; freeholders should not waver, frightened; {a sword-age} [BATTLE] swells now. Let us prepare ourselves for an attack, and a war-happy man ought to shun weakling-words when we go to {the spear-assembly} [BATTLE] with Óláfr.

Mss: Holm2(64v), 972ˣ(494va), J2ˣ(219v), 321ˣ(246), Bæb(4ra-b), 68(64r), Holm4(59va), 61(122rb-va), 325V(78ra), 325VII(35v), Bb(195va), Flat(123ra), Tóm(152v) (ÓH); Kˣ(457v) (Hkr); DG8(100v) (ÓHLeg); Hb(89r), 142ˣ(103), 566aˣ(27v-28r), papp4ˣ(128v) (Fbr, ll. 1-4); 761bˣ(547r-v marg)

Readings: [1] Ála: ‘Ola’ DG8;    þryngr: þrǫngr 972ˣ, J2ˣ, Bæb, 68, Holm4, 61, Tóm, DG8, 142ˣ, 566aˣ, ‘þreyngr’ 321ˣ, Kˣ, ‘þravgr’ 325V, þrengr 325VII, þrǫng Bb, Flat, Hb, ‘þraumar’ papp4ˣ    [2] ǫr‑: aurr 325V, ǫl‑ DG8, at papp4ˣ;    ‑stiklandi: so J2ˣ, Bæb, 68, Holm4, 325V, Kˣ, Hb, 142ˣ, 566aˣ, papp4ˣ, 761bˣmarg, ‑skilandi Holm2, ‑stiklanda 972ˣ, 321ˣ, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, DG8, ‑stiklandar 61;    miklu: miklum Holm4    [3] skelknir: ‘skelcku’ papp4ˣ;    hauldar: so all others, hǫlða Holm2    [4] skalmǫld: ‘skam avlld’ 325V;    vex: vax 325VII, er DG8;    falma: palma 321ˣ, ‘falmra’ 61    [5] Búumk: ‘buniz’ 321ˣ, ‘byvmz’ Bb, hvílsk Tóm;    við: vit 972ˣ, Tóm;    slœkni: slœknir 61, Flat, Tóm, slœkinn DG8    [6] seggr: seggir 972ˣ, seggir Flat;    skyli‑: skulu Flat, skyla corrected from ‘sky(ni)(?)’ Tóm;    forðask: óðask J2ˣ, ‘fǫrðaz’ Kˣ    [8] ‑reifr: ‑reifir 972ˣ, J2ˣ, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, reip 321ˣ, ‑reifs Bæb, 68, ‑leifr DG8;    Ôleifi: ‘olefi’ 325V

Editions: Skj AI, 286, Skj BI, 265, Skald I, 136; Fms 5, 58, Fms 12, 98, ÓH 1941, I, 545 (ch. 203), Flat 1860-8, II, 341; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 346, VI, 108, Hkr 1868, 476 (ÓHHkr ch. 218), Hkr 1893-1901, I, 461, IV, 163-4, ÍF 27, 359-60, Hkr 1991, II, 515 (ÓHHkr ch. 206); ÓHLeg 1849, 69, 119, ÓHLeg 1922, 84, ÓHLeg 1982, 192-5; Hb 1892-6, 412, Fbr 1852, 109, Fbr 1925-7, 208, ÍF 6, 264 (ch. 24), Loth 1960a, xlix, 154 (ch. 17), ÍS II, 840-1 (ch. 24); Gaertner 1907, 311-12, 341-2, Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 72-3.

Context: In ÓH and Hkr, the skalds Gizurr svarti, Þorfinnr munnr and then Þormóðr exhort King Óláfr and his men before the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad). We are told that men memorized the stanzas straight away. In ÓHLeg, as battle approaches, the king instructs a farmer named Þorgeirr to bury his body afterwards and to wash the wounds of his men in the same water in which he was washed. Then Þormóðr delivers the vísa that is attributed to Gizurr in ÓH and Hkr (Gizsv Lv 1), followed without interruption by this lausavísa and the next. In Fbr, with its different arrangement of lines, Þormóðr, apparently in private conversation with the king, admits to being sad at the thought that they may not lodge together at day’s end. The king assures him that if he can arrange it, they will go to the same place. Þormóðr brightens up and delivers the stanza (i.e. Lv 19/1-4 + 20/5-8).

Notes: [All]: Lines 5-8 are not found in the mss of Fbr, which instead have ll. 5-8 of Lv 20 here. Gaertner (1907) favours the Fbr arrangement, but his argument entails taking Ála as a vocative, which is unnecessary and would entail emendation to Áli; see further Note to Lv 15 [All]. — [1, 2] ǫrstiklandi þryngr ‘the arrow-shooter [WARRIOR = Óláfr] presses’: The ms. variants of þryngr are mostly mere alternate spellings (see CVC: þröngva). There are two main interpretations of the construction, and an alternative using the variant -stiklanda: (a) On the analysis offered here, ǫrstiklandi is the subject of þryngr, cf. Arn Þorfdr 18/2II mildingr þrǫng at hildi ‘the bountiful one stormed into battle’. (b) The verb is well attested in impersonal usage with at, meaning ‘draws nigh, approaches’ (see Vígf Lv 1/3; LP: þryngva), and this is how eds (beginning with Bartholin 1689, 174) have understood it: ‘the battle draws nigh’. Accordingly, the cpd has generally been interpreted as a vocative (as in Skj B, ÍF 6 and ÍF 27). (c) Finnur Jónsson (1932-3) argues for reading ǫrstiklanda as a dat., ‘for the arrow-shooter’, on the ground that direct address to the king is uncommon in other skalds’ verses; but cf. the next stanza, and ǫrstiklanda is for the most part the reading of the less reliable mss. — [2] ǫrstiklandi ‘the arrow-shooter’: The resemblance to Stiklastaðir, the name of the battlefield, introduces the possibility of paranomasia.  — [4] skalmǫld ‘a sword-age [BATTLE]’: The reference is to the impending doom, perhaps by allusion to Ragnarǫk (cf. Vsp 45/7, NK 10). The same word is used in reference to the battle of Svǫlðr in Hfr ErfÓl 25/6; its status as a kenning is somewhat uncertain. — [5, 6] slœkniorð ‘weakling-words’: The first constituent is presumably a compounding form of a noun *slœknir, derived from slœkinn ‘lax’ (cf. slókr ‘slouching person’). — [8] gunnreifr ‘war-happy’: This is taken here with the sg. seggr ‘man’ in l. 6. It could equally well qualify the unexpressed subject ‘we’ of gǫngum, which could have sg. meaning; cf. the synonymous vígreifr, qualifying vér ‘we [I]’ in Lv 21/2. — [8] Ôleifi ‘Óláfr’: The archaic form with ‑leif- demanded by the rhyme is the usual one before c. 1100. On the development of the form, see Gordon (1957, 238-9), and cf. Note to HSt Rst 3/8.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  7. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  9. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  10. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. ÍF 6 = Vestfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Björn K. Þórólfsson and Guðni Jónsson. 1943.
  12. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  13. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  14. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  15. Hb 1892-6 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1892-6. Hauksbók udgiven efter de Arnamagnæanske håndskrifter no. 371, 544 og 675, 4° samt forskellige papirshåndskrifter. Copenhagen: Det kongelige nordiske oldskrift-selskab.
  16. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  17. Gordon, E. V. 1957. An Introduction to Old Norse. 2nd edn rev. A. R. Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  18. Bartholin, Thomas. 1689. Antiquitatum danicarum de causis contemptæ a Danis adhuc gentilibus mortis libri tres ex vetustis codicibus & monumentis hactenus ineditis congesti. Copenhagen: J. P. Bockenhoffer.
  19. Gaertner, K. H. 1907. ‘Zur Fóstbrœðra saga. I. Teil: Die vísur’. BGDSL 32, 299-446.
  20. Loth, Agnete, ed. 1960a. Membrana regia deperdita. EA A 5. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  21. Fbr 1925-7 = Björn K. Þórólfsson, ed. 1925-7. Fóstbrœðra saga. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  22. Finnur Jónsson. 1932-3. ‘Þórmóðr Kolbrúnarskald’. APS 7, 31-82.
  23. Fbr 1852 = Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1852. Fóstbrœðra saga. Copenhagen: Berling.
  24. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  25. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  26. ÓHLeg 1849 = Keyser, R. and C. R. Unger. eds. 1849. Olafs saga hins helga: En kort saga om kong Olaf den Hellige fra anden halvdeel af det tolfte aarhundrede. Efter et gammelt pergaments-haandskrift i Universitets-bibliotheket i Upsala. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg & Landmark.
  27. ÍS = Bragi Halldórsson et al., eds. 1987. Íslendinga sögur og þættir. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Svart á hvítu.
  28. Internal references
  29. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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].
  30. Not published: do not cite (FbrV)
  31. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  32. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  33. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Þorfinnr munnr’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 844.
  34. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 18’ 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, p. 250.
  35. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld), Lausavísa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 818.
  36. Not published: do not cite ()
  37. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 900.
  38. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 25’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 436.
  39. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Lausavísa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 364.
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