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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Ól 1I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason 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. 1063.

Anonymous PoemsPoem about Óláfr Tryggvason
12

Giekk hjörviður Hlakkar
hríðar djarfr með karfa
...
...
hendi alt hjöltum
handsax og benlaxa
— öld lofar öðling mildan
oft — en þrjú * á lofti.

{Hjörviður}, djarfr {hríðar Hlakkar}, giekk með karfa ... hendi alt hjöltum, handsax og {benlaxa}, en þrjú * á lofti; öld lofar oft mildan öðling.

{The sword-tree} [WARRIOR], valiant {in the storm of Hlǫkk <valkyrie>} [BATTLE], went along the ship ... caught everything by the hilt, short-sword and {wound-salmon} [SWORDS], though three [were] aloft; people often praise the generous prince.

Mss: 61(69v) (ÓT)

Readings: [8] þrjú *: þrjú eru 61

Editions: Skj AII, 462, Skj BII, 494, Skald II, 270; Finnur Jónsson 1884-91, 115-16, ÓT 1958-2000, III, xxxiii, AM 61 1982, 23-4.

Notes: [All]: The Text, here and throughout this edn of the poem, is based on that of Ólafur Halldórsson in ÓT 1958-2000, III, xxxiii-xxxiv. Italics indicate poor legibility in the ms., even in Ólafur’s reading assisted by ultra-violet light; see Introduction. — [All]: The handsaxaleikr ‘short-sword-game’ described in this stanza is mentioned in most sources as a special skill (íþrótt) of Óláfr’s; see Hkr (ÍF 26, 333); ÓT (1958-2000, II, 121, 227); HSt Rst 25; and Introduction above. — [1] hjörviður ‘sword-tree [WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading is ‘hiorviðr’, but normalisation to the younger, trisyllabic form of this word (ending -ur rather than -r) is needed to make up a regular six-syllable line. Desyllabification is first noted c. 1300 and becomes universal by the mid C15th (Stefán Karlsson 2004, 15), so this strongly indicates that the poem was composed in the C14th, although in positions where the original form is metrically guaranteed, a mixture of older (e.g. monosyllabic djarfr in l. 2) and later forms (e.g. sts 2/1, 7/2: see Notes) is apparent. — [1, 2] djarfr hríðar Hlakkar ‘valiant in the storm of Hlǫkk <valkyrie> [BATTLE]’: The gen. sg. battle-kenning is taken here together with djarfr ‘valiant’, cf. Anon Liðs 1/5 hugrakkir hlakkar ‘brave-minded in battle’. The kenning cannot be combined with hjörviður ‘sword-tree [WARRIOR]’ to produce an extended kenning since both are complete in themselves. Any solution must, however, be tentative, given the incomplete state of the helmingr. — [5] alt ‘everything’: This is taken here in apposition to handsax (n. acc. sg.) ‘short-sword’ and benlaxa (m. acc. pl.) ‘wound-salmon [SWORDS]’. It could alternatively be an adv., perhaps ‘all the way’, hence ‘(caught, grasped) entirely, firmly’. — [5] að hjöltum ‘by the hilt’: Hjöltum is dat. pl. of hjalt n., either the pommel or knob at the distal end of the hilt, or the cross-guard between hilt and blade. The pl. normally means both parts together, and the part between is called meðalkafli m. ‘middle-piece, hilt’; this is what Óláfr catches the swords by in the prose sources. — [6] handsax og benlaxa ‘short-sword and wound-salmon [SWORDS]’: Finnur Jónsson (1884-91; Skj A) reads this line as ‘… ok segdi’ or ‘ok legdi’. — [8] *: The ms. reading eru ‘are’ is hypermetrical and has been deleted here. The context requires a verb to be understood, however, and ‘[were]’ matches the pret. verbs in the stanza.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Stefán Karlsson. 2004. The Icelandic Language. Trans. Rory McTurk. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. AM 61 1982 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1982. The Great Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and Olaf the Saint: AM 61 fol. EIM 14. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  7. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1884-91. ‘5. Nogle skjaldevers om Olaf Tryggvessen, marginalier fra AM 61, fol.’. In Kålund et al. 1884-91, 114-26.
  9. Internal references
  10. 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].
  11. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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. clxiii-clxvi.
  12. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Liðsmannaflokkr 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. 1016.
  13. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 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. 927.
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