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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 15II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 15’ 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. 276-8.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa
141516

orkar ‘will achieve’

2. orka (verb): manage, achieve

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alls ‘for’

allr (adj.): all

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‘does not’

né (conj.): nor

notes

[2] ‘not’: as the negative particle (distinct from the conj. ‘nor, and not’) is well attested in ON poetry composed in ljóðaháttr or based on Goth. or Ger. heroic subject matter, but extremely rare in dróttkvætt composition before 1200. Engl. or Anglo-Dan. influence has been suspected here and in Ótt Knútdr 11I (Kuhn 1936, 432-3; Hofmann 1955, 78, 104-5).

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sérat ‘see it’

2. sjá (verb): see

[2] sérat: ‘sæi at’ Flat

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harðr ‘the harsh’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

[3] harðrs í heimi (‘harþr er iheimi’): ‘hardr vr heim’ Hr

kennings

harðr hrafngrennir
‘the harshraven-feeder ’
   = WARRIOR

the harshraven-feeder → WARRIOR
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s ‘’

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

[3] harðrs í heimi (‘harþr er iheimi’): ‘hardr vr heim’ Hr

notes

[3] [e]s orðinn í heimi ‘has departed this world’: (a) The sense is clearly that Haraldr has died, but [e]s orðinn could either mean ‘has died’, or else ‘is lost by death’, cf. Hfr ErfÓl 26/1, 4I hefk orðinn goðfǫður ‘I have lost [my] godfather’ (and see Dronke 1969, 121, note to Am 21/4). Kock (NN §1934A) sees the utterance as a reprise of the description of Haraldr’s fall in battle (sts 11-13), and Andersson and Gade (2000, 274) translate ‘has fallen in this world’. (b) Harðrs í heimi orðinn hrafngrennir, if taken in its more straightforward sense, ‘the raven-feeder has become harsh in the world’, would appear a strange statement to make of one already dead, but it is not impossible, in view of the use of the perfect tense in ll. 7-8. (c) Skj B reads ór heimi ‘from the world’, but this is only the reading of the generally unreliable Hr.

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í ‘’

í (prep.): in, into

[3] harðrs í heimi (‘harþr er iheimi’): ‘hardr vr heim’ Hr

notes

[3] [e]s orðinn í heimi ‘has departed this world’: (a) The sense is clearly that Haraldr has died, but [e]s orðinn could either mean ‘has died’, or else ‘is lost by death’, cf. Hfr ErfÓl 26/1, 4I hefk orðinn goðfǫður ‘I have lost [my] godfather’ (and see Dronke 1969, 121, note to Am 21/4). Kock (NN §1934A) sees the utterance as a reprise of the description of Haraldr’s fall in battle (sts 11-13), and Andersson and Gade (2000, 274) translate ‘has fallen in this world’. (b) Harðrs í heimi orðinn hrafngrennir, if taken in its more straightforward sense, ‘the raven-feeder has become harsh in the world’, would appear a strange statement to make of one already dead, but it is not impossible, in view of the use of the perfect tense in ll. 7-8. (c) Skj B reads ór heimi ‘from the world’, but this is only the reading of the generally unreliable Hr.

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heimi ‘this world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

[3] harðrs í heimi (‘harþr er iheimi’): ‘hardr vr heim’ Hr;    heimi: ‘hemí’ Flat

notes

[3] [e]s orðinn í heimi ‘has departed this world’: (a) The sense is clearly that Haraldr has died, but [e]s orðinn could either mean ‘has died’, or else ‘is lost by death’, cf. Hfr ErfÓl 26/1, 4I hefk orðinn goðfǫður ‘I have lost [my] godfather’ (and see Dronke 1969, 121, note to Am 21/4). Kock (NN §1934A) sees the utterance as a reprise of the description of Haraldr’s fall in battle (sts 11-13), and Andersson and Gade (2000, 274) translate ‘has fallen in this world’. (b) Harðrs í heimi orðinn hrafngrennir, if taken in its more straightforward sense, ‘the raven-feeder has become harsh in the world’, would appear a strange statement to make of one already dead, but it is not impossible, in view of the use of the perfect tense in ll. 7-8. (c) Skj B reads ór heimi ‘from the world’, but this is only the reading of the generally unreliable Hr.

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orðinn ‘has departed’

2. vinna (verb): perform, work

notes

[3] [e]s orðinn í heimi ‘has departed this world’: (a) The sense is clearly that Haraldr has died, but [e]s orðinn could either mean ‘has died’, or else ‘is lost by death’, cf. Hfr ErfÓl 26/1, 4I hefk orðinn goðfǫður ‘I have lost [my] godfather’ (and see Dronke 1969, 121, note to Am 21/4). Kock (NN §1934A) sees the utterance as a reprise of the description of Haraldr’s fall in battle (sts 11-13), and Andersson and Gade (2000, 274) translate ‘has fallen in this world’. (b) Harðrs í heimi orðinn hrafngrennir, if taken in its more straightforward sense, ‘the raven-feeder has become harsh in the world’, would appear a strange statement to make of one already dead, but it is not impossible, in view of the use of the perfect tense in ll. 7-8. (c) Skj B reads ór heimi ‘from the world’, but this is only the reading of the generally unreliable Hr.

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hrafn ‘raven’

hrafn (noun m.; °hrafns; dat. hrafni; hrafnar): raven < hrafngrennir (noun m.): [raven-feeder]

kennings

harðr hrafngrennir
‘the harshraven-feeder ’
   = WARRIOR

the harshraven-feeder → WARRIOR
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grennir ‘feeder’

1. grennir (noun m.): feeder < hrafngrennir (noun m.): [raven-feeder]

kennings

harðr hrafngrennir
‘the harshraven-feeder ’
   = WARRIOR

the harshraven-feeder → WARRIOR
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þrek ‘feats of strength’

þrek (noun n.): courage, strength

[4] þrek jǫfnum: þræls jafnan Flat

notes

[4] jǫfnum þrek ‘equal feats of strength’: (a) The phrase is taken here as dat. object to orkar ‘achieves’, standing in apposition to meira. (b) The alternative, adopted in Skj B, of construing þrek jǫfnum as an adverbial phrase, yields poor sense: ‘who will achieve more with strength equal to his’.

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jǫfnum ‘equal’

jafn (adj.; °comp. -ari, superl. -astr): even, just

[4] þrek jǫfnum: þræls jafnan Flat

notes

[4] jǫfnum þrek ‘equal feats of strength’: (a) The phrase is taken here as dat. object to orkar ‘achieves’, standing in apposition to meira. (b) The alternative, adopted in Skj B, of construing þrek jǫfnum as an adverbial phrase, yields poor sense: ‘who will achieve more with strength equal to his’.

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Ert ‘with the boldest’

err (adj.): spirited, bold

[5] Ert: ‘aurtt’ Flat

notes

[5, 7] mest ert ‘the boldest’: Lit. ‘the most bold’. (a) The superlative mest is here construed with ert, óslætt in l. 5, hence ‘boldest, keenest’. This is a rare construction, but not unparalleled: cf. NS §64 and Skí 27/5 (NK 74), where meirr leiðr performs the function of the comparative form leiðari ‘more hateful’. On the form ert, see Note to Arn Magndr 18/7. (b) Mest could alternatively well qualify hefr kostat ‘has put to the test’ (l. 7), hence ‘the gracious one has tested to the utmost the lesser deeds of every mettlesome lord’. But the first sentence, ‘he was endowed with a bold, keen heart under heaven’, would then be rather tepid praise, since such statements normally contain superlatives (cf. Fidjestøl, 1982, 190-3 on the ‘highest under heaven’ motif).

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óslætt ‘keenest’

óslær (adj.): [keenest]

[5] óslætt (‘vslett’): óskelfr Flat, ósljótt H, Hr

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eljun ‘mettle’

eljun (noun f.; °eljunar): energy < eljunfimr (adj.): [May vigorous]

[6] eljun‑: ‘æ sin‑’ Flat

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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[6] und: við Flat

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mest ‘’

meiri (adj. comp.; °meiran; superl. mestr): more, most

notes

[5, 7] mest ert ‘the boldest’: Lit. ‘the most bold’. (a) The superlative mest is here construed with ert, óslætt in l. 5, hence ‘boldest, keenest’. This is a rare construction, but not unparalleled: cf. NS §64 and Skí 27/5 (NK 74), where meirr leiðr performs the function of the comparative form leiðari ‘more hateful’. On the form ert, see Note to Arn Magndr 18/7. (b) Mest could alternatively well qualify hefr kostat ‘has put to the test’ (l. 7), hence ‘the gracious one has tested to the utmost the lesser deeds of every mettlesome lord’. But the first sentence, ‘he was endowed with a bold, keen heart under heaven’, would then be rather tepid praise, since such statements normally contain superlatives (cf. Fidjestøl, 1982, 190-3 on the ‘highest under heaven’ motif).

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hefr ‘has’

hafa (verb): have

notes

[7, 8] hefr kostat minni vinnur ‘has put to the test the lesser deeds’: (a) Although kosta ‘try, put to the test’ normally takes a gen. object, it can also take the acc. (NS §131 b. Anm.). This construal follows that of Kock (NN §841), though his translation amounts to ‘(the prince) has for the most part found (every lord’s) deeds to be the less’. Emendation of ms. ‘costot, kostvð’ to normalised kostat ‘tried, put to the test’, a n. sg. p. p. to accompany the auxiliary hefr ‘has’ seems unavoidable. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis in Skj B is unacceptable since it involves two alterations of the text, assumes an otherwise unrecorded noun kostuðr, and splits l. 7 into four segments.

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kostat ‘put to the test’

1. kosta (verb): try, strive

[7] kostat: kostut Mork, Hr, kǫstuð Flat, kostuð H

notes

[7, 8] hefr kostat minni vinnur ‘has put to the test the lesser deeds’: (a) Although kosta ‘try, put to the test’ normally takes a gen. object, it can also take the acc. (NS §131 b. Anm.). This construal follows that of Kock (NN §841), though his translation amounts to ‘(the prince) has for the most part found (every lord’s) deeds to be the less’. Emendation of ms. ‘costot, kostvð’ to normalised kostat ‘tried, put to the test’, a n. sg. p. p. to accompany the auxiliary hefr ‘has’ seems unavoidable. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis in Skj B is unacceptable since it involves two alterations of the text, assumes an otherwise unrecorded noun kostuðr, and splits l. 7 into four segments.

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minni ‘the lesser’

3. minni (adj. comp.; °superl. minnstr): less, least

notes

[7, 8] hefr kostat minni vinnur ‘has put to the test the lesser deeds’: (a) Although kosta ‘try, put to the test’ normally takes a gen. object, it can also take the acc. (NS §131 b. Anm.). This construal follows that of Kock (NN §841), though his translation amounts to ‘(the prince) has for the most part found (every lord’s) deeds to be the less’. Emendation of ms. ‘costot, kostvð’ to normalised kostat ‘tried, put to the test’, a n. sg. p. p. to accompany the auxiliary hefr ‘has’ seems unavoidable. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis in Skj B is unacceptable since it involves two alterations of the text, assumes an otherwise unrecorded noun kostuðr, and splits l. 7 into four segments.

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grams ‘lord’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

[8] grams vinnur: gramr vinnr Hr

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vinnur ‘deeds’

1. vinna (noun f.; °-u; -ur): achievement, deed

[8] grams vinnur: gramr vinnr Hr

notes

[7, 8] hefr kostat minni vinnur ‘has put to the test the lesser deeds’: (a) Although kosta ‘try, put to the test’ normally takes a gen. object, it can also take the acc. (NS §131 b. Anm.). This construal follows that of Kock (NN §841), though his translation amounts to ‘(the prince) has for the most part found (every lord’s) deeds to be the less’. Emendation of ms. ‘costot, kostvð’ to normalised kostat ‘tried, put to the test’, a n. sg. p. p. to accompany the auxiliary hefr ‘has’ seems unavoidable. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis in Skj B is unacceptable since it involves two alterations of the text, assumes an otherwise unrecorded noun kostuðr, and splits l. 7 into four segments.

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

As for st. 14. H-Hr prefaces the st. with a paraphrase amounting to, ‘Arnórr declares himself unsure whether any king under the sun will have fought with such pride and courage as King Haraldr’.

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