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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 19VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 19’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 22-3.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
181920

Náðit ‘was unable’

2. náða (verb): to have mercy

[1] Náðit: so Bb, ‘Nꜳdiz’ Flat

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beiðir ‘the desirer’

beiðir (noun m.): demander

kennings

beiðir baugskjalda
‘the desirer of ring-shields ’
   = WARRIOR

the desirer of ring-shields → WARRIOR
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baug ‘of ring’

baugr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): ring < 1. baugskjǫldr (noun m.)

[2] baugskjalda: baugs skjaldar Bb

kennings

beiðir baugskjalda
‘the desirer of ring-shields ’
   = WARRIOR

the desirer of ring-shields → WARRIOR
Close

skjalda ‘shields’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield < 1. baugskjǫldr (noun m.)

[2] baugskjalda: baugs skjaldar Bb

kennings

beiðir baugskjalda
‘the desirer of ring-shields ’
   = WARRIOR

the desirer of ring-shields → WARRIOR
Close

sal ‘of the hall’

1. salr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; dat. sǫlum): hall < salvǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

grundar salvǫrðr
‘hall-guardian of earth’
   = God

the hall of earth → SKY/HEAVEN
the guardian of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] salvǫrðr grundar ‘hall-guardian of earth’: The image of God as guardian occurs frequently in OE poetry, and after Arnórr Þórðarson introduced it in Arn Magndr 10/6II and Arn Hardr 17/3II it became popular with Christian skalds (see Meissner, 376).

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sal ‘of the hall’

1. salr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; dat. sǫlum): hall < salvǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

grundar salvǫrðr
‘hall-guardian of earth’
   = God

the hall of earth → SKY/HEAVEN
the guardian of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] salvǫrðr grundar ‘hall-guardian of earth’: The image of God as guardian occurs frequently in OE poetry, and after Arnórr Þórðarson introduced it in Arn Magndr 10/6II and Arn Hardr 17/3II it became popular with Christian skalds (see Meissner, 376).

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vǫrðr ‘the guardian’

vǫrðr (noun m.; °varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu): guardian, defender < salvǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

grundar salvǫrðr
‘hall-guardian of earth’
   = God

the hall of earth → SKY/HEAVEN
the guardian of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] salvǫrðr grundar ‘hall-guardian of earth’: The image of God as guardian occurs frequently in OE poetry, and after Arnórr Þórðarson introduced it in Arn Magndr 10/6II and Arn Hardr 17/3II it became popular with Christian skalds (see Meissner, 376).

Close

grundar ‘of earth’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

kennings

grundar salvǫrðr
‘hall-guardian of earth’
   = God

the hall of earth → SKY/HEAVEN
the guardian of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] salvǫrðr grundar ‘hall-guardian of earth’: The image of God as guardian occurs frequently in OE poetry, and after Arnórr Þórðarson introduced it in Arn Magndr 10/6II and Arn Hardr 17/3II it became popular with Christian skalds (see Meissner, 376).

Close

grundar ‘of earth’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

kennings

grundar salvǫrðr
‘hall-guardian of earth’
   = God

the hall of earth → SKY/HEAVEN
the guardian of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] salvǫrðr grundar ‘hall-guardian of earth’: The image of God as guardian occurs frequently in OE poetry, and after Arnórr Þórðarson introduced it in Arn Magndr 10/6II and Arn Hardr 17/3II it became popular with Christian skalds (see Meissner, 376).

Close

skína ‘to shine’

skína (verb): shine

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at ‘that’

4. at (conj.): that

[5] at: er Bb

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harra ‘of the lord’

1. harri (noun m.; °-a): lord

kennings

harra hauðrtjalda;
‘of the lord of earth-tents; ’
   = God

earth-tents; → SKY/HEAVEN
the lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

hauðr ‘of earth’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground < hauðrtjald (noun n.)

kennings

harra hauðrtjalda;
‘of the lord of earth-tents; ’
   = God

earth-tents; → SKY/HEAVEN
the lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

hauðr ‘of earth’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground < hauðrtjald (noun n.)

kennings

harra hauðrtjalda;
‘of the lord of earth-tents; ’
   = God

earth-tents; → SKY/HEAVEN
the lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

tjalda ‘tents’

tjald (noun n.; °-s; *-): tent, awning < hauðrtjald (noun n.)

kennings

harra hauðrtjalda;
‘of the lord of earth-tents; ’
   = God

earth-tents; → SKY/HEAVEN
the lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

tjalda ‘tents’

tjald (noun n.; °-s; *-): tent, awning < hauðrtjald (noun n.)

kennings

harra hauðrtjalda;
‘of the lord of earth-tents; ’
   = God

earth-tents; → SKY/HEAVEN
the lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

dauða ‘through the death’

1. dauðr (noun m.; °-s): death

[6] dauða: aldri Bb

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happ ‘the excellently’

happ (noun n.; °-s; *-): fortune, luck

[7] happ: hept Bb

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nýtask ‘are of use’

nýta (verb): enjoy, use

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mál ‘speech’

1. mál (noun n.; °-s; -): speech, matter < máltól (noun n.)

kennings

máltól
‘speech-tools ’
   = ORGANS OF SPEECH

speech-tools → ORGANS OF SPEECH

notes

[8] máltól ‘speech-tools [ORGANS OF SPEECH]’: Kennings for the voice, tongue, and lips as the tools of the poet’s trade are common in skaldic poetry; cf. Meissner, 132-4. Cf. st. 50/4.

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tól ‘tools’

tól (noun n.; °; -): [tools, with tools] < máltól (noun n.)

kennings

máltól
‘speech-tools ’
   = ORGANS OF SPEECH

speech-tools → ORGANS OF SPEECH

notes

[8] máltól ‘speech-tools [ORGANS OF SPEECH]’: Kennings for the voice, tongue, and lips as the tools of the poet’s trade are common in skaldic poetry; cf. Meissner, 132-4. Cf. st. 50/4.

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skini ‘shining’

skin (noun n.; °-s): gleam, shine

[8] skini: so Bb, ‘skinu’ Flat

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

[1-4]: The first helmingr is reminiscent of the Legendary Saga of St. Óláfr (ÓHLeg 1982, 196): Nu let Olafr konongr þar lif sitt. Þar varð sva mikil ogn, at solen fal gæisla sinn oc gerði myrct, – en aðr var fagrt veðr – æftir þui sem þa var, er sialfr skaparenn for af verolldenne. Syndi Guð þa mikla ogn ‘Now king Óláfr gave up his life there. There was such great terror there that the sun concealed its rays and it grew dark – but it had been fine weather before – just as it did when the Creator himself departed from the world. God showed great terror then.’ — [5-8]: These ll. seem to be corrupt in both mss and there have been various suggested readings, all of which involve some emendation. The general sense of the passage is clear: it is a reference to the eclipse of the sun that is said to have occurred at Christ’s Crucifixion. In an aside the poet also mentions his ‘speech-tools’. In the cl. beginning at harra hauðrtjalda, the verb brá (3rd pers. sg. pret.) must be used impersonally, as skini ‘shining’ (taking Bb’s reading) is dat. But it is difficult then to understand the case of dauða (harra hauðrtjalda) unless it is dat. instr., viz. ‘through or by the death of the lord of earth-tents’. Thus the sense of this part of the helmingr must be ‘that the shining of the sun ceased through the death of the lord of earth-tents [SKY/HEAVEN > = Christ]’. This then leaves unexplained the first and last words of l. 7. Skj B construes these two elements as part of a cpd adj. happmætr ‘bringing good fortune’, qualifying skini, whose two elements are separated by tmesis, as does Chase 2005, 69 and 141. Kock (Skald and NN §933) adopts Bb’s reading hept and construes it with the intercalary hept máltól nýtask mér, translating tungans band jag nu kan lossa ‘I can now undo the tongue’s binding’, properly ‘fettered speech-tools are [now] of use to me’.

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