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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Lv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 430-1.

Gísl IllugasonLausavísa1

text and translation

Kátr skalk enn, þótt ætli
aldrán viðir skaldi
(jǫrn taka oss at orna)
unda teins (at beinum).
Hverr deyr seggr, en, svarri,
snarts dreng skapat hjarta,
(prúðr skalk enn í óði)
eitt sinn (á þrek minnask).

Kátr skalk enn, þótt {viðir {teins unda}} ætli skaldi aldrán; jǫrn taka at orna oss at beinum. Hverr seggr deyr eitt sinn, en, svarri, snart hjarta [e]s skapat dreng; prúðr skalk enn minnask á þrek í óði.
 
‘I’ll still be cheerful, although the trees of the wounds’ rod [SWORD > WARRIORS] intend to rob the poet of his life; the irons begin to warm us [me] to the bones. Every man dies some time, but, lady, a valiant heart has been given to the young warrior; brave, I shall yet again commemorate deeds of courage in poetry.

notes and context

Gísl has been imprisoned by King Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson for the slaying of Magnús’s retainer, Gjafvaldr. He is awaiting execution and recites this st. to his Icel. compatriots (c. 1096).

Gísl is able to escape from the execution through the intervention of Jón Ǫgmundarson, later bishop of Hólar. — [2] viðir ‘the trees’: Gera ‘do, inflict’ (so 219, papp4ˣ, 392ˣ) is a lectio facilior which leaves the kenning viðir teins unda ‘the trees of the wounds’ rod’ (ll. 2, 4) without a base-word. — [7] prúðr ‘brave’: Fróðr ‘wise’ (so papp4ˣ, 392ˣ) is metrically possible, but secondary and makes little sense in the context.

readings

sources

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

Skj: Gísl Illugason, 2. Lausavísa: AI, 444, BI, 413, Skald I, 204, NN §§2270, 2990 Anm.; ÍF 3, 336-7 (GíslIll ch. 4), Fms 7, 35 (Mberf ch. 18); Biskupa sögur 1858-78, I, 222, JBp 2003, 64, ÍF 15, 320-1.

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