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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Hákdr 1III

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 215.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonHákonardrápa
12

Ask ‘ship’

askr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): ash, ash-tree, ash-ship < askþollr (noun m.)

[1] Askþollum: so Tˣ, W, A, C, ‘[…]skþollvm’ R, ‘Alþol[…]’ U

kennings

Ullar askþollum
‘Ullr’s ship-firs’
   = WARRIORS

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
firs of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[1] Ullar askþollum ‘of firs of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [(lit. ‘Ullr’s ship-firs’) SHIELD > WARRIORS]’: Askr ‘ash’ (tree of the genus Fraxinus) here refers to a ship made of ash-wood, a meaning occasionally attested in prose (ONP: askr 4), and found in verse in Eskál Vell 4/2I and ǪrvOdd Lv 2/4VIII (Ǫrv 8); cf. Jesch (2001a, 135-6), Note to Þul Skipa 1/4 and OE æsc ‘ash-ship, viking ship’. ‘Ullr’s ship’ is a reasonably common kenning for ‘shield’ (LP: Ullr; Meissner 166), as noted in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 67, 167-8, 194), although the reasons for this association (he is also called áss skjaldar ‘god of the shield’ in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 19) are obscure. See also Hallv Knútdr 3/5, 7, 8 and Note there.

Close

Ask ‘ship’

askr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): ash, ash-tree, ash-ship < askþollr (noun m.)

[1] Askþollum: so Tˣ, W, A, C, ‘[…]skþollvm’ R, ‘Alþol[…]’ U

kennings

Ullar askþollum
‘Ullr’s ship-firs’
   = WARRIORS

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
firs of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[1] Ullar askþollum ‘of firs of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [(lit. ‘Ullr’s ship-firs’) SHIELD > WARRIORS]’: Askr ‘ash’ (tree of the genus Fraxinus) here refers to a ship made of ash-wood, a meaning occasionally attested in prose (ONP: askr 4), and found in verse in Eskál Vell 4/2I and ǪrvOdd Lv 2/4VIII (Ǫrv 8); cf. Jesch (2001a, 135-6), Note to Þul Skipa 1/4 and OE æsc ‘ash-ship, viking ship’. ‘Ullr’s ship’ is a reasonably common kenning for ‘shield’ (LP: Ullr; Meissner 166), as noted in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 67, 167-8, 194), although the reasons for this association (he is also called áss skjaldar ‘god of the shield’ in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 19) are obscure. See also Hallv Knútdr 3/5, 7, 8 and Note there.

Close

þollum ‘of firs’

þollr (noun m.): fir-tree < askþollr (noun m.)

[1] Askþollum: so Tˣ, W, A, C, ‘[…]skþollvm’ R, ‘Alþol[…]’ U

kennings

Ullar askþollum
‘Ullr’s ship-firs’
   = WARRIORS

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
firs of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[1] Ullar askþollum ‘of firs of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [(lit. ‘Ullr’s ship-firs’) SHIELD > WARRIORS]’: Askr ‘ash’ (tree of the genus Fraxinus) here refers to a ship made of ash-wood, a meaning occasionally attested in prose (ONP: askr 4), and found in verse in Eskál Vell 4/2I and ǪrvOdd Lv 2/4VIII (Ǫrv 8); cf. Jesch (2001a, 135-6), Note to Þul Skipa 1/4 and OE æsc ‘ash-ship, viking ship’. ‘Ullr’s ship’ is a reasonably common kenning for ‘shield’ (LP: Ullr; Meissner 166), as noted in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 67, 167-8, 194), although the reasons for this association (he is also called áss skjaldar ‘god of the shield’ in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 19) are obscure. See also Hallv Knútdr 3/5, 7, 8 and Note there.

Close

stendr ‘stands’

standa (verb): stand

[1] stendr: gengr C

Close

Ullar ‘of Ullr’s’

Ullr (noun m.): Ullr

kennings

Ullar askþollum
‘Ullr’s ship-firs’
   = WARRIORS

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
firs of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[1] Ullar askþollum ‘of firs of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [(lit. ‘Ullr’s ship-firs’) SHIELD > WARRIORS]’: Askr ‘ash’ (tree of the genus Fraxinus) here refers to a ship made of ash-wood, a meaning occasionally attested in prose (ONP: askr 4), and found in verse in Eskál Vell 4/2I and ǪrvOdd Lv 2/4VIII (Ǫrv 8); cf. Jesch (2001a, 135-6), Note to Þul Skipa 1/4 and OE æsc ‘ash-ship, viking ship’. ‘Ullr’s ship’ is a reasonably common kenning for ‘shield’ (LP: Ullr; Meissner 166), as noted in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 67, 167-8, 194), although the reasons for this association (he is also called áss skjaldar ‘god of the shield’ in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 19) are obscure. See also Hallv Knútdr 3/5, 7, 8 and Note there.

Close

Ullar ‘of Ullr’s’

Ullr (noun m.): Ullr

kennings

Ullar askþollum
‘Ullr’s ship-firs’
   = WARRIORS

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
firs of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[1] Ullar askþollum ‘of firs of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [(lit. ‘Ullr’s ship-firs’) SHIELD > WARRIORS]’: Askr ‘ash’ (tree of the genus Fraxinus) here refers to a ship made of ash-wood, a meaning occasionally attested in prose (ONP: askr 4), and found in verse in Eskál Vell 4/2I and ǪrvOdd Lv 2/4VIII (Ǫrv 8); cf. Jesch (2001a, 135-6), Note to Þul Skipa 1/4 and OE æsc ‘ash-ship, viking ship’. ‘Ullr’s ship’ is a reasonably common kenning for ‘shield’ (LP: Ullr; Meissner 166), as noted in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 67, 167-8, 194), although the reasons for this association (he is also called áss skjaldar ‘god of the shield’ in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 19) are obscure. See also Hallv Knútdr 3/5, 7, 8 and Note there.

Close

rœki ‘heeding’

rœkja (verb): care, look after < rœkilundr (noun m.)

[3] rœki‑: so U, A, C, ‘reyki‑’ R, ‘reuki’ Tˣ, ‘ræyki’ W

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[3] rœkilundr ‘heeding-tree’: The first element of this cpd, rœki- (from rœkja ‘heed, take care of’), is apt in a stanza celebrating the traust n. ‘support, protection’ that the ruler offers his subjects. The cpd is only otherwise attested in Eskál Vell 8/4I.

Close

lundr ‘tree’

1. lundr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar): grove, tree < rœkilundr (noun m.)

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[3] rœkilundr ‘heeding-tree’: The first element of this cpd, rœki- (from rœkja ‘heed, take care of’), is apt in a stanza celebrating the traust n. ‘support, protection’ that the ruler offers his subjects. The cpd is only otherwise attested in Eskál Vell 8/4I.

Close

inn ‘The’

2. inn (art.): the

[3] inn: ‘h[…]’ U

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[3] inn ríki ‘the mighty’: Hákon’s nickname.

Close

ríki ‘mighty ’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

[3] ríki: reiki Tˣ

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[3] inn ríki ‘the mighty’: Hákon’s nickname.

Close

rand ‘of shield’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim < randfár (noun n.): [shield-harm]

[4] randfárs: ‘[…]ndfars’ U

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR
Close

rand ‘of shield’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim < randfár (noun n.): [shield-harm]

[4] randfárs: ‘[…]ndfars’ U

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR
Close

fárs ‘harm’

2. fár (noun n.; °-s): harm, danger < randfár (noun n.): [shield-harm]

[4] randfárs: ‘[…]ndfars’ U

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR
Close

fárs ‘harm’

2. fár (noun n.; °-s): harm, danger < randfár (noun n.): [shield-harm]

[4] randfárs: ‘[…]ndfars’ U

kennings

Inn ríki rœkilundr randfárs,
‘The mighty heeding-tree of shield-harm, ’
   = WARRIOR

shield-harm, → SWORD
The mighty heeding-tree of the SWORD → WARRIOR
Close

brumaðr ‘budded’

brumaðr (adj.): [budded]

[4] brumaðr: ‘bry[…]r’ U, ‘brvmar’ A

notes

[4] brumaðr hári ‘budded with hair’: The verb bruma ‘bud’ is otherwise unknown, but brum n. ‘buds, shoots; (in later prose) beginnings’ (ONP: 1 brum 1-2; LP: brum) and brumr m. ‘point in time’ (ONP, LP: brumr) are fairly well attested. As Finnur Jónsson (LP: hár n.) points out, this is an extended metaphor, in which Hákon is a tree, whose buds are his hair. This organic metaphor thus includes his relationship to his subjects, who are called þollar ‘firs’: the mighty tree shelters them. Davidson (1983, 469-71) suggests this is also an image of dynastic fruitfulness, traditionally symbolised by luxuriant hair (cf. Hálfdan svarti’s dream, ÍF 26, 90-1). The sense of a beginning inherent in brumaðr ‘budded’ could be regarded as appropriate to the opening section of the poem, though there is no external evidence to support such a placement of this helmingr.

Close

hári ‘with hair’

2. hár (noun n.; °-s; -): hair

[4] hári: harri U

notes

[4] brumaðr hári ‘budded with hair’: The verb bruma ‘bud’ is otherwise unknown, but brum n. ‘buds, shoots; (in later prose) beginnings’ (ONP: 1 brum 1-2; LP: brum) and brumr m. ‘point in time’ (ONP, LP: brumr) are fairly well attested. As Finnur Jónsson (LP: hár n.) points out, this is an extended metaphor, in which Hákon is a tree, whose buds are his hair. This organic metaphor thus includes his relationship to his subjects, who are called þollar ‘firs’: the mighty tree shelters them. Davidson (1983, 469-71) suggests this is also an image of dynastic fruitfulness, traditionally symbolised by luxuriant hair (cf. Hálfdan svarti’s dream, ÍF 26, 90-1). The sense of a beginning inherent in brumaðr ‘budded’ could be regarded as appropriate to the opening section of the poem, though there is no external evidence to support such a placement of this helmingr.

Close

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

This helmingr is quoted in Skm in a series of examples of man-kennings with names for trees as base-words, here lundr ‘tree’.

The sg. warrior-kenning (rœkilundr randfárs ‘heeding-tree of shield-harm’) refers to the subject of the poem; so, presumably, Hákon jarl, while the reference to austr ‘east’ here indicates Norway (LP: 2 austr 1). The stanza shares much of its vocabulary with Eskál Vell 8I, redistributed around the helmingr in a witty recapitulation of Einarr’s stanza.

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