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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mgóð Lv 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús inn góði Óláfsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 6-7.

Magnús inn góði ÓláfssonLausavísur
12

Margr kveðr sér at sorgum
sverðrjóðr alin* verða
— uggik allítt seggja
ótta — búkarls dóttur.
Enn, ef einhver bannar
eld-Gefn fyr mér svefna,
víst veldr siklings systir
svinn andvǫku minni.

{Margr sverðrjóðr} kveðr dóttur búkarls verða alin* sér at sorgum; uggik allítt ótta seggja. Enn, ef {einhver eld-Gefn} bannar svefna fyr mér, veldr víst svinn systir siklings andvǫku minni.

{Many a sword-reddener} [WARRIOR] claims that a farmer’s daughter was born to cause him sorrow; I care very little for men’s fear. Yet, if {a certain fire-Gefn <= Freyja>} [WOMAN] denies me sleep, it is certainly the sagacious sister of the ruler who causes my unrest.

Mss: Mork(5v) (Mork); Flat(196ra) (Flat); H(33v), Hr(24va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] alin*: alinn all    [3] uggik (‘vggi ec’): ‘uggek’ Flat;    seggja: segja Flat    [4] ótta: ótt á Hr    [5] einhver: einhverr Flat, H    [6] Gefn: ‘‑giofn’ Flat, ‘‑gef’ H

Editions: Skj AI, 330, Skj BI, 304, Skald 155, NN §808; Mork 1868, 33, Mork 1928-32, 119-20, Andersson and Gade 2000, 168, 475 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 323 (MH); Fms 6, 200 (HSig ch. 25).

Context: The st., which is attributed to Magnús in all mss, occurs without apparent context. It is inserted at the very end of an episode about a boy who was unable to dream, and it could be that the connection between ‘dreamlessness’ and ‘sleeplessness’ prompted the Mork compiler to include the st. at this point in the narrative.

Notes: [All]: Poole (1985, 116-18) argues that the attribution of this st. to Magnús inn góði Óláfsson is erroneous. He suggests instead that it was part of a sequence of love sts composed by Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson (Mberf Lv 3-6). In three of these lvv. (Lv 3-5). Magnús professes his love for a woman called Mektildr (Matilda), who, according to the surrounding prose, is the daughter of an emperor (see Mork 1928-32, 330-1). As Poole shows, this woman was most likely Matilda, the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland and the sister of King Edgar (r. 1097-1107). In Mberf Lv 3, Magnús berfœttr complains that Matilda denies him fun and pleasure and teaches him ‘to sleep but little’, an imagery in keeping with the that of the present st. It is likely that the compiler of Mork confused Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson and Magnús góði Óláfsson, and attributed Mgóði Lv 2 to the wrong Magnús. The sense of the st. is that, while other men may complain about (and fear) the pain that they experience because of their love for lowborn women, Magnús himself has no worries in that respect; rather, it is his love for the ‘ruler’s’ sister that prevents him from sleeping. — [2] alin* ‘born’: Alinn (m. acc. sg.; so all mss) has been emended to alin to qualify dóttur ‘daughter’ (l. 4). The emendation follows NN §808. Alin (p. p. of ala ‘bear, raise’) is f. nom. sg., and we should have expected the f. acc. sg. alna in order to agree with the noun dóttur (f. acc. sg.). That form is, however, unmetrical (positions 3-4 in this l. must be filled by a short-stemmed disyllabic word), and Kock (NN §808) argues that the nom. (alin) could have been caused by the distance between alin (l. 2) and dóttur (l. 4). Skj B retains the ms. form and connects alinn with ótta (m. acc. sg.) ‘fear’ (l. 4), which produces both an awkward translation (jeg tvivler meget lidt om den av mændene nærede frygt ‘I am very little concerned about the harboured fear of the men’) and an impossible w. o. (see NN §808).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  7. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  9. Poole, Russell. 1985a. ‘Some Royal Love-Verses’. MM, 115-31.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Morkinskinna (Mork)’ 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].
  12. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Biography of) Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson’ 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. 385-90.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Biography of) Magnús inn góði Óláfsson’ 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. 5-7.
  14. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  15. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  16. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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, p. 387.
  17. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þórarinn stuttfeldr, Lausavísur 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. 479-80.
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