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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhelg Lv 8I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, Lausavísur 8’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 527.

Óláfr inn helgi HaraldssonLausavísur
789

Fagr ‘handsome’

fagr (adj.; °fagran; compar. fegri, superl. fegrstr): fair, beautiful

[1] Fagr: so Flat, fjǫgur 61, Tóm

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stóðk ‘I stood’

standa (verb): stand

[1] stóðk: stóð Flat

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meðan ‘as the’

meðan (conj.): while

[1] meðan: er Flat

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blakkr ‘dark horse’

1. blakkr (noun m.): horse

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[2] ok sák á sprakka: sýndisk mér sprakki Flat

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sák ‘I gazed’

2. sjá (verb): see

[2] ok sák á sprakka: sýndisk mér sprakki Flat;    sák: sat Tóm

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[2] ok sák á sprakka: sýndisk mér sprakki Flat

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sprakka ‘the lady’

sprakki (noun m.): woman, lively one

[2] ok sák á sprakka: sýndisk mér sprakki Flat

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oss ‘us [me]’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

notes

[3, 4] kona lét oss missa ynðis ‘the woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness’: Parentheses in mansǫngr stanzas often generalise about the speaker’s situation in this way.

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lét ‘caused’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

notes

[3, 4] kona lét oss missa ynðis ‘the woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness’: Parentheses in mansǫngr stanzas often generalise about the speaker’s situation in this way.

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ynðis ‘happiness’

ynði (noun n.; °-s): pleasure

notes

[3, 4] kona lét oss missa ynðis ‘the woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness’: Parentheses in mansǫngr stanzas often generalise about the speaker’s situation in this way.

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missa ‘to forfeit’

2. missa (verb): lose, lack

notes

[3, 4] kona lét oss missa ynðis ‘the woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness’: Parentheses in mansǫngr stanzas often generalise about the speaker’s situation in this way.

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augfǫgr ‘the handsome-eyed’

augfagr (adj.): [handsome-eyed]

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kona ‘woman’

kona (noun f.; °-u; -ur/-r(KlmA1980 116¹¹), gen. pl. kvenna/kvinna): woman

notes

[3, 4] kona lét oss missa ynðis ‘the woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness’: Parentheses in mansǫngr stanzas often generalise about the speaker’s situation in this way.

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[4] af: á Flat

notes

[4] af haugi ‘from the mound’: Some burial place connected with the garðr ‘yard’ (l. 5) is envisaged. Aristocratic residences were often established in the neighbourhood of much older burial mounds, perhaps as a mark of status or of cultural continuity (Niles 2007, 181-2, 189-90).

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haugi ‘the mound’

haugr (noun m.; °-s, -i; -ar): mound, cairn

notes

[4] af haugi ‘from the mound’: Some burial place connected with the garðr ‘yard’ (l. 5) is envisaged. Aristocratic residences were often established in the neighbourhood of much older burial mounds, perhaps as a mark of status or of cultural continuity (Niles 2007, 181-2, 189-90).

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þeynar ‘’

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Keyrði ‘spurred’

keyra (verb): drive, whip, fling

[5] Keyrði: ‘þeynar’ Tóm

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Gefn ‘Gefn’

Gefn (noun f.): Gefn

[5] Gefn: gerðr Flat, gefit Tóm

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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garði ‘the yard’

garðr (noun m.): enclosure, yard

[5] garði: gǫrðum Flat

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góðlôt ‘The courteous’

góðlátr (adj.): [courteous]

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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vala ‘of falcons’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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vala ‘of falcons’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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slóðar ‘of the track’

slóð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path, track

[6] slóðar: slóðir Tóm

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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slóðar ‘of the track’

slóð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path, track

[6] slóðar: slóðir Tóm

kennings

Góðlôt Gefn slóðar vala,
‘The courteous Gefn of the track of falcons, ’
   = WOMAN

the track of falcons, → ARM
The courteous Gefn of the ARM → WOMAN
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eyk ‘her mount’

eykr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -ir, dat. -jum): draught animal

[7] eyk (‘eyk ek’): eik Flat, om. Tóm

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ein ‘one’

2. einn (pron.; °decl. cf. einn num.): one, alone

[7] ein glǫp: so Flat, eitt mein 61, Tóm

notes

[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.

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glǫp ‘error’

glǫp (noun f.): [error]

[7] ein glǫp: so Flat, eitt mein 61, Tóm

notes

[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.

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sœkir ‘afflicts’

sœkja (verb): seek, attack

notes

[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.

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jarl ‘jarl’

jarl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): poet, earl

notes

[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.

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hvern ‘every’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

notes

[7-8] ein glǫp sœkir hvern jarl ‘one error afflicts every jarl’: This is the sole attestation of glǫp ‘error’ in poetry (LP: glǫp), and its reference is not clear. In the context of the stanza, impropriety or a susceptibility to women would be appropriate, and glap n. is recorded in prose referring to inappropriate attentiveness to a woman (Fritzner: glap), while glǫp f. refers to a flaw in legal procedure (Fritzner: glǫp). Glœpr ‘misdeed, sin’ (Fritzner: glœpr) in the prose context to the stanza gives a stronger Christian and moralistic emphasis to the narrative, but it is not clear whether this is present in the stanza’s use of glǫp.

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kona ‘woman’

kona (noun f.; °-u; -ur/-r(KlmA1980 116¹¹), gen. pl. kvenna/kvinna): woman

[8] kona: konur Flat

notes

[8] snarlig kona ‘quick-witted woman’: This is taken here as a nom. in apposition to the woman-kenning based on Gefn. It could alternatively be construed as a vocative.

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snarlig ‘quick-witted’

snarligr (adj.): keen, quick-witted

[8] snarlig: allar Flat

notes

[8] snarlig kona ‘quick-witted woman’: This is taken here as a nom. in apposition to the woman-kenning based on Gefn. It could alternatively be construed as a vocative.

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

In Flat it is told briefly that on one occasion when Óláfr was in Garðaríki (north-west Russia) the princess Ingigerðr went off on a journey. Seeing this, Óláfr spoke the stanza; Lv 9 follows. The version contained in 61 and Tóm locates the episode within the story that a marriage arrangement between Óláfr and Ingigerðr, daughter of Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’ Eiríksson, broke down when her father instead gave her to Jarizleifr (Jaroslav), ruler of Russia. Seeing Óláfr outraged at this breach of faith, Ingigerðr’s sister Ástríðr pleads with him not to sacrifice the lives of Christian men and instead to accept her hand in marriage. When he proves intransigent, she rebukes him and rides off. The king climbs a nearby burial mound and speaks the stanza, reflecting that Ástríðr is right that it is a terrible misdeed (mikill glæpr) to sacrifice the lives of many Christian men for the sake of the difference between two sisters. He then accepts Ástríðr in marriage.

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