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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 29III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 29’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1038.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill
282930

Hǫrðu réð Hagbarðr
— hvatir leyfa menn þat —
aldrklifs epli*;
ýta vas sá gramr nýtr.
Mýll gerðit margsnills
morðalfs skjalfa
í geira glymskúr
geðvangs strangri.

Hagbarðr réð {hǫrðu epli* {aldrklifs}}; hvatir menn leyfa þat; {sá gramr ýta} vas nýtr. {Mýll {geðvangs}} {margsnills morðalfs} gerðit skjalfa í {strangri glymskúr geira}.

Hagbarðr commanded {a hard apple {of the life-cliff}} [BREAST > HEART]; keen men praise that; {that lord of the people} [RULER] was capable. {The stone {of the mind-meadow}} [BREAST > HEART] {of the deeply wise battle-elf} [WARRIOR] did not tremble in {the strong din-shower of spears} [BATTLE].

Mss: papp25ˣ(33r), R683ˣ(128r)

Readings: [3] epli*: eplis papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [5] gerðit: gerði at papp25ˣ, R683ˣ;    ‑snills: ‑snill papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [6] ‑alfs: ‑alf papp25ˣ, R683ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 517, Skj BI, 494, Skald I, 242, NN §§2073, 3117; Hl 1941, 24, 64.

Context: The heading is háhent (‘Ha̋ hent’) ‘high-rhymed’, which must be a misreading of náhent ‘close-rhymed’ (SnSt Ht 75). The metre resembles that of sts 23-4 above. In Snorri’s more regularised variant, the odd lines consist of 4-5 syllables, have skothending and end in a long monosyllable carrying internal rhyme. The even lines have 4 syllables (two long syllables followed by a long plus a short syllable) and aðalhending in positions 2 and 3. In the present stanza, ll. 1 and 5 correspond to Snorri’s náhent or hálfhnept ‘half-curtailed’ (Ht 77), ll. 6 and 8 are náhent or stúfhent ‘stump-rhymed’ (Ht 74), l. 3 is stúfhent and structered similarly to even náhent lines, while ll. 2, 4 and 7 are hálfhnept.

Notes: [All]: For the concept of a ‘hard’ heroic heart, which permeates this stanza and the next, see Note to Anon Mhkv 7/1. See also st. 37/3 below. — [All]: Hagbarðr was a legendary Danish king and the brother of Haki (see sts 27-8 above). He is famous as the lover of Signý, the daughter of King Sigarr, who hanged Hagbarðr on account of that relationship (see Saxo 2005, I, 7, 7, 3-17, pp. 464-77). — [1] réð ‘commanded’: Cf. st. 30/5. — [3] epli* (n. dat. sg.) ‘apple’: Eplis (n. gen. sg.) ‘apple’ (so both mss) has been emended to the dat. sg. because réð ‘commanded’ takes the dat. The internal rhyme ‑klifs : epli is somewhat problematic. Kock (NN §3117) emends epli to aldin ‘fruit’, which creates an aðalhending rather than a skothending and is grammatically incorrect (the dat. is aldini; see Hl 1941). Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) adds heldr ‘rather’ at the end of the line, but that makes the line unmetrical. It is quite possible that the consonant cluster <fs> could have been pronounced [ps], thus creating an approximate rhyme. See ANG §240.2 and Seip (1955, 51), but note the rhyme jǫfri : aldrklifs in st. 30/1 (dialect variation, or an attempt by the second poet to correct the first poet?). — [4] ýta (m. gen. pl.) ‘of the people’: Skj B emends to ýtum (m. dat. pl.) ‘to the people’ and takes it with nýtr ‘bountiful’ (‘bountiful to the people’). That emendation is unnecessary (see NN §2073). — [5-6]: Following most earlier eds, margsnill ‘deeply wise’ (f. nom. sg. or n. nom./acc. pl.) and morðalf ‘battle-elf’ (m. acc. sg.) have been emended to margsnills morðalfs (gen. sg.) as a gen. attribute to mýll geðvangs ‘stone of the mind-meadow’ (ll. 5, 8). — [5] gerðit ‘did not’: Both mss read gerði at, which is a rather common rendition (misunderstanding) of a finite verb plus the negative suffix -(a)t. See st. 30/1. — [5] -snills ‘wise’: This form is problematic. We should have expected a form with breaking (-snjalls), but, as Holtsmark (Hl 1941, 109) points out, snills could have been an unbroken form with progressive i-umlaut, attested in Orkney Norn and in Shetland. See also Seip (1955, 128). — [7] glymskúr geira ‘din-shower of spears [BATTLE]’: The kenning is hyper-determined because both glymr geira ‘din of spears’ and skúr geira ‘shower of spears’ are kennings for ‘battle’ (for such kennings, see Introduction to Sturl HrafnII). See also st. 30/7.

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  6. Saxo 2005 = Friis-Jensen, Karsten, ed. 2005. Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum / Danmarkshistorien. Trans. Peter Zeeberg. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Det danske sprog- og litteraturselskab & Gads forlag.
  7. Seip, Didrik Arup. 1955. Norsk språkhistorie til omkring 1370. 2nd edn. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  8. Hl 1941 = Jón Helgason and Anne Holtsmark, eds. 1941. Háttalykill enn forni. BA 1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  9. Internal references
  10. Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1221.
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál’ 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. 727-45.
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 71’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1182.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 74’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1185.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 75’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1186.
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