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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 2III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1010.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Barn at aldri         þykkik brǫgnum vesa,
        þó hefk forn tíðendi fregin.
Sannligar sǫgur         þykkjumk ek …
        fyr lǫngu liðnar.

Þykkik brǫgnum vesa barn at aldri, þó hefk fregin forn tíðendi. Þykkjumk ek sannligar sǫgur … fyr lǫngu liðnar.
‘I seem to men to be a child in age, yet I have heard ancient tidings. True tales I believe … long ago passed.

notes and context

As st. 1 above. The stanza is introduced by the heading Fragmenta totius ad primam cant [sic] ‘Fragments of everything pertaining to the first poem’ (papp25ˣ).

[2]: See st. 1/2. — [3]: The line is incomplete, and Jón Sigurðsson and Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848, 239 n. 1) add fregit ‘heard’, which has been adopted in Skj B and Skald. Hl 1941 suggests fregin (n. acc. pl.) ‘heard’ to agree with tíðendi (n. acc. pl.) ‘tidings’ (adopted in the present edn). — [5]: The line is corrupt and cannot be restored with any certainty. Jón Sigurðsson (followed by SnE 1848, 239 n. 2) suggested the following reading of ll. 4-5: ok andligar sögur | þykjom ek allar kunna ‘and I believe I know all spiritual tales’. Skj B has ǫðlinga sǫgur… þykkjumk segja kunna, translated as fortællinger om gæve mænd … mener jeg at kunne fortælle ‘I believe I can tell tales of prominent men’, which violates the metre (alliteration on the second, rather than on the first lift in l. 4), and Skald supplies oðlinga sǫgur | þykkjumk inna kunna ‘I believe I can tell tales of heroes’. Hl 1941 restores the lines as follows: sannlegar sǫgur | þykkjumk ek segja kunna ‘I believe I can tell true tales,’ which is closest to the ms. reading and does not violate the metre.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 1b: AI, 513, BI, 488, Skald I, 239, NN §3112; Hl 1941, 34, 36-7.


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