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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 5VIII

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 5’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 726.

Anonymous PoemsKrákumál

text and translation

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Hygg engan þá frýðu,
áðr en á Heflis hestum
Herruðr í styr felli.
Klýfr eigi ægis öndrum
annarr jarl in frægri
lunda völl til lægis
á langskipum síðan.
Sá bar siklingr víða
snart fram í styr hjarta.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Hygg engan þá frýðu, áðr en Herruðr felli í styr á {hestum Heflis}. Annarr jarl in frægri klýfr eigi síðan {völl lunda} {öndrum ægis}, á langskipum, til lægis. Sá siklingr bar víða snart hjarta fram í styr.
‘We hewed with the sword. No one found fault with us then, I reckon, before Herruðr fell in battle on the horses of Heflir <sea-king> [SHIPS]. No other, more famous jarl will ever again cleave the plain of puffins [SEA] with skis of the sea [SHIPS], on longships, heading into harbour. That leader carried a stout heart far and wide forward into battle.

notes and context

[5]: This line is hypermetrical as it stands, with eigi ‘not’ in what should be metrical position 2. That can be remedied by substituting eigi with ei or affixing the suffixed negative particle –at to the verb klýfr ‘cleave’. Skj B and Skald both have klýfrat. — [9]: Line 9 here finds a close metrical parallel in Sigv Austv 6/5I Þó séumk hitt, at hlœðir … ‘However, I fear this: that (every) loader …’, which Höskuldur Þráinsson (1970, 20) and Kristján Árnason (1991, 99) seem to regard as a case of consonantless skothending, with the <ó> of þó ‘however’ making half-rhyme with the <œ> of hlœðir ‘loader’ (cf. Note to Sigv Austv 6/5I). It might seem that in the present instance the <á> of ‘that’ would make half-rhyme with the <í> of víða ‘far and wide’. The impression given by Kuhn (1983, 78), however, is that such consonantless skothendingar are only possible when the vowel or diphthong in the cadence (in these cases hlœðir and víða) is followed by a glide, <j> or <v>; cf. Note to st 3/9-10, above.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], H. Krákumál 5: AI, 642, BI, 650, Skald I, 317, NN §§1274, 2274; Rafn 1826, 4-7, 103-5, Pfeiffer 1860, 124, CPB II, 341, Wisén 1886-9, I, 62-3, Krm 1891, 225, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 86, Finnur Jónsson 1905, 153.


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