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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 7III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 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. 1015.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Gunnarr réð grundu linna;
gætti vel digra mæta;
Faðmis láð fengu þjóðir
færi heldr, an skapligt væri.
Lestir réð loks at kasta
— lofðungs brǫgð ýtar sǫgðu —
urðar lax œskijǫrðu
út á Rín Fenris sútar.

Gunnarr réð {grundu linna}; gætti digra mæta vel; heldr færi þjóðir fengu {láð Faðmis}, an væri skapligt. {{Lestir sútar} Fenris} réð loks at kasta {œskijǫrðu {lax urðar}} út á Rín; ýtar sǫgðu brǫgð lofðungs.
‘Gunnarr governed the ground of snakes [GOLD]; he guarded the large treasures well; rather fewer people received Faðmir’s <serpent’s> land [GOLD] than was fitting. The destroyer of the sorrow [GLADDENER] of Fenrir <wolf> [WARRIOR] finally decided to throw the desired earth of the salmon of the rocky slope [SERPENT > GOLD] out into the Rhine; men recounted the ruses of the ruler.

notes and context

The heading is draughent (‘Draughænt’) ‘ghost-’ or ‘trunk-rhymed’ (cf. SnSt Ht 65). Each line consists of seven syllables, and rhyme and alliteration fall as in dróttkvætt.

This metre is not attested outside of Hl and Ht. — Stanzas 7-8 commemorate Gunnarr Gjúkason’s actions after the death of Hǫgni (see sts 5-6 above, st. 5 Note to [All] and SnE 1998, I, 48-9). In Old Norse literature Gunnarr (MHG Gunther) was the brother of Hǫgni (see Gríp, Brot, Sigsk, Guðr II, Am, Akv, Vǫls and Þiðr). — [2]: As it stands in the mss the line has eight rather than seven syllables, and the pron. hann ‘he’ has been deleted in accordance with the principles of normalisation in the present edn. — [4]: The line is hypermetrical and Skj B (and Skald) deletes the adv. heldr ‘rather’. Because st. 8/5 has the same structure, however, the adv. has been retained in the present edn.



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 4a: AI, 513, BI, 489, Skald I, 240, NN §2069; Hl 1941, 32, 42-3.


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