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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 6VIII

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 728.

Anonymous PoemsKrákumál
567

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Herr kastaði skjöldum,
þá er rægagarr rendi
ræstr at gumna brjóstum.
Beit í Skarpaskerjum
skærubíldr at hjaldri;
roðinn var randar máni,
áðr Rafn konungr felli.
Dreif ór hölða hausum
heitr á brynjur sveiti.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Herr kastaði skjöldum, þá er {ræstr rægagarr} rendi at brjóstum gumna. {Skærubíldr} beit at hjaldri í Skarpaskerjum; {máni randar} var roðinn, áðr Rafn konungr felli. Heitr sveiti dreif ór hausum hölða á brynjur.

We hewed with the sword. An army cast shields away when {the drawn corpse-hound} [SWORD] ran at the breasts of men. {The battle-lancet} [SWORD] bit in the conflict at Skarpasker; {the moon of the shield-rim} [SWORD] was reddened before King Rafn fell. Hot blood gushed from heads of men onto mail-coats.

Mss: 1824b(79v), 147(108r) (ll. 9-10), 6ˣ(87r) (Ragn); R702ˣ(29v), LR(202-203), R693ˣ(7r)

Readings: [1] Hjuggu vér með hjörvi: abbrev. as ‘híugu ver m h̄.’ 1824b, Hjuggum vér með hjörvi 6ˣ, LR, R693ˣ, abbrev. as ‘H. v: med h:’ R702ˣ    [3] gagarr: ‘hrę gagar’ ‘hraegagare W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘hraegagare’ LR, R693ˣ    [4] ræstr (‘rręstr’): ‘Restur’ with ‘Reistur W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘rreistur’ R702ˣ, ‘reistur’ LR, ‘(R)eistur’(?) with ‘Reistur’ in margin R693ˣ;    gumna: gunna R702ˣ, LR, R693ˣ    [5] Skarpa‑: skarpa with ‘Skarfa Worm’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘skarffua’ R702ˣ, ‘skarfua’ LR    [6] skærubíldr: ‘skęrí billdr’ 1824b, ‘Skeri billdur’ with ‘skæribilldur W.’ in margin 6ˣ, ‘skæribilldur’ R702ˣ, R693ˣ, ‘skaeribildur’ LR    [7] roðinn: roðin 1824b, R702ˣ, ‘Rodium’ R693ˣ    [9] Dreif ór hölða hausum: ‘dreíf (ur) heila haugum’(?) 147    [10] heitr á brynjur sveiti: so 6ˣ, R702ˣ, R693ˣ, ‘heitr a bre[...] sveiti’ 1824b, ‘[…] he(i)t(ur) a […]um su(eiti)’(?) 147, ‘heitum a brynniur sueite’ LR

Editions: Skj AI, 643, Skj BI, 650, Skald I, 317; Rafn 1826, 6-7, 105-7, Pfeiffer 1860, 124, CPB II, 341, Wisén 1886-9, I, 63, Krm 1891, 225, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 87, Finnur Jónsson 1905, 153, Ragn 1906-8, 187.

Notes: [3-4]: The initial <r> of rendi ‘ran’ in l. 3 and of ræstr ‘released, drawn’ in l. 4 indicates that, in conformity with the rules of alliteration (see Gade 1995a, 4), the initial <h> of the mss’ hrægagarr ‘corpse-hound’ (see the next Note) was not intended to be pronounced, cf. LP: hrægagarr and first Note to st. 2/10, above. — [3] rægagarr ‘the corpse-hound [SWORD]’: The noun gagarr ‘dog, hound’, here forming the base-word in a sword-kenning, is relatively rare. It occurs elsewhere only in the following instances: in Anon Darr 3/7V (Nj 55), where it also forms the base-word in a sword-kenning (hjálmgagarr ‘helmet-hound’), cf. Olsen (1933a, 98), and de Vries (1964-7, II, 40 n. 70), in Anon Mhkv 4/3III, Tindr Hákdr 4/3I and Egill Lv 2/4V (Eg 5), and in the prose of Ldn (ÍF 1, 184), in this last instance as a nickname for Þorgrímr Ljótsson (Þorgrímr gagarr ‘the Dog’). — [5] í Skarpaskerjum ‘in Skarpasker’: The reference is almost certainly to the islands referred to in ESk Run 8/3II in the phrase við Skǫrpusker ‘at Skǫrpusker’, and identified by A. B.Taylor (1965, 132-3; cf. ESk Run 8/3II and Note there; Townend 1998, 69-70) with the Farne Islands, a group of islands off the north-east coast of England (of Northumberland, cf. st. 14/4, below). If this p. n. in the form Skǫrpusker means ‘the sharp skerries’ (so SkP II, 557) or the ‘sharp rocks’ (Townend 1998, 70), this would imply that it is formed from the weak pl. form of the adj. skarpr ‘sharp’ used attributively with the noun sker n. pl. ‘skerries, rocks’, and that the dat. pl. form that would be expected here is Skǫrpuskerjum. That Skarpasker was an accepted nom. and acc. pl. variant form of Skǫrpusker, implying the dat. pl. form Skarpaskerjum, is perhaps suggested by its occurrence in one of the variant readings of ESk Run 8/3II as preserved in Mork (see SkP II, 557), and also in the prose introducing the relevant verse passage in Hkr (see ÍF 28, 329), where only the first half-stanza is preserved, though Skarpasker could be taken as n. acc. sg. rather than pl. in these instances. — [6] skærubíldr ‘the battle-lancet [SWORD]’: The emendation to skæru-/skœru- ‘battle-’, adopted first by Wisén (1886-9) and by subsequent eds, gives a more satisfying sword-kenning than the ms. readings followed by earlier eds, who read skeribildr (Rafn 1826), skeribíldr ‘sickle knife, cutting lancet’ (Sichelmesser, Pfeiffer 1860, 308), Krm (1891), which is weak semantically and unsatisfactory metrically. — [7] máni randar ‘the moon of the shield-rim [SWORD]’: This same kenning occurs in Egill Lv 32/3V (Eg 61); cf. de Vries (1964-7, II, 40 n. 68). — [8] Rafn konungr ‘King Rafn’: Nothing is known of this King Rafn (listed under Hrafn in LP: 1. hrafn). It is clear from the alliteration of the preceding line that his name was intended in this instance to be spelt and pronounced without the initial <h> (cf. first Note to st. 2/10 above).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  5. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  6. Vries, Jan de. 1964-7. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 15-16. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  7. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  9. ÍF 1 (parts 1 and 2) = Íslendingabók; Landnámabók. Ed. Jakob Benediktsson. 1968. Rpt. as one volume 1986.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Taylor, A. B. 1965. ‘Eysteinn Haraldsson in the West, c. 1151: Oral Traditions and Written Record’. In Small 1965, 119-34.
  12. Townend, Matthew. 1998. English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse. English Place-Name Society extra ser. 1. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society.
  13. Pfeiffer, Friedrich. 1860. Altnordisches Lesebuch. Leipzig: T. O. Weigel.
  14. SkP II = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade. 2009.
  15. Olsen, Magnus. 1933a. ‘Fra Hávamál til Krákumál’. In Festskrift til Halvdan Koht på sekstiårs dagen 7de juli 1933. Oslo: Aschehoug, 93-102. Rpt. in Olsen 1938a, 234-44.
  16. Ragn 1906-8 = Olsen 1906-8, 111-222.
  17. Finnur Jónsson. 1905. ‘Krákumál’. Oversigt over det Kgl. Danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger 1905, 151-83.
  18. Krm 1891 = 2nd edn (pp. 225-8) of Krm as ed. in Valdimar Ásmundarson 1885-9, I.
  19. Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1826. Krakas Maal eller Kvad om Kong Ragnar Lodbroks Krigsbedrifter og Heltedød efter en gammel Skindbog og flere hidtil ubenyttede Haandskrifter med dansk, latinsk og fransk oversættelse, forskjellige Læsemaader, samt kritiske og philologiske Anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Jens Hostrup Schultz; London: John and Arthur Arch.
  20. Internal references
  21. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  22. Not published: do not cite (LdnIV)
  23. Not published: do not cite (Anon Darr 3V (Nj 55))
  24. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Morkinskinna (Mork)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  25. Not published: do not cite (Anon DarrV (Nj))
  26. Rory McTurk 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Krákumál’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 706.
  27. Roberta Frank 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213.
  28. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 2V (Eg 5))
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda 8’ 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. 556-7.
  30. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 32V (Eg 61))
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