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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 74III

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.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Hafrǫst hristir
hlunnvigg tiggja;
borðgrund bendir
brimdýrs stýri.
Blá veit brjóta
byrskíð víði
bǫðharðr bǫrðum
buðlungr þungan.

Hafrǫst hristir {hlunnvigg} tiggja; {borðgrund} bendir stýri {brimdýrs}. Bǫðharðr buðlungr veit {blá byrskíð} brjóta þungan víði bǫrðum.
‘The sea-current shakes the roller-steed [SHIP] of the ruler; the ship-board-ground [SEA] bends the rudder of the surf-animal [SHIP]. The battle-hard lord knows that the dark breeze-skis [SHIPS] break the heavy sea with their prows.

notes and context

The metre is stúfhent ‘stump-rhymed’. Each line consists of four syllables (four metrical positions as in fornyrðislag), with the internal rhymes (skothending in odd lines and aðalhending in even lines) on adjacent syllables (the syllable with secondary stress in position 2 and the fully stressed syllable in position 3, the first syllable of the cadence). All lines are Type A2l. The term stúfhent must refer to the monosyllabic rhyming syllables in position 2. The odd lines have two alliterative staves (in positions 1 and 3), and in the even lines the hǫfuðstafr ‘main stave’ falls on the first lift (in metrical position 1).

The rubric in R is lxvii. — This metre is not attested elsewhere in skaldic poetry.



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: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 74: AII, 71, BII, 81, Skald II, 45; SnE 1848-87, I, 690-1, III, 130, SnE 1879-81, I, 12, 82, II, 28, SnE 1931, 245, SnE 2007, 31; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 47.


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