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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 79III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 79’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1190.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Læsir leyfðr vísi
landa útstrandir
blíðr ok bláskíðum
barða randgarði.
Ern kná jarl þyrna
oddum falbrodda
jǫrð með élsnœrðum
jaðri hrænaðra.

Leyfðr vísi læsir útstrandir landa, blíðr, randgarði ok {bláskíðum barða}. Jarl, ern {falbrodda}, kná þyrna jǫrð með élsnœrðum jaðri oddum {hrænaðra}.
‘The praised leader encloses the outer shores of the lands, cheerful, with a shield-fence and dark skis of prows [SHIPS]. The jarl, vigorous with socket-points [SPEARS], spikes the earth along its storm-laced edge with points of corpse-adders [SPEARS].

notes and context

The metre is called Haðarlag ‘Hǫðr’s metre’, and it may have been named after an unknown poet. Each line contains five syllables (a stereotyped pattern of málaháttr D*1 lines), and the placement of rhyme and alliteration corresponds to that of dróttkvætt.

The rubric in R is lxxii. — For the name of this metre, see Vésteinn Ólason (1984, 58). See also RvHbreiðm Hl 53-4. The only extended poem to employ this metre consistently is Sturl HrafnII, and st. 2/5-8 of that poem shows that Sturla, Snorri’s nephew, was well familiar with the present stanza. — [2]: Repeated as Sturl Hrafn 2/6II.



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 79: AII, 72-3, BII, 83, Skald II, 45, NN §2186; SnE 1848-87, I, 696-7, III, 131, SnE 1879-81, I, 13, 83, II, 29, SnE 1931, 247, SnE 2007, 33; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 50-1.


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