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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 92III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 92’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1201.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

Getit vas grams fara;
gǫrt hefk mærð snara;
þengill mun þess vara;
þat namk lítt spara.
Finnrat frœknara
fœði gunnstara
mann né mildara
merkir blóðsvara.

Getit vas fara grams; hefk gǫrt snara mærð; þengill mun vara þess; lítt namk spara þat. {Merkir {blóðsvara}} finnrat {frœknara fœði {gunnstara}}, né mildara mann.

The lord’s expeditions have been recounted; I have made a powerful praise-poem; the ruler will be ready for that; I hardly held that back. {The stainer {of blood-birds}} [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Snorri] will not find {a bolder feeder {of battle-starlings}} [RAVENS > WARRIOR], nor a more generous man.

Mss: R(52v) (SnE)

Editions: Skj AII, 75, Skj BII, 86, Skald II, 47, NN §3263; SnE 1848-87, I, 708-9, III, 133, SnE 1879-81, I, 15, 84, II, 33, SnE 1931, 250, SnE 2007, 36-7; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 61-2.

Context: According to the commentary, this variant, which has identical end-rhymes extending throughout the stanza, has full runhenda ‘full end-rhyme’. The lines are all regularised málaháttr (Type D*2).

Notes: [1] getit vas fara grams ‘the lord’s expeditions have been recounted’: Lit. ‘it was told of the lord’s expeditions’. — [2] snara (f. acc. sg.) ‘powerful’: Taken here in the meaning ‘powerful, vigorous’ (LP: snarr 2). In prose and poetry, this adj. can mean ‘swift, brave, keen, intelligent’ (see Fritzner: snarr). Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Skj B translates it as hurtig, kort ‘quick, short’ and rask ‘swift’ (see LP: snarr 1); Faulkes (SnE 2007, 148) has ‘fine’. — [4] þat ‘that’: Kock (NN §3263) construes this as a subordinate conj. referring back to þess ‘that’ in the previous clause (‘the ruler may expect it that I held little back’). Aside from the fact that þat ‘that’ functioning as the conj. at ‘that’ appears to be rare (see LP: þat; Fritzner: þat 2), Kock’s interpretation is less attractive because þat alliterates and is fully stressed, which one should not expect if it were a conj. — [4] lítt ‘hardly’: Lit. ‘little’. Taken here in a negative sense ‘hardly, by no means’ (see LP: lítt). — [8] merkir blóðsvara ‘the stainer of blood-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Snorri]’: This refers to a warrior staining (lit. ‘marking’) a bird of prey with blood by providing it with carrion. Svǫrr is a species of bird (see Þul Fugla 3/1).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. 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.
  7. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  8. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  9. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  10. SnE 2007 = Snorri Sturluson. 2007. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  11. SnE 1879-81 = Möbius, Theodor, ed. 1879-81. Hattatal Snorra Sturlusonar. 2 vols. Halle an de Saale: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses.
  12. Internal references
  13. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Fugla heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 954.

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