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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 93III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 93’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1202.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Þengill lætr hǫpp hrest;
honum fylgir dáð mest;
vísi gefr vel flest
verbál ólest.
Húfar brutu haf ljótt;
heim létk jǫfur sótt;
yngva lofar ǫll drótt;
jarlsk frama gnótt.

Þengill lætr hǫpp hrest; mest dáð fylgir honum; vísi gefr {vel flest verbál} ólest. Húfar brutu ljótt haf; létk jǫfur sótt heim; ǫll drótt lofar yngva; sák gnótt frama jarls.
‘The lord makes successes flourish; the greatest achievement accompanies him; the leader gives nearly every sea-pyre [PIECE OF GOLD] undamaged. Hulls broke the hideous ocean; I visited the prince at his home; the entire court praises the ruler; I saw the abundance of the jarl’s glory.

notes and context

This is another variant called in minni runhenda (‘the lesser end-rhyme’), and the identical end-rhymes are confined to each helmingr. According to the commentary, it is a catalectic version of st. 92, and it is based on náhent ‘close-rhymed’ (st. 75) and hálfhnept ‘half-curtailed’ (st. 77). Whereas the odd lines can be construed as either náhent or hálfhnept, l. 4 is alhnept ‘completely curtailed’ (st. 78), and none of the remaining even lines corresponds structurally to the even lines given as examples of even náhent and hálfhnept lines. It could be that Snorri here compared ll. 2, 6 and 8 to odd náhent and hálfhnept lines, as defined by the fillers of the last two metrical positions (a monosyllable followed by a monosyllable in náhent and hálfhnept, and a short-stemmed disyllabic word followed by a monosyllable in hálfhnept). The metre is not attested elsewhere.

[4]: Skj B and Skald insert ok and read verbál ok ólest ‘sea-pyre and undamaged’ to restore a pentasyllabic line. However, that emendation makes the line unmetrical. — [5-8]: The visit referred to in this half-stanza must be Snorri’s previous stay at the Norwegian court (1218-20).



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 93: AII, 75, BII, 86, Skald II, 47; SnE 1848-87, I, 708-11, III, 133-4, SnE 1879-81, I, 15, 84, II, 33, SnE 1931, 250, SnE 2007, 37; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 62-3.


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