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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stefnir Lv 2I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 2’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 450.

Stefnir ÞorgilssonLausavísur
12

erumk ‘is’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

notes

[2]: The presence of a female interlocutor implied by the rest of the stanza, and its generally secular tenor, tend to support the assumption made in the prose Context that the irate father referred to here is a human one. However, the closely parallel and, if authentic, closely contemporary erumk leið sonar reiði ‘hateful to me is the Son’s wrath’ in Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) definitely refers to Christ, and might encourage the speculation that the scruples of the missionary Stefnir are specifically religious, as suggested by Jón Helgason (1968, 44). For another line based on the rhyme leið: reiði, see Eþver Lv 1/2, and for another reference to the anger of a woman’s father, see Eindr Lv.

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leið* ‘hateful’

2. leiðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): hateful, loathsome

[2] leið*: leiðr Holm18

notes

[2]: The presence of a female interlocutor implied by the rest of the stanza, and its generally secular tenor, tend to support the assumption made in the prose Context that the irate father referred to here is a human one. However, the closely parallel and, if authentic, closely contemporary erumk leið sonar reiði ‘hateful to me is the Son’s wrath’ in Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) definitely refers to Christ, and might encourage the speculation that the scruples of the missionary Stefnir are specifically religious, as suggested by Jón Helgason (1968, 44). For another line based on the rhyme leið: reiði, see Eþver Lv 1/2, and for another reference to the anger of a woman’s father, see Eindr Lv.

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fǫður ‘father’s’

faðir (noun m.): father

notes

[2]: The presence of a female interlocutor implied by the rest of the stanza, and its generally secular tenor, tend to support the assumption made in the prose Context that the irate father referred to here is a human one. However, the closely parallel and, if authentic, closely contemporary erumk leið sonar reiði ‘hateful to me is the Son’s wrath’ in Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) definitely refers to Christ, and might encourage the speculation that the scruples of the missionary Stefnir are specifically religious, as suggested by Jón Helgason (1968, 44). For another line based on the rhyme leið: reiði, see Eþver Lv 1/2, and for another reference to the anger of a woman’s father, see Eindr Lv.

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reiði ‘anger’

2. reiði (noun f.; °-): anger

notes

[2]: The presence of a female interlocutor implied by the rest of the stanza, and its generally secular tenor, tend to support the assumption made in the prose Context that the irate father referred to here is a human one. However, the closely parallel and, if authentic, closely contemporary erumk leið sonar reiði ‘hateful to me is the Son’s wrath’ in Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) definitely refers to Christ, and might encourage the speculation that the scruples of the missionary Stefnir are specifically religious, as suggested by Jón Helgason (1968, 44). For another line based on the rhyme leið: reiði, see Eþver Lv 1/2, and for another reference to the anger of a woman’s father, see Eindr Lv.

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harðr ‘be hardy’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

notes

[3] harðr á dýrðir ‘hardy in glorious actions’: Í plus dat. might have been expected rather than this construction, cf. greiðr ok harðr í námi ‘ready and determined in study’, cited from Mirmans saga in Fritzner: harðr 3. Skj B emends to hvatr ‘zealous’, but hvatr á is not common either, and fails to provide skothending (the emendation is rejected by Kock in Skald and NN §471).

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á ‘in’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[3] harðr á dýrðir ‘hardy in glorious actions’: Í plus dat. might have been expected rather than this construction, cf. greiðr ok harðr í námi ‘ready and determined in study’, cited from Mirmans saga in Fritzner: harðr 3. Skj B emends to hvatr ‘zealous’, but hvatr á is not common either, and fails to provide skothending (the emendation is rejected by Kock in Skald and NN §471).

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dýrðir ‘glorious actions’

dýrð (noun f.; °-ar/-a(NoDipl(1279) 44²ˆ); -ir): glory

notes

[3] harðr á dýrðir ‘hardy in glorious actions’: Í plus dat. might have been expected rather than this construction, cf. greiðr ok harðr í námi ‘ready and determined in study’, cited from Mirmans saga in Fritzner: harðr 3. Skj B emends to hvatr ‘zealous’, but hvatr á is not common either, and fails to provide skothending (the emendation is rejected by Kock in Skald and NN §471).

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danskr ‘Danish’

danskr (adj.): Danish

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hø᷎ll ‘’

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hæll ‘lady’

1. hæll (noun m.; °hǽls, dat. hǽli; hǽlar): heel

[4] hæll: ‘hø᷎ll’ Holm18

notes

[4] hæll ‘woman’: As noted in ÍF 15, II, 109 n., the graph ‘ø᷎’ in Holm18 can reasonably be read as æ (ae ligature), though it more often signifies œ (oe ligature). Hæll supplies the necessary aðalhending and fits well semantically. It means ‘widow’, but here, like ekkja elsewhere, apparently refers to a woman in general (LP: 2. hæll).

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mælir ‘are saying’

1. mæla (verb): speak, say

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Heldr ‘I wish’

heldr (adv.): rather

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við ‘beside’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[5] við: vil Holm18

notes

[5] við ‘beside’: Ms. vil is a simple case of dittography.

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stoð ‘the post’

stoð (noun f.; °-ar; stoðir, stoðar, stoðr, steðr, støðr): support, post

notes

[5] stoð ‘the post’: A nautical sense such as ‘mast’ might be inferred here, but the word normally refers to a support (physical or moral), a staff, or a post or column in a building (Fritzner: stoð). Kock (Skald; NN §2447B) instead reads stǫð ‘landing-place, berth’.

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standa ‘to stand’

standa (verb): stand

notes

[5] standa ‘stand’: Kock (Skald; NN §2447B), noting the lack of hending in this line, suggests that staldra ‘stop, pause’ has been replaced by the more common verb, but in the ONP citations, staldra is first recorded in the C16th, while stallra is the earlier form. 

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staglútr ‘leaning like a forestay’

staglútr (adj.): leaning like a forestay

notes

[6] staglútr ‘leaning like a forestay’: The stag n. is the stay or rope that stretches from the mast-top to the prow (LP: stag; Jesch 2001a, 165). For a suggested emendation of staglútr to ‑lút see Jón Helgason (1968, 44), but also Jesch’s refutation (2001a, 165-6 n. 80). Helgi Skúli Kjartansson (1973) suggests ‘bent double’; cf. Jón Þór Jóhannsson (1977).

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úti ‘out at sea’

úti (adv.): out, outdoors, out at sea, abroad

notes

[6] úti ‘out at sea’: This could simply mean ‘outside’, but the word drifinn ‘storm-beaten’ and the condensed simile in staglútr ‘leaning like a forestay’ encourages the assumption that the helmingr is about seafaring.

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váða ‘of garments’

váð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): clothes

kennings

Gerðr váða,
‘Gerðr of garments, ’
   = WOMAN

Gerðr of garments, → WOMAN
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Gerðr ‘Gerðr’

Gerðr (noun f.): Gerðr

kennings

Gerðr váða,
‘Gerðr of garments, ’
   = WOMAN

Gerðr of garments, → WOMAN

notes

[7] Gerðr: Although of giant kin, Gerðr was the wife of the god Freyr (SnE 2005, 30-1), and her name functions, here and elsewhere, like that of a goddess, as the base-word in woman-kennings (LP: Gerðr).

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verðak ‘to get’

1. verða (verb): become, be

notes

[8] varmr á þínum armi ‘warm in your arms’: Lit. ‘warm on your arm’. For two further stanzas constrasting masculine deeds with warm embraces, see Vígf Lv 1/7 and Note.

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varmr ‘warm’

varmr (adj.; °compar. -ari): warm

notes

[8] varmr á þínum armi ‘warm in your arms’: Lit. ‘warm on your arm’. For two further stanzas constrasting masculine deeds with warm embraces, see Vígf Lv 1/7 and Note.

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á ‘in’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[8] varmr á þínum armi ‘warm in your arms’: Lit. ‘warm on your arm’. For two further stanzas constrasting masculine deeds with warm embraces, see Vígf Lv 1/7 and Note.

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þínum ‘your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

notes

[8] varmr á þínum armi ‘warm in your arms’: Lit. ‘warm on your arm’. For two further stanzas constrasting masculine deeds with warm embraces, see Vígf Lv 1/7 and Note.

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armi ‘arms’

1. armr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): arm

notes

[8] varmr á þínum armi ‘warm in your arms’: Lit. ‘warm on your arm’. For two further stanzas constrasting masculine deeds with warm embraces, see Vígf Lv 1/7 and Note.

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The stanza is occasioned by Sigvaldi jarl’s anger at Stefnir Lv 1 (see Context). Stefnir, falling into a trap set by the jarl, accepts his daughter’s invitation to sit beside her and recites this stanza. The jarl has him killed.

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