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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Óldr 16II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 380-1.

Steinn HerdísarsonÓláfsdrápa

text and translation

Óláfr gefr, svát jǫfra
alls engi má snjallra,
hǫggvit gull til hylli
hildinga konr mildi.
Grams es heiðum himni
— hanns fremstr konungmanna —
— spyr, hverr glíkt mun gerva —
gjǫflund borin* undir.

Óláfr, {mildi konr hildinga}, gefr hǫggvit gull til hylli, svát alls engi snjallra jǫfra má. Gjǫflund grams es borin* undir heiðum himni; hanns fremstr konungmanna; spyr, hverr mun gerva glíkt.
‘Óláfr, the generous kinsman of lords [KING], gives cut gold in exchange for loyalty, as absolutely none of [the other] undaunted princes can. The ruler’s munificent disposition is carried beneath the clear sky; he is the foremost of kings; [just] ask, who else might act in such a way.

notes and context

As sts 13-15 above.

[5-8]: In the present edn, gramr (m. nom. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 5) has been emended to grams (gen. sg.) as a determinant for gjǫflund (f. nom. sg.) ‘munificent disposition’ (l. 8), and borinn (m. nom. sg) ‘carried’ (l. 8) has been emended to borin (f. nom. sg.) to agree with gjǫflund (f. nom. sg.) (see NN §895). Skj B’s rendering of this helmingr is extremely convoluted syntactically and requires the emendation of hanns ‘he is’ to hann ‘he’ (l. 6): spyr þú hverr gramr mun gerva glíkt; hann es borinn fremstr konungmanna gjǫflund undir heiðum himni ‘ask, what ruler may act in such a way; he is born the foremost of kings beneath the clear sky with regard to munificent disposition’.



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: Steinn Herdísarson, 3. Óláfsdrápa 17: AI, 413, BI, 383, Skald I, 190, NN §§894-5, 1853D, 2041 anm. 2, 2983; Mork 1867, 130, Mork 1928-32, 296, Andersson and Gade 2000, 285, 483-4 (Ólkyrr); Fms 6, 448 (Ólkyrr ch. 7).


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