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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Har 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr 3’ 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. 152-4.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr

text and translation

Rétt kann rœði slíta
ræsis herr ór verri;
ekkja stendr ok undrask
ára burð sem furðu.
Ært mun, snót, áðr sortuð
sæfǫng í tvau ganga
(þǫll leggr við frið fullan)
ferkleyf (á þat leyfi).

Herr ræsis kann slíta rœði rétt ór verri; ekkja stendr ok undrask burð ára sem furðu. Ært mun, snót, áðr sortuð, ferkleyf sæfǫng ganga í tvau; þǫll leggr leyfi á þat við fullan frið.
‘The prince’s troop know how to whip the oars expertly up from the stroke; the woman stands and wonders at the handling of the oars, as a marvel. There’ll be rowing [enough], lady, before the tarred sea-gear [oars], splittable in four, break in two; the fir-tree <woman> gives her approval to this in complete peace.

notes and context

In Hkr, the st. follows st. 2 with no link, while has a brief link and H-Hr a comment on rowing equivalent to that preceding st. 2 in Hkr. In FGT the author has just introduced goþrøþe and góþ rǿþe ‘good oars’ (the former being dat. sg. of the pers. n. Goðrøðr) as a minimal pair containing long and short vowels respectively. He then cites ll. 1-2 with: Þat erv goðar árar sem skalld qvað ‘that is good oars, as the skald said’ (FGT 1972a, 222).

The st. praises both the construction of the warship and the expertise of its crew, and the ambiguity of some of the vocabulary (rétt in l. 1, verri in l. 2, and burð ára in l. 4) leaves it uncertain quite what the balance between the two is. — [5-8]: There are numerous subtle difficulties and ambiguities in this helmingr, and although the solution adopted here seems the best to the present ed. it is by no means certain.



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: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 4. Lausavísur 20: AI, 381, BI, 351, Skald I, 176, NN §§153, 1908, 2989C; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 156-7, IV, 225, ÍF 28, 142-3, Hkr 1991, 651 (HSig ch. 60), F 1871, 226, E 1916, 72; 1952, 25; Fms 6, 309 (HSig ch. 76), Fms 12, 154; FGT 1972a, 222-3, FGT 1972b, 18-19.


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