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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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TorfE Lv 3I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 134.

Torf-Einarr RǫgnvaldssonLausavísur
234

Ǫ ‘’

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Ey ‘forever’

4. ey (adv.): always

[1] Ey: so R702ˣ, ‘Ǫ’ 332ˣ, 761bˣ, æ FskAˣ, 301ˣ

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munk ‘I will be’

munu (verb): will, must

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síz ‘now that’

síz (conj.): since

[1] síz: því at with síz in margin FskAˣ, því at 301ˣ

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geirar ‘spears’

geirr (noun m.): spear

notes

[1, 4] geirar ... bitu ungan son þengils ‘spears ... pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]’: These words conflict with the prose accounts in Orkn and Hkr (see Context to Lv 2, and cf. ÍF 26, 132) which have Hálfdan escaping from battle and being put to death by the type of Viking atrocity known as the blóðǫrn ‘blood-eagle’ (cf. von See 1960, 36-7; on the blood-eagle see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1 [All]). The omission of the present stanza from Hkr may be an attempt to avoid this conflict (von See 1960, 36-8; ÍF 34); see further Note to Lv 5/7-8.

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gótts ‘it is good’

góðr (adj.): good

[2] gótts (‘gott er’): so R702ˣ, FskAˣ, 301ˣ, gótt 332ˣ, 761bˣ

notes

[2] gótts manni vinna þrek ‘it is good for a man to do a heroic deed’: This type of gnomic utterance, reminiscent of Beowulf, e.g. ll. 186-8, is not especially prevalent in skaldic poetry and may go to support the theory of a connection between these lausavísur and the eddic Hamðismál (e.g. Hamð 8/5-8; see Olsen 1936a).

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vinna ‘to do’

2. vinna (verb): perform, work

notes

[2] gótts manni vinna þrek ‘it is good for a man to do a heroic deed’: This type of gnomic utterance, reminiscent of Beowulf, e.g. ll. 186-8, is not especially prevalent in skaldic poetry and may go to support the theory of a connection between these lausavísur and the eddic Hamðismál (e.g. Hamð 8/5-8; see Olsen 1936a).

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þrek ‘a heroic deed’

þrek (noun n.): courage, strength

notes

[2] gótts manni vinna þrek ‘it is good for a man to do a heroic deed’: This type of gnomic utterance, reminiscent of Beowulf, e.g. ll. 186-8, is not especially prevalent in skaldic poetry and may go to support the theory of a connection between these lausavísur and the eddic Hamðismál (e.g. Hamð 8/5-8; see Olsen 1936a).

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manni ‘for a man’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

notes

[2] gótts manni vinna þrek ‘it is good for a man to do a heroic deed’: This type of gnomic utterance, reminiscent of Beowulf, e.g. ll. 186-8, is not especially prevalent in skaldic poetry and may go to support the theory of a connection between these lausavísur and the eddic Hamðismál (e.g. Hamð 8/5-8; see Olsen 1936a).

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bǫðfíkinna ‘of battle-keen’

bǫðfíkinn (adj.): [battle-keen]

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bitu ‘pierced’

bíta (verb; °bítr; beit, bitu; bitinn): bite

notes

[1, 4] geirar ... bitu ungan son þengils ‘spears ... pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]’: These words conflict with the prose accounts in Orkn and Hkr (see Context to Lv 2, and cf. ÍF 26, 132) which have Hálfdan escaping from battle and being put to death by the type of Viking atrocity known as the blóðǫrn ‘blood-eagle’ (cf. von See 1960, 36-7; on the blood-eagle see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1 [All]). The omission of the present stanza from Hkr may be an attempt to avoid this conflict (von See 1960, 36-8; ÍF 34); see further Note to Lv 5/7-8.

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þengils ‘of the king’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

kennings

ungan son þengils;
‘the young son of the king; ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the king; → Hálfdan

notes

[1, 4] geirar ... bitu ungan son þengils ‘spears ... pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]’: These words conflict with the prose accounts in Orkn and Hkr (see Context to Lv 2, and cf. ÍF 26, 132) which have Hálfdan escaping from battle and being put to death by the type of Viking atrocity known as the blóðǫrn ‘blood-eagle’ (cf. von See 1960, 36-7; on the blood-eagle see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1 [All]). The omission of the present stanza from Hkr may be an attempt to avoid this conflict (von See 1960, 36-8; ÍF 34); see further Note to Lv 5/7-8.

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son ‘son’

sonr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. syni; synir, acc. sonu, syni): son

kennings

ungan son þengils;
‘the young son of the king; ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the king; → Hálfdan

notes

[1, 4] geirar ... bitu ungan son þengils ‘spears ... pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]’: These words conflict with the prose accounts in Orkn and Hkr (see Context to Lv 2, and cf. ÍF 26, 132) which have Hálfdan escaping from battle and being put to death by the type of Viking atrocity known as the blóðǫrn ‘blood-eagle’ (cf. von See 1960, 36-7; on the blood-eagle see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1 [All]). The omission of the present stanza from Hkr may be an attempt to avoid this conflict (von See 1960, 36-8; ÍF 34); see further Note to Lv 5/7-8.

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ungan ‘the young’

ungr (adj.): young

kennings

ungan son þengils;
‘the young son of the king; ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the king; → Hálfdan

notes

[1, 4] geirar ... bitu ungan son þengils ‘spears ... pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]’: These words conflict with the prose accounts in Orkn and Hkr (see Context to Lv 2, and cf. ÍF 26, 132) which have Hálfdan escaping from battle and being put to death by the type of Viking atrocity known as the blóðǫrn ‘blood-eagle’ (cf. von See 1960, 36-7; on the blood-eagle see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1 [All]). The omission of the present stanza from Hkr may be an attempt to avoid this conflict (von See 1960, 36-8; ÍF 34); see further Note to Lv 5/7-8.

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Þeygi ‘do I conceal’

þeygi (adv.): not at all

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nema ‘Not at all’

2. nema (conj.): unless

notes

[5] nema ‘the fact that’: See Fritzner: nema conj. 6 for similar constructions also involving dylja(sk) ‘conceal, deny, dissemble’.

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þykki ‘it seems like’

2. þykkja (verb): seem, think

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

[6] þar: þær 301ˣ

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grár ‘the grey’

grár (adj.; °gráan/grán): grey

[6] grár: ár with grár in margin FskAˣ, ár 301ˣ

kennings

grár nagr hræva
‘the grey bird of corpses ’
   = EAGLE

the grey bird of corpses → EAGLE

notes

[6] grár : sôrum: An instance of aðalhending: cf. Lv 5/2 seggr : skeggi and the Introduction.

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af ‘over’

af (prep.): from

notes

[6] af sôrum ‘from the wounded’: Dat. pl. sôrum is here taken as a substantival use of the adj. sárr rather than part of the noun sár n. ‘wound’. Editors have commonly emended af to at, on the grounds that birds of carrion are more often spoken of as flying to corpses than from them (CPB II, 372; Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98; Skj B; Skald; ÍF 29). — [6] grár : sôrum: An instance of aðalhending: cf. Lv 5/2 seggr : skeggi and the Introduction.

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af ‘over’

af (prep.): from

notes

[6] af sôrum ‘from the wounded’: Dat. pl. sôrum is here taken as a substantival use of the adj. sárr rather than part of the noun sár n. ‘wound’. Editors have commonly emended af to at, on the grounds that birds of carrion are more often spoken of as flying to corpses than from them (CPB II, 372; Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98; Skj B; Skald; ÍF 29). — [6] grár : sôrum: An instance of aðalhending: cf. Lv 5/2 seggr : skeggi and the Introduction.

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sôrum ‘the wounded’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound

notes

[6] af sôrum ‘from the wounded’: Dat. pl. sôrum is here taken as a substantival use of the adj. sárr rather than part of the noun sár n. ‘wound’. Editors have commonly emended af to at, on the grounds that birds of carrion are more often spoken of as flying to corpses than from them (CPB II, 372; Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98; Skj B; Skald; ÍF 29). — [6] grár : sôrum: An instance of aðalhending: cf. Lv 5/2 seggr : skeggi and the Introduction.

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sôrum ‘the wounded’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound

notes

[6] af sôrum ‘from the wounded’: Dat. pl. sôrum is here taken as a substantival use of the adj. sárr rather than part of the noun sár n. ‘wound’. Editors have commonly emended af to at, on the grounds that birds of carrion are more often spoken of as flying to corpses than from them (CPB II, 372; Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98; Skj B; Skald; ÍF 29). — [6] grár : sôrum: An instance of aðalhending: cf. Lv 5/2 seggr : skeggi and the Introduction.

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hræva ‘of corpses’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion

kennings

grár nagr hræva
‘the grey bird of corpses ’
   = EAGLE

the grey bird of corpses → EAGLE
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nagr ‘bird’

nagr (noun m.): bird

[7] nagr: naður R702ˣ, valr with nagr in margin FskAˣ, valr 301ˣ

kennings

grár nagr hræva
‘the grey bird of corpses ’
   = EAGLE

the grey bird of corpses → EAGLE

notes

[7] nagr ‘bird’: It is not clear what type of bird this word refers to. AEW: nagr suggests a bird of prey and compares (g)naga ‘gnaw’.

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of ‘from’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

notes

[7] of holma ‘over the islands’: Kock (NN §2214), like this edn, takes the phrase with the parenthetic clause, describing the bird’s flight. Finnur Jónsson (1884, 99; Skj B) instead takes it with ll. 5, 8, describing the warrior’s deeds.

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holma ‘the islands’

holmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): island, islet

[7] holma: holða R702ˣ

notes

[7] of holma ‘over the islands’: Kock (NN §2214), like this edn, takes the phrase with the parenthetic clause, describing the bird’s flight. Finnur Jónsson (1884, 99; Skj B) instead takes it with ll. 5, 8, describing the warrior’s deeds.

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holunda ‘’

holunda (adj.)

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holunda ‘’

holunda (adj.)

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hól ‘vaunting’

holund (noun f.): wound

[8] hól undvala: ‘holunda vals’ with ‘holund vala’ in margin FskAˣ, ‘holunda vals’ 301ˣ

notes

[5, 8] hól þykki gœli undvala ‘it seems like vaunting to the comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS > WARRIOR = Haraldr]’: (a) Despite the word division in the mss, hol- and undvala cannot be understood as a cpd of holund ‘flesh-wound’ and vala (from valr ‘falcon’) because the two syllables of holund- would resolve, leaving the line hypometric. Further, holund ‘flesh-wound, gash’ is otherwise unattested in skaldic poetry. The first syllable must therefore be construed as hól ‘vaunt, boast’ (cf. the attestations and senses listed by Fritzner, LP: hól, especially Þmáhl Máv 1V (Eb 3)). The ‘vaunting’ here can be understood contextually as referring back to the substance of the first helmingr, especially l. 2, which is a gloat or triumph on Einarr’s part. The word hól ‘hillock’ (acc. sg. of hóll or hváll) is a conceivable alternative but is not elsewhere attested in skaldic poetry and scarcely fits the context. Þykki is interpreted here in its standard sense ‘seem, be thought’, with gœli undvala (dat. sg.) ‘comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR]’ as its dat. object, referring to King Haraldr. (b) Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34; cf. ÍF 29; Mundal 1993, 256) interprets holund as ‘flesh-wound’ and þykki as an impersonal verb meaning ‘anger, cause resentment’, with gœli holundvala (dat. sg.) ‘comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS > WARRIOR]’ as its object. But the sense ‘cause resentment’ is normally attested only for the m. v. þykkjask (Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98), and cf. the metrical objections to holund- above, which also apply to the following. (c) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 98-9; cf. Skj B; Orkn 1913-16; Skald; von See 1960, 34) offers a drastic double emendation of l. 8, holunda val sem gœlak ‘as I comfort the falcon of gashes [RAVEN/EAGLE]’.

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und ‘of wound’

1. und (noun f.; °; -ir): wound < holund (noun f.): wound

[8] hól undvala: ‘holunda vals’ with ‘holund vala’ in margin FskAˣ, ‘holunda vals’ 301ˣ

kennings

gœli undvala;
‘to the comforter of wound-falcons; ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

wound-falcons; → RAVENS/EAGLES
to the comforter of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR = Haraldr
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und ‘of wound’

1. und (noun f.; °; -ir): wound < holund (noun f.): wound

[8] hól undvala: ‘holunda vals’ with ‘holund vala’ in margin FskAˣ, ‘holunda vals’ 301ˣ

kennings

gœli undvala;
‘to the comforter of wound-falcons; ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

wound-falcons; → RAVENS/EAGLES
to the comforter of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR = Haraldr
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gelis ‘’

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gelis ‘’

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vala ‘falcons’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon < holund (noun f.): wound

[8] hól undvala: ‘holunda vals’ with ‘holund vala’ in margin FskAˣ, ‘holunda vals’ 301ˣ

kennings

gœli undvala;
‘to the comforter of wound-falcons; ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

wound-falcons; → RAVENS/EAGLES
to the comforter of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR = Haraldr
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vala ‘falcons’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon < holund (noun f.): wound

[8] hól undvala: ‘holunda vals’ with ‘holund vala’ in margin FskAˣ, ‘holunda vals’ 301ˣ

kennings

gœli undvala;
‘to the comforter of wound-falcons; ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

wound-falcons; → RAVENS/EAGLES
to the comforter of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR = Haraldr
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gœli ‘to the comforter’

gœlir (noun m.): gladdener

[8] gœli: ‘gelis’ 332ˣ, 761bˣ, ‘gelis’ in margin FskAˣ

kennings

gœli undvala;
‘to the comforter of wound-falcons; ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

wound-falcons; → RAVENS/EAGLES
to the comforter of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR = Haraldr

notes

[5, 8] hól þykki gœli undvala ‘it seems like vaunting to the comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS > WARRIOR = Haraldr]’: (a) Despite the word division in the mss, hol- and undvala cannot be understood as a cpd of holund ‘flesh-wound’ and vala (from valr ‘falcon’) because the two syllables of holund- would resolve, leaving the line hypometric. Further, holund ‘flesh-wound, gash’ is otherwise unattested in skaldic poetry. The first syllable must therefore be construed as hól ‘vaunt, boast’ (cf. the attestations and senses listed by Fritzner, LP: hól, especially Þmáhl Máv 1V (Eb 3)). The ‘vaunting’ here can be understood contextually as referring back to the substance of the first helmingr, especially l. 2, which is a gloat or triumph on Einarr’s part. The word hól ‘hillock’ (acc. sg. of hóll or hváll) is a conceivable alternative but is not elsewhere attested in skaldic poetry and scarcely fits the context. Þykki is interpreted here in its standard sense ‘seem, be thought’, with gœli undvala (dat. sg.) ‘comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR]’ as its dat. object, referring to King Haraldr. (b) Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34; cf. ÍF 29; Mundal 1993, 256) interprets holund as ‘flesh-wound’ and þykki as an impersonal verb meaning ‘anger, cause resentment’, with gœli holundvala (dat. sg.) ‘comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS > WARRIOR]’ as its object. But the sense ‘cause resentment’ is normally attested only for the m. v. þykkjask (Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98), and cf. the metrical objections to holund- above, which also apply to the following. (c) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 98-9; cf. Skj B; Orkn 1913-16; Skald; von See 1960, 34) offers a drastic double emendation of l. 8, holunda val sem gœlak ‘as I comfort the falcon of gashes [RAVEN/EAGLE]’.

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Orkn places this immediately after Lv 2 following its account of Hálfdan’s death. Fsk includes it without assigning a narrative context (cf. Context to Lv 1 and 4).

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