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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ásm Lv 1VIII (Frið 10)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 10 (Ásmundr, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 206.

ÁsmundrLausavísa1

Þá var svarf um siglu,
er sær of mér gnúði;
ek varð einn með átta
innanborðs at vinna.
Dælla er til dyngju
dagverð konum færa
en Elliða ausa
á úrigri báru.

Þá var svarf um siglu, er sær gnúði of mér; ek varð einn at vinna með átta innanborðs. Dælla er færa konum dagverð til dyngju en ausa Elliða á úrigri báru.

Then there was tumult around the mast, when the sea roared over me; I had to work alone [as if] with eight on board. It is more pleasant to bring women breakfast in their quarters than to bale out Elliði on a spray-drenched wave.

Mss: 510(93r), 568ˣ(100v), 27ˣ(135r), papp17ˣ(359r), 109a IIˣ(147r), 1006ˣ(584), 173ˣ(85r-87r) (Frið)

Readings: [1] Þá: Hér papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ;    var: varð papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ;    svarf: snæfrt papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ;    um siglu: so all others, við siglu 510    [2] sær: sjór papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ;    of mér: um mik 568ˣ, á skip papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ;    gnúði: glumði 568ˣ, ‘hnúði’ papp17ˣ, 1006ˣ, knúði 109a IIˣ, hrundi 173ˣ    [3] með: við papp17ˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ, om. 109a IIˣ;    átta: átján 568ˣ    [5] Dælla: sælla 568ˣ;    er: var papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ    [6] dagverð: so all others, ‘daugur uerd’ 510;    færa: so 568ˣ, 27ˣ, papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 173ˣ, at færa 510, færra 1006ˣ    [7] en Elliða ausa: so 568ˣ, papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 1006ˣ, 173ˣ, en sjó Elliða at ausa 510, en sæ Elliða ausa 27ˣ    [8] úrigri: örðugri 568ˣ, papp17ˣ, 109a IIˣ, 173ˣ, ‘arigre’ 27ˣ, ‘o᷎ruggri’ 1006ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 271, Skj BII, 294, Skald II, 155; Falk 1890, 74, Frið 1893, 14, 45, 71, Frið 1901, 21-2, Frið 1914, 13-14.

Context: Friðþjófr’s second foster-brother Ásmundr comments on Bjǫrn’s stanza and, having been encouraged to recite a verse himself, speaks this one.

Notes: [All]: This stanza follows a common skaldic pattern of contrasting the tough life of a man at sea with the soft life indoors spent with women. There is a good deal of variation in the readings of the various mss, but the gist of the stanza is clear in all. The metre is an irregular variant of dróttkvætt with rhymes in ll. 4 and 8. — [1] svarf ‘tumult’: The basic sense of this word is ‘file dust’, but, by extension, it seems to refer here to the tumult caused by sea-spray beating against the ship’s mast; cf. Bjarni Frag 2/4III and Note there. The B recension mss have snæfrt, n. sg. of the adj. snæfr ‘narrow, tight, tough’. — [2] gnúði ‘roared’: Ms. 568ˣ has glumði ‘dashed noisily, splashed’, while 109a IIˣ has knúði ‘drove onwards’ and papp17ˣ and 1006ˣ have ‘hnúði’, possibly a scribal variant for knúði. Ms. 173ˣ has hrundi ‘pushed, thrust’, the reading adopted in Frið 1901. — [3]: The line is reminiscent of Egill Lv 42/1V (Eg 122) and Ásm 8/1, 7. The B recension mss have við átta rather than með átta. Both versions seem to be drawing on an idiom that is also found in Ket 2/5-6, also in the context of baling out a ship on one’s own: ok í allan dag | einn jós ek við þrjá ‘and the whole day long alone I baled [as if] in competition with three’. The sense in each case is that the one man claims to do the work of several others on his own. Larsson (Frið 1901, 22 n.) translates Ich musste für acht an bord arbeiten ‘I had to work for eight on board’. The B reading is adopted by Frið 1901, Skj B and Skald. — [3] átta ‘eight’: Ms. 568ˣ has átján ‘eighteen’, probably reflecting the statement in the prose text (B version and 568ˣ) that Friðþjófr and his men were a party of eighteen (Frið 1901, 13; Frið 1893, 69), although most A text mss put the number at thirteen (Frið 1914, 11). — [6] dagverð ‘breakfast’: The name of the first of two meals of the day in early Scandinavia (dag ‘day’ + verðr ‘food, meal’), taken about nine in the morning after the initial farm-work had been done (cf. Foote and Wilson 1980, 167). — [7] en ausa Elliða ‘than to bale out Elliði’: Skj B and Skald adopt at ausa from 510. — [8] á úrigri báru ‘on a spray-drenched wave’: Frið 1901, Skj B and Skald all prefer the B redaction reading á örðugri báru ‘on a towering wave’ here with loss of internal rhyme, which is also found in the A ms. 568ˣ. This line also occurs in the B mss in Frið 7/8.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Foote, Peter G. and D. M. Wilson. 1980. The Viking Achievement. 2nd edn. Great Civilizations Series. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
  5. Frið 1893 = Larsson, Ludvig, ed. 1893b. Sagan ock rimorna om Friðþiófr hinn frækni. SUGNL 22. Copenhagen: Malmström.
  6. Frið 1901 = Larsson, Ludvig, ed. 1901. Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna. ASB 9. Halle: Niemeyer.
  7. Frið 1914 = Wenz, Gustaf, ed. 1914. Die Friðþjófssaga in ihrer Überlieferung untersucht und der ältesten Fassung kritisch herausgegeben. Halle: Niemeyer.
  8. Falk, Hjalmar. 1890. ‘Om Friðþjófs saga’. ANF 6, 60-102.
  9. Internal references
  10. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Bjarni ...ason, Fragments 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 22.
  11. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 42V (Eg 122))
  12. Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Ásmundar saga kappabana 8 (Ásmundr kappabana, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 22.
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 7 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 7)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 202.
  14. Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Ketils saga hœngs 2 (Ketill hœngr, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 552.
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