Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Continue

skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Sǫrl 1VIII (Sǫrla 1)

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Sǫrla þáttr 1 (Anonymous Poems, Sǫrlastikki 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 788.

Anonymous PoemsSǫrlastikki1

forsnjalli ‘very brave one’

forsnjallr (adj.)

Close

fyst ‘first’

fyrstr (num. ordinal): first

notes

[2] fyst ‘first’: The prose introducing this stanza states (Flat 1860-8, I, 278): En Sorlli lifðe þeirra skemr ‘But Sǫrli was the shorter-lived of them’, i.e. of himself and Hǫgni. It is not certain, however, that the sup. adv. fy(r)st ‘first’ (as opposed to the comp. adv. fyrr ‘earlier’) necessarily refers here specifically to the first of two, as Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), van Hamel (1935-6, 280), and Barwell (1976, 84) seem to have thought; the meaning could simply be that Sǫrli, or whoever inn forsnjalli ‘the brave one’ may be, was the first of an unspecified number of combatants to fall.

Close

víglysti ‘battle-eager one’

víglystr (adj.)

Close

ýgr ‘fearsome’

2. ýgr (adj.): fierce

Close

í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[3] í austrvegi ‘in the east’: As Barwell (1976, 128) notes, austrvegr lit. ‘the east way’ refers to the lands of the eastern Baltic and especially the lands reached by the river routes that the vikings followed through Russia. The prose of Sǫrla gives no more specific location than this for Sǫrli’s death in battle.

Close

austrvegi ‘the east’

austrvegr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; acc. -a/-u): the East (e.g. the Baltic, Russia), the way east

notes

[3] í austrvegi ‘in the east’: As Barwell (1976, 128) notes, austrvegr lit. ‘the east way’ refers to the lands of the eastern Baltic and especially the lands reached by the river routes that the vikings followed through Russia. The prose of Sǫrla gives no more specific location than this for Sǫrli’s death in battle.

Close

allr ‘lifeless’

allr (adj.): all

notes

[4] allr ‘lifeless’: As Kock shows (NN §2596), allr ‘all’ here has the meaning of ‘departed, dead, lifeless’. He compares HaukrV Ísldr 9/5, 8IV, where the phrases varð allr … í fǫr þeiri ‘died on that expedition’ and fell á því þingi ‘fell in that battle’ are closely juxtaposed.

Close

á ‘onto’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[4] á Helpalla ‘onto Hel’s benches’: The first element of the hap. leg. cpd Helpallr m. ‘Hel’s bench’ is formed from Hel f., the name of the mythical realm of death and of the female divinity presiding over it. The realm is here thought of as a hall with its sides lined with a raised floor forming benches for new arrivals.

Close

Helpalla ‘Hel’s benches’

helpallr (noun m.)

notes

[4] á Helpalla ‘onto Hel’s benches’: The first element of the hap. leg. cpd Helpallr m. ‘Hel’s bench’ is formed from Hel f., the name of the mythical realm of death and of the female divinity presiding over it. The realm is here thought of as a hall with its sides lined with a raised floor forming benches for new arrivals.

Close

um ‘during’

1. um (prep.): about, around

notes

[5] um ‘during’: The ms. abbreviation ‘v̄’, construed here as um, has been understood by some eds (Skj, Skald, NN §2596) as a shortened form of varð ‘became, was’. Even Barwell (1976, 129), who reads um, assumes an implicit varð. All these eds take dáðkunnr ‘deed-renowned’ as substantival, and construe varð with dauðr ‘dead’ as varð dauðr ‘was dead, died’.

Close

dal ‘of the valley’

dalr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -i/-a): valley < dalreyðr (noun f.): [valley-char]

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza.

Close

dal ‘of the valley’

dalr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -i/-a): valley < dalreyðr (noun f.): [valley-char]

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza.

Close

reyðar ‘char’

reyðr (noun f.; °; -ar): whale, rorqual < dalreyðr (noun f.): [valley-char]

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza.

Close

reyðar ‘char’

reyðr (noun f.; °; -ar): whale, rorqual < dalreyðr (noun f.): [valley-char]

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza.

Close

dáðkunnr ‘deed-renowned’

dáðkunnr (adj.)

Close

miskunnir ‘the mercies’

miskunn (noun f.; °-ar; gen. -a): forgiveness, mercy, grace

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza. — [6] miskunnir ‘the mercies’: The ms. reads miskunnar, normalised here to miskunnir, and understood as the acc. pl. of miskunn ‘mercy’. Miskunn is a f. i-stem noun (see ANG §390), in which ‑ar is a variant of the normal nom./acc. pl. form ‑ir (though an archaic and rare one, see ANG §390.4 and the second Note to Arn Hryn 18/3II). The acc. pl. form is here governed by um ‘during’ in l. 5. Kock (cf. NN §§ 1591, 140) retains ms. miskunnar and takes it as a gen. sg. of time.

Close

miskunnir ‘the mercies’

miskunn (noun f.; °-ar; gen. -a): forgiveness, mercy, grace

kennings

miskunnir dalreyðar.
‘the mercies of the valley-char. ’
   = SUMMER

the valley-char. → SNAKE
the mercies of the SNAKE → SUMMER

notes

[5, 6] miskunnir dalreyðar ‘the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]’: This recalls the inverted kenning for summer, fiska dalmiskunn ‘the mercy of valley fishes [(lit. ‘valley-mercy of fishes’) SNAKES > SUMMER]’, in Egill Lv 8/4V(Eg 12), and the kennings for summer and winter in HǫrðG Lv 7/5-6, 8V (Harð 14). Summer is a time merciful (favourable) to snakes because they can be active in the warmth; winter is a time of sickness or sorrow for them because hibernation puts them out of action. It is possible that the present kenning and those in Harð are modelled on Egill’s kenning, see the Note to Egill Lv 8/4V (Eg 12). The cpd dalreyðr also occurs as a snake-kenning in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, another poem composed in Haðarlag, and it is possible that the poet of Anon Sǫrl 1 knew this work by Sturla Þórðarson (1214-84). The translation ‘char’ (a fish of the salmon species), rather than ‘whale’ for reyðr both here and in Sturl Hrafn 7/8II, is discussed in the Note to the latter stanza. — [6] miskunnir ‘the mercies’: The ms. reads miskunnar, normalised here to miskunnir, and understood as the acc. pl. of miskunn ‘mercy’. Miskunn is a f. i-stem noun (see ANG §390), in which ‑ar is a variant of the normal nom./acc. pl. form ‑ir (though an archaic and rare one, see ANG §390.4 and the second Note to Arn Hryn 18/3II). The acc. pl. form is here governed by um ‘during’ in l. 5. Kock (cf. NN §§ 1591, 140) retains ms. miskunnar and takes it as a gen. sg. of time.

Close

brand ‘the sword’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire < brandmót (noun n.)

kennings

brandmóti.
‘the sword-meeting. ’
   = BATTLE

the sword-meeting. → BATTLE
Close

móti ‘meeting’

1. mót (noun n.; °; -): meeting < brandmót (noun n.)

kennings

brandmóti.
‘the sword-meeting. ’
   = BATTLE

the sword-meeting. → BATTLE
Close

bryn ‘The corslet’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat < brynstingr (noun m.)

kennings

Brynstingr
‘The corslet-stabber ’
   = SWORD

The corslet-stabber → SWORD
Close

stingr ‘stabber’

stingr (noun m.; °; -ir): rod < brynstingr (noun m.)

kennings

Brynstingr
‘The corslet-stabber ’
   = SWORD

The corslet-stabber → SWORD
Close

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

See Introduction above.

The metre of this stanza has been identified as málaháttr by van Hamel (1935-6, 278), but is metrically mixed. Lines 1-5 and 7 are regular Haðarlag, a variant of málaháttr with hendingar; see General Introduction, Section 4, in SkP I, lxvii, and SnSt Ht 79III, second Note to [All]. Lines 6 and 8, however, in which internal rhyme falls in metrical position 2 rather than 1, do not conform to any known Old Norse metre, and may be an indication of late composition.

Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.