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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Gyð 1VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Gyðingsvísur 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 516-17.

Anonymous PoemsGyðingsvísur
12

Al ‘altogether’

al- ((prefix)): very < aldýrr (adj.): very precious

[1] Aldýran: ‘[...]ldy[...]an’ B, ‘[...]ldyran’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ

notes

[1] Aldýran ‘altogether precious’: The scribe of B has left a space for a capital A, which has not been inserted. God is also described as aldýrr in Gamlkan Has 17/8 and 29/6 and in Anon Leið 29/1. The epithet is sometimes used for secular kings, but only once in poetry from before C12th (LP: aldýrr).

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dýran ‘precious’

dýrr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -str/-astr): precious < aldýrr (adj.): very precious

[1] Aldýran: ‘[...]ldy[...]an’ B, ‘[...]ldyran’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ

notes

[1] Aldýran ‘altogether precious’: The scribe of B has left a space for a capital A, which has not been inserted. God is also described as aldýrr in Gamlkan Has 17/8 and 29/6 and in Anon Leið 29/1. The epithet is sometimes used for secular kings, but only once in poetry from before C12th (LP: aldýrr).

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en ‘and that’

4. en (conj.): than

Close

hyr ‘of the fire’

hyrr (noun m.): fire < hyrmeiðr (noun m.)

[3] hyrmeiðar: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘[...]yrmeidar’ B

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

hyr ‘of the fire’

hyrr (noun m.): fire < hyrmeiðr (noun m.)

[3] hyrmeiðar: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘[...]yrmeidar’ B

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

meiðar ‘the trees’

meiðr (noun m.): beam, tree < hyrmeiðr (noun m.)

[3] hyrmeiðar: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘[...]yrmeidar’ B

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

hlýði ‘may listen’

hljóða (verb): listen, sound

Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’s’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’s’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’s’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

stiettar ‘path’

stétt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

stiettar ‘path’

stétt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

stiettar ‘path’

stétt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path < haukstétt (noun f.)

[4] haukstiettar: ‘h[...]stettar’ B, ‘hagstettar’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘ha[...]stettar’ BFJ

kennings

haukstiettar hyrmeiðar
‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path’
   = MEN

the hawk’s path → ARM
the fire of the ARM → GOLD
the trees of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3, 4] haukstiettar hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees of the hawk’s path [ARM > GOLD > MEN]’: B is torn at this point, and only ‘h…stettar’ is certain. The 399a-bˣ copyist was able to read ‘hagstettar’ with certainty, although this is likely to be corrupt. Finnur Jónsson, followed by Kock, reconstructs to hafstéttar, which they take as gen. sg. of hafstétt, f., ‘sea-path’. Finnur construes this with hyrmeiðar ‘fire-trees’ to give the man-kenning hyrmeiðar hafstéttar ‘the trees of the fire of the path of the sea [SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. As a sea-kenning, however, hafstétt is tautologous and, indeed, no parallel or similar expressions are listed in LP. This edn follows Rydberg in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (note to 444ˣ) that hagstéttar be treated as an error for haugstéttar, which normalises to haukstiettar, gen. sing. of f. haukstiett ‘hawk-path’, a kenning for the arm or hand. Although haukstiett is not itself attested elsewhere, there are several arm-kennings on the ‘land, path, way of the hawk’ model (see LP, 231-2; Meissner, 139).

Close

sliettan ‘to the smooth’

sléttr (adj.): level, smooth

Close

ítrum ‘noble’

ítr (adj.): glorious

kennings

ítrum ulfsfæðendum
‘noble wolf-feeders ’
   = WARRIORS

noble wolf-feeders → WARRIORS
Close

ulfs ‘wolf’

1. ulfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): wolf < ulfsfœðandi (noun m.)

[6] ulfsfæðendum: ‘vlfsfedundum’ all

kennings

ítrum ulfsfæðendum
‘noble wolf-feeders ’
   = WARRIORS

noble wolf-feeders → WARRIORS

notes

[6] ulfsfæðendum (dat. pl.) ‘wolf-feeders [WARRIORS]’: A similar warrior-kenning occurs in Anon Pl 43/8 fœðir ulfs: ‘feeder of the wolf’, referring to Plácitus.

Close

fæðendum ‘feeders’

fœðandi (noun m.): feeder < ulfsfœðandi (noun m.)

[6] ulfsfæðendum: ‘vlfsfedundum’ all

kennings

ítrum ulfsfæðendum
‘noble wolf-feeders ’
   = WARRIORS

noble wolf-feeders → WARRIORS

notes

[6] ulfsfæðendum (dat. pl.) ‘wolf-feeders [WARRIORS]’: A similar warrior-kenning occurs in Anon Pl 43/8 fœðir ulfs: ‘feeder of the wolf’, referring to Plácitus.

Close

ræðu ‘tale’

1. rœða (noun f.; °-u; -ur): story, tale, speech

[6] ræðu: ‘reda’ all

notes

[6] ræðu ‘tale’: B’s ‘reda’ must be emended to provide an object for vilk segja in the acc. case.

Close

vífs ‘woman’

víf (noun n.): woman, wife

[7] vífs ins sta: ‘vifs[...]ta’ B, ‘vífs[...]he᷎sta’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘vigs[...]h[...]ta’ BRydberg

notes

[7] vífs inssta ‘of the highest woman’: B is badly worn and a crack obscures the lower portion of the shaft of <f>. The shaft, however, has an angular upstroke and the bowed section appears to be made in one stroke, as is characteristic of the <f>-form used in B. Comparison with <g>-forms elsewhere confirms that the left side of this letter is not characteristically as straight as is the fragmentary shaft here. The edn therefore follows 399a-bˣ’s and BFJ’s vífs, sharing Finnur Jónsson’s assumption that some reference to the Virgin Mary (not unlikely in a poem relating to the conversion of a Jew) is intended. Skj B’s reconstruction of besta (l. 7), while making for an acceptable appellation for Mary ‘the best woman’, is not necessary here, as an earlier transcription (399a-bˣ) make it clear that hæsta was the original reading. Rydberg reads vífs as vegs, which he takes to be the first element in vegsemd ‘glory, honour’. He thus construes vilk víst ... segja ágæta rœða [sic] ok hæsta vegsemd ‘I will certainly ... tell a noble tale and the highest honour’. It seems likely that Rydberg’s reconstruction here is influenced by recollection of Has 30/3.

Close

ins ‘that of the’

2. inn (art.): the

[7] vífs ins sta: ‘vifs[...]ta’ B, ‘vífs[...]he᷎sta’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘vigs[...]h[...]ta’ BRydberg

notes

[7] vífs inssta ‘of the highest woman’: B is badly worn and a crack obscures the lower portion of the shaft of <f>. The shaft, however, has an angular upstroke and the bowed section appears to be made in one stroke, as is characteristic of the <f>-form used in B. Comparison with <g>-forms elsewhere confirms that the left side of this letter is not characteristically as straight as is the fragmentary shaft here. The edn therefore follows 399a-bˣ’s and BFJ’s vífs, sharing Finnur Jónsson’s assumption that some reference to the Virgin Mary (not unlikely in a poem relating to the conversion of a Jew) is intended. Skj B’s reconstruction of besta (l. 7), while making for an acceptable appellation for Mary ‘the best woman’, is not necessary here, as an earlier transcription (399a-bˣ) make it clear that hæsta was the original reading. Rydberg reads vífs as vegs, which he takes to be the first element in vegsemd ‘glory, honour’. He thus construes vilk víst ... segja ágæta rœða [sic] ok hæsta vegsemd ‘I will certainly ... tell a noble tale and the highest honour’. It seems likely that Rydberg’s reconstruction here is influenced by recollection of Has 30/3.

Close

sta ‘highest’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high

[7] vífs ins sta: ‘vifs[...]ta’ B, ‘vífs[...]he᷎sta’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘vigs[...]h[...]ta’ BRydberg

notes

[7] vífs inssta ‘of the highest woman’: B is badly worn and a crack obscures the lower portion of the shaft of <f>. The shaft, however, has an angular upstroke and the bowed section appears to be made in one stroke, as is characteristic of the <f>-form used in B. Comparison with <g>-forms elsewhere confirms that the left side of this letter is not characteristically as straight as is the fragmentary shaft here. The edn therefore follows 399a-bˣ’s and BFJ’s vífs, sharing Finnur Jónsson’s assumption that some reference to the Virgin Mary (not unlikely in a poem relating to the conversion of a Jew) is intended. Skj B’s reconstruction of besta (l. 7), while making for an acceptable appellation for Mary ‘the best woman’, is not necessary here, as an earlier transcription (399a-bˣ) make it clear that hæsta was the original reading. Rydberg reads vífs as vegs, which he takes to be the first element in vegsemd ‘glory, honour’. He thus construes vilk víst ... segja ágæta rœða [sic] ok hæsta vegsemd ‘I will certainly ... tell a noble tale and the highest honour’. It seems likely that Rydberg’s reconstruction here is influenced by recollection of Has 30/3.

Close

það ‘that’

þat (conj.): that

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segja ‘to tell’

segja (verb): say, tell

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