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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 26I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 26’ 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. 1056.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Borit hefk hróðr enn hjǫrva
(hóf sœmði vel lófa
elda) þeys fyr ôsu
(ôr mest* at hlut flestum).
Áðr mun, óss an glóða
elris þrek, at virkum,
greppr megi ǫllum yppa
ǫrnfljótr, at brag þrjóta.

Hefk enn borit hróðr fyr {ôsu {þeys hjǫrva}}; mest* hóf sœmði vel {ôr {elda lófa}} at flestum hlut. Áðr mun þrjóta at brag at virkum, an ǫrnfljótr greppr megi yppa ǫllum þrek {elris {glóða óss}}.
‘I have, further, borne praise before gods of the breeze of swords [BATTLE > WARRIORS]; the greatest restraint suited well the envoy of fires of the palm [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] in most respects. The poem for the dear one [Óláfr] will come to an end before the eagle-swift poet will be able to extol all the valour of the alder of the embers of the estuary [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN].

notes and context

[1-4]: As it stands in the ms. this stanza appears to be corrupt, and the first helmingr cannot be construed without emending (see Notes below). There appear to be two tvíkent kennings, the first with ôsu ‘gods’ (l. 3) as base-word, referring to the audience, and the second with ôr ‘envoy’ (l. 4, emended from ítr) as base-word, referring either to the skald or to Óláfr himself. The determinants of the two kennings could be reversed, but this would result in a tripartite l. 3. — [5-8]: The helmingr is problematic and has been emended by all previous eds (see Nj 1875-8, II, 63-7 for a survey of the early scholarship). The construal tentatively proposed in the Text above avoids emendation.



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: [Anonyme digte og vers XII], [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 26: AI, 578, BI, 574, Skald I, 278, NN §§1223, 1224, 2991A; Munch and Unger 1847, 123, 142, Gullberg 1875, 19, 40-1.


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