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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 38VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 204-5.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

Bliktýnir vann beina
(bauglestanda) gestum
sunds (tóksk harmr af hǫndum
hôr), þeims komnir vôru.
Útbeiti frák Áta
undrask brœðr, þás fundu,
skíðs, á skrautvals beiði
skokks áhyggju þokka.

{{Sunds blik}týnir} vann beina gestum, þeims vôru komnir; hôr harmr tóksk af hǫndum {bauglestanda}. Frák brœðr undrask {útbeiti {skíðs Áta}}, þás fundu þokka áhyggju á {beiði {skrautvals skokks}}.

{The destroyer {of the shine of the channel}} [(lit. ‘shine-destroyer of the channel’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] gave hospitality to the guests who had arrived; deep sorrow lifted from {the ring-destroyer} [GENEROUS MAN]. I have heard that the brothers wondered at {the steerer {of the ski of Áti <sea-king>}} [SHIP > SEAFARER], when they sensed a disposition of anxiety in {the demander {of the adornment-horse of the deck-plank}} [SHIP > SEAFARER].

Mss: 673b(4r)

Readings: [3] tóksk: ‘tocs[...]’ 673b, ‘tocst’ 673bÞH, ‘tocsk’ 673bFJ, ‘iocsk’ 673bJH    [4] vôru: ‘u[...]r[...]’ 673b, ‘uaro’ 673bÞH, ‘uoro’ 673bFJ    [6] þás: ‘þ[...] er’ 673b, ‘þa er’ 673bÞH, 673bFJ    [8] skokks: ‘s[...]’ 673b, ‘scokk’ 673bÞH, 673bFJ

Editions: Skj AI, 614, Skj BI, 616, Skald I, 300, NN §1793; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 26, 54-5, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 239, Jón Helgason 1932-3, 157, Louis-Jensen 1998, 111.

Notes: [3] tóksk af ‘passed from, lifted’: Tóksk is very faint in the ms. and Jón Helgason (1932-3) read ‘iocsk’ (jóksk ‘increased’). The <f> is unfinished in af and Jón emends to at, producing a reading ‘deep sorrow increased for [Plácitus]’. In support of this reading, he cites the saga, which at this point states that Plácitus’s sorrow increases: ... og minntist hinnz fyrra lyfsinnz og matti ey uatnne hallda, af miklum hrigdleyk ‘[he] remembered his former life and could not stop himself from weeping from his great affliction’ (Tucker 1998, 81); also other uses of at hǫndum, at hendi in the poem in sts 37/6 and 44/7. However, although faint, the ms. is more likely to read ‘tocsk’ and ‘af’ than Jón’s suggestions. — [8] skokks ‘of the deck-plank’: The word skokkr appears to refer to part of a ship (LP). Jesch (2001a, 151-3) and Lindquist 1928, on the basis of its usage in Arn Þorfdr 21II and Bǫlv Hardr 4II, argue that it is synonymous with þilja ‘deck-plank (of a ship)’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1833. Brot af Placidus-drápu. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  3. Jón Helgason. 1932-3. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 7, 150-68.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1887. ‘Plácítúsdrápa’. In Opuscula Philologica: Mindre Afhandlinger, 210-64.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  9. Tucker, John, ed. 1998. Plácidus saga. EA B 31. Copenhagen: Reitzel.
  10. Lindquist, Ivar. 1928. ‘En fornisländsk sjöterm skokkr’. In Brøndum-Nielsen et al. 1928, 385-94.
  11. Louis-Jensen, Jonna, ed. 1998. ‘Plácitus drápa’. In Tucker 1998, 89-130.
  12. Internal references
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 21’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 254-5.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 289-90.

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