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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 15I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 15’ 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. 826.

Þormóðr KolbrúnarskáldLausavísur
141516

Hafa þóttumk ek, hættinn
happsœkjandi, ef tœkir,
hreins, við haldi mínu,
hvert land þegit, branda.
Ríkr, vilk með þér, rœkir
randar linns, ok Finni
— rǫnd berum út á andra
eybaugs — lifa ok deyja.

Ek þóttumk hafa þegit hvert land, {hættinn happsœkjandi {hreins branda}}, ef tœkir við haldi mínu. Vilk lifa ok deyja með þér ok Finni, {ríkr rœkir {linns randar}}; berum rǫnd út á {andra {eybaugs}}.

I would think that I had received every land, {venturesome, fortunate attacker {of the reindeer of stems}} [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR = Óláfr], if you would accept my support. I wish to live and die with you and Finnr, {mighty keeper {of the serpent of the shield}} [SWORD > WARRIOR = Óláfr]; let’s bear the shield out onto {the skis {of the island-ring}} [SEA > SHIPS].

Mss: NRA52(2v) (ÓHÆ); DG8(90v) (ÓHLeg); Hb(89r), 142ˣ(104), 566aˣ(28r), papp4ˣ(128v) (Fbr, ll. 5-8); Flat(105ra) (Flat); Tóm(141r) (ÓH); 761bˣ(482r marg)

Readings: [1] þóttumk: þœttisk Tóm;    hættinn: hættins Flat, 761bˣmarg, hættin Tóm    [2] happ‑ (‘hap’): hafs or ‘haps’ Flat, hyrs Tóm, happs 761bˣmarg    [5] rœkir: ræsir Hb    [6] randar: so DG8, Hb, 142ˣ, 566aˣ, randa NRA52, papp4ˣ, Flat, 761bˣmarg, rann‑ Tóm;    linns: so papp4ˣ, ‘linnz’ NRA52, 142ˣ, 566aˣ, 761bˣmarg, ‘linz’ DG8, ‘lindz’ Hb, Flat, ‑lings Tóm;    ok Finni: inn svinni Hb, Flat, Tóm, at sinni 142ˣ, 566aˣ, í vinni papp4ˣ, hinn svinni and at sinni 761bˣmarg    [7] rǫnd berum út: stǫndum ár Hb, stundum ár 142ˣ, papp4ˣ, rand stundum ár 761bˣmarg;    á andra: ǫndrum Hb    [8] eybaugs: ‘ebaugs’ DG8, ‘eybeygs’ Hb

Editions: Skj AI, 285, Skj BI, 263-4, Skald I, 135-6; ÓHÆ 1893, 6; ÓHLeg 1849, 45, 109, ÓHLeg 1922, 55, ÓHLeg 1982, 128-9; Hb 1892-6, 413, Fbr 1925-7, 208, ÍF 6, 265 (Fbr ch. 24), Loth 1960a, 155 (Fbr ch. 17), ÍS II, 841 (Fbr ch. 24); Flat 1860-8, II, 202, Fbr 1925-7, 226-7, ÓH 1941, II, 802, 804, ÍF 6, 286, ÍS III, 2279 (Þorm); Gaertner 1907, 310, 330-2, Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 67-9.

Context: In all texts but Fbr, after killing King Óláfr’s forecastle-man, Þormóðr jumps aboard the king’s ship and, once captured, is to be put to death. When the king’s staunch supporter Finnr Árnason discovers that it is Þormóðr who has been captured, he and Óláfr’s bishop Sigurðr successfully intercede with the king for Þormóðr’s life. The king then asks Þormóðr why he has thus put himself into his power, and Þormóðr replies with a stanza (Lv 15/5-8 + 20/1-4 in Fbr).

Notes: [All]: The present arrangement of Lv 15 is that of ÓHÆ, from the end of the C12th, followed in ÓHLeg. In Fbr, ll. 1-4 are missing and ll. 5-8 follow, and form a stanza with, Lv 20/1-4. In turn Lv 20/5-8 replaces Lv 19/5-8 in these same mss, which thus omit that helmingr. This alternative arrangement (adopted by Gaertner 1907, see Note to Lv 19 [All]) produces satisfactory logic. However, there are weighty reasons to think that it is incorrect, some of which are explained in the Notes to Lv 15/6 and Lv 20/5-8. In addition, Lv 19 makes better sense as presently composed, the prescription that ‘heroes should not waver’ in the first helmingr being tied to the sentiment in the second that men about to engage in battle should shun words of cowardice. Further, Fbr would have to be dated even earlier, or be known to contain an earlier tradition, than ÓHÆ if the alternative arrangement were to be credited, and it requires fewer ad hoc assumptions to suppose that the present arrangement is more original (see Introduction to Þorm ÞorgdrV on the dating of Fbr). — [All]: Line 1 is verbally close to Sigv Berv 7/5, and the helmingar in which they are set express similar sentiments; ll. 5-8 also resemble Berv 15/6, 8. — [1, 4] ek þóttumk hafa þegit hvert land ‘I would think that I had received every land’: I.e. ‘I would feel I had been given the whole world’. — [1] hættinn ‘venturesome’: Or ‘disposed to take risks’. Finnur Jónsson (1932-3, 68) points out that the word could instead modify ek, since Þormóðr has just put his life in danger. — [2] happ- ‘fortunate’: The noun happ n. ‘luck’ appears to be descriptive here, and not integral to the structure of the kenning. Gaertner (1907, 330-1) reads hafs ‘ocean’s’ (which is probably the reading of Flat, though ‘haps’ is also possible), and he perceives a kenning sœkjandi hreins hafs ‘seeker of the reindeer of the ocean [SHIP > SEAFARER]’. — [6] ok Finni ‘and Finnr’: This, the reading of two early sagas of Óláfr helgi, is advocated by Finnur Jónsson (1932-3, 68), in reference to Finnr Árnason (see the Context above). Earlier (Skj B) he had adopted the reading inn svinni ‘the wise’ of Hb, Flat and Tóm (so also Skald, ÍF 6, 265, 286 and ÍS, since these are not eds of the Óláfr sagas), but he observes that the original reading probably became incomprehensible when the second helmingr was removed from its proper context. It is indeed difficult to see why an innocuous and plausible reading like inn svinni, if it were original, would have been altered to the potentially bathetic ok Finni in ÓHÆ and ÓHLeg. This analysis of the variants is clearly superior to Gaertner’s (1907, 331-2). — [7] rǫnd berum út á andra ‘let’s bear the shield out onto the skis’: The same line is found earlier in Eskál Lv 2/7. For this line, ÍF 6, 265 and ÍS II, 841 read stǫndum ár á ǫndrum, which is very nearly the reading of Hb, except that á is missing. Taken together with eybaugs ‘of the island-ring’, this is interpreted to mean ‘Let’s stand early on the skis of the island-ring [SEA > SHIPS]’, i.e. either ‘Let’s be prepared to board the ships’ or ‘Let’s go aboard’.

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. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  5. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  6. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. ÍF 6 = Vestfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Björn K. Þórólfsson and Guðni Jónsson. 1943.
  8. Hb 1892-6 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1892-6. Hauksbók udgiven efter de Arnamagnæanske håndskrifter no. 371, 544 og 675, 4° samt forskellige papirshåndskrifter. Copenhagen: Det kongelige nordiske oldskrift-selskab.
  9. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  10. Gaertner, K. H. 1907. ‘Zur Fóstbrœðra saga. I. Teil: Die vísur’. BGDSL 32, 299-446.
  11. Loth, Agnete, ed. 1960a. Membrana regia deperdita. EA A 5. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  12. Fbr 1925-7 = Björn K. Þórólfsson, ed. 1925-7. Fóstbrœðra saga. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  13. Finnur Jónsson. 1932-3. ‘Þórmóðr Kolbrúnarskald’. APS 7, 31-82.
  14. ÓHÆ 1893 = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1893. Otte brudstykker af den ældste saga om Olav den Hellige. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfonds skrifter 25. Christiana (Oslo): Grøndahl.
  15. ÓHLeg 1849 = Keyser, R. and C. R. Unger. eds. 1849. Olafs saga hins helga: En kort saga om kong Olaf den Hellige fra anden halvdeel af det tolfte aarhundrede. Efter et gammelt pergaments-haandskrift i Universitets-bibliotheket i Upsala. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg & Landmark.
  16. ÍS = Bragi Halldórsson et al., eds. 1987. Íslendinga sögur og þættir. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Svart á hvítu.
  17. Internal references
  18. Not published: do not cite (FbrV)
  19. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  20. Not published: do not cite (ÞormI)
  21. Margaret Clunies Ross 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur’ 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. 330.
  22. Not published: do not cite (Þorm ÞorgdrV (Fbr))
  23. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur 15’ 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, p. 27.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur 7’ 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. 18-19.
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