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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 8III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1222.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði
789

Bana þóttusk þeir bíða vel;
Brandingi svaf loks í hel;
Mardallar var glysligr grátr;
gleðr sá mann, er opt er kátr.
Ásmundr tamði Gnóð við gjálfr;
gulli mælti Þjazi sjálfr;
Niðjungr skóf af haugi horn;
hølzti eru nú minni forn.

Þeir þóttusk bíða bana vel; Brandingi svaf loks í hel; grátr Mardallar var glysligr; sá, er opt er kátr, gleðr mann. Ásmundr tamði Gnóð við gjálfr; Þjazi sjálfr mælti gulli; Niðjungr skóf horn af haugi; eru nú hølzti forn minni.

They determined to face death well; Brandingi at last slept to death; the weeping of Mardǫll <= Freyja> was glittering; the one who is often happy gladdens another. Ásmundr accustomed Gnóð <legendary ship> to the sea; Þjazi himself spoke in gold; Niðjungr scraped a horn from a burial mound; these are now exceedingly old stories.

Mss: R(54v)

Editions: Skj AII, 132, Skj BII, 140, Skald II, 74-5; Möbius 1874, 5, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.

Notes: [1] þeir ‘they’: This apparently refers to the fearless heroes of the preceding stanza. — [2] Brandingi: Giant-name (Þul Jǫtna I 6/2); otherwise unknown. — [2] svaf … í hel ‘slept to death’: The sense is that he slept until he died, he died from sleeping too much. Í hel ‘to death’ is used here in the meaning ModDan. ihjæl, ModNorw. ihjel (cf. Skj B Brandinge sov sig endelig ihjæl lit. ‘Brandingi finally slept himself to death’). — [3]: This line, like l. 6 below, alludes to a well-known kenning. Mardallar (nom. Mardǫll < marr-þǫll ‘sea-fir-tree’; see Þul Ásynja 3/6) is a name for Freyja; her grátr ‘weeping’ is ‘gold’: see Gylf (SnE 2005, 29) and Skm (SnE 1998, I, 43-4), which cites five examples of this kenning-type, mostly from ESk Øxfl. Cf. SnSt Ht 42/6-8 fagrregn hvarma Mardallar ‘the fair rain of the eyelids [TEARS] of Mardǫll <= Freyja> [GOLD]’. Freyja’s tears glitter in Mhkv because they are gold; grátr Mardallar [GOLD], a kenning elsewhere, is used descriptively in this stanza. The kenning type has limited distribution outside Skm (see Guðrún Nordal 2001, 330; Meissner 227). See also Anon Bjark 5/6. — [5] Ásmundr: A sea-king sometimes known as Gnóðar-Ásmundr, after his ship Gnóð; hero of the popular Egils saga einhenda ok Ásmundar berserkjabana (FSN III, 365-407). See also Anon GnóðÁsm, Þul Sækonunga 4/7 and Note to Þul Skipa 3/1. — [6] Þjazi: Giant who, with his brothers, divided their father Ǫlvaldi’s gold by taking mouthfuls in turn (SnE 1998, I, 3); hence the gold-kenning ‘giant’s speech’, alluded to in this line. Cf. þingskil Þjaza ‘Þjazi’s <giant’s> assembly declarations [GOLD]’ (Anon Bjark 6/3). See Meissner 227. This gold-kenning was current in C12th Orkney: glórǫdd Gauta hellis ‘the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave’ (Rv Lv 7/4-5II); kveðja þursa ‘the greeting of giants’ (RvHbreiðm Hl 71/6). — [7] Niðjungr: Lit. ‘kinsman, male descendant’. Unidentified figure; the noun designates one of Jarl’s sons in 41/3 (see Kommentar III, 640-2). — [7] skóf ‘scraped’: This is 3rd pers. sg. pret. of the verb skafa ‘shave, scrape’ (see st. 26/5) used figuratively (‘take, strip, steal’). See OED: shave for such slang meanings from at least the C14th on. The taking of a horn from a mound recalls the removal of a hart’s horn from a burial mound in Anon Sól 78/4-6VII. Amory (1985, 24 n. 42 and 1990a, 262 n. 43) argues that in Mhkv horn refers to the ‘corner’ of the mound. The story alluded to, like the name, remains obscure.

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. FSN = Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1829-30. Fornaldar sögur nordrlanda. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. Amory, Frederic. 1985. ‘Norse-Christian Syncretism and interpretatio christiana in Sólarljóð’. In [n. a.]. 1985. Workshop Papers of the Sixth International Saga Conference, 28.7-2.8 1985. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Det arnamagnæanske Institut, I, 1-25.
  7. Guðrún Nordal. 2001. Tools of Literacy: The Role of Skaldic Verse in Icelandic Textual Culture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  8. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  9. OED = Murray, J. A. H. et al., eds. 1884-1928. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon. 2nd edn 1989. Simpson, J. A. and E. S. C. Weiner, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  10. Kommentar = von See, Klaus et al. 1997-. Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. 6 vols (continuing). Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. Möbius, Theodor. 1874. ‘Malshatta-kvædi’. ZDP Ergänzungsband, 3-73, 615-16.
  14. Internal references
  15. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 502.
  16. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 503.
  17. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  18. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  19. Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gnóðar-Ásmundar drápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 626.
  20. Roberta Frank 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213.
  21. Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 78’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 352-3.
  22. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sækonunga heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 683.
  23. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti I 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 716.
  24. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Ásynja heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 768.
  25. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 865.
  26. Not published: do not cite ()
  27. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 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. 583-4.
  28. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 71’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1080.
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 42’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1151.
  30. Not published: do not cite ()
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