skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 27I/1 — heimr ‘Earth’

Fyrr mun heimr ok himnar,
hugreifum Ôleifi,
— hann vas mennskra manna
mest gótt — í tvau bresta,
áðr an glíkr at góðu
gœðingr muni fœðask;
kœns hafi Kristr inn hreini
konungs ǫnd ofar lǫndum.

Heimr ok himnar mun fyrr bresta í tvau, áðr an gœðingr glíkr hugreifum Ôleifi at góðu muni fœðask; hann vas mest gótt mennskra manna; hafi Kristr inn hreini ǫnd kœns konungs ofar lǫndum.

Earth and heavens will sooner split in two before a chieftain equal to glad-hearted Óláfr in goodness might be born; he was the greatest good among human beings; may the pure Christ keep the soul of the wise king high above the lands.

notes

[1, 4] heimr ok himnar mun fyrr bresta í tvau ‘earth and heavens will sooner split in two’: Further examples of adynaton or impossibilia appear both in skaldic poetry (e.g. Eyv Hák 20, 21; ÞKolb Eirdr 8/7-8; KormǪ Lv 18V, 33V, 42V (Korm 19, 52, 61);  Arn Þorfdr 24II; SnSt Ht 102III) and in eddic poetry (Vsp 57), as well as on the C11th memorial runestone at Skarpåker (SRdb Sö 154): Iarð skal rifna ok upphiminn ‘the earth and sky shall be riven’; see Heusler (1923, 181), Einar Ól. Sveinsson (1966-9, 43-51), Lönnroth (1981, 319-21), and Fidjestøl (1982, 190-3) for discussion. Arn Þorfdr 24II is clearly influenced by Hallfreðr.

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