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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 24. Þorleifr jarlsskáld Rauðfeldarson, 1. Poem about Hákon, 2 [Vol. 1, 371]

[1] hǫfðum í þér, Hôkun ‘we had ... in you, Hákon’: Hǫfðum is normalised here from ‘hǫfðv(m) ver’ in the mss, but the line is metrically defective in both its diplomatic and normalised forms. It both lacks hending and, more seriously, does not scan unless the stress is borne by the prep. í ‘in’, precisely the word which attracted the interest of the grammarians (see Context). Kock in NN §2443 suggested Hǫfðum vér þá, Hôkon ‘We had then, Hákon’, adapting the W(103) reading Hǫfðum vér þá er (in NN §3396K he instead proposes the reading presented in the Text above). The unemended W(103) reading þá er improves the metre by providing a stressed vér ‘we’, but it makes no sense, and eliminates the solecismus and therefore the point of the citation in TGT. Finnur Jónsson (TGT 1927, 51 n. 7) questions whether í þér is truly a solecism, insisting that it is ‘completely normal’ (fuldkommen normal).

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