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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 10 [Vol. 7, 15-16]

[1-4]: There is a discrepancy between the two ms. versions of the first helmingr. Bb reads: Oss samir enn at þessu –, | orðgnóttar biðk dróttin | aldar – Óláfs gilda | ítrgeðs lofi kveðja. This may be translated: ‘It is fitting for us [me] further to summon [people] to this praise of the able, high-minded Óláfr; I ask the Lord of men [= God] for word-wealth’. There are no metrical or grammatical flaws in the Bb version, but the syntax is awkward: both the weak adj. gilda and the strong adj. ítrgeðs must be construed with Óláfs. In the Flat version, ǫld can be construed with gilda, providing a link with the second helmingr that is schematic as well as thematic: ll. 1 and 5 have the same triple-rhyme scheme (ǫld : Ól- : gild-; ald : vál : vild-). Line 2 is a complete parenthetic phrase, preferable to Bb’s biðk aldar dróttin orðgnóttar. Flat probably represents the original text: at some point in the transmission of the Bb version ll. 1 and 3 were transposed, and then later emended by a scribe attempting to make sense of the helmingr.


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