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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorkell Gíslason (ÞGísl)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Emily Lethbridge;

Búadrápa (Búdr) - 12

Skj info: Þórkell Gíslason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 553-5, BI, 536-8).

Skj poems:
Búadrápa

Þorkell (ÞGísl) is named as the poet of Búadrápa in ÓT (1958-2000, 180), but beyond that nothing is known about him and his name does not appear in Skáldatal.

Búadrápa — ÞGísl BúdrI

Emily Lethbridge and Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa’ 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. 941.

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Skj: Þórkell Gíslason: Búadrápa (AI, 553-5, BI, 536-8)

SkP info: I, 951

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — ÞGísl Búdr 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 11’ 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. 951.

Sté fyrir húf hesti
hrófs inn þrekmesti
gœðir gunnskára;
gladdisk naðr sára.
Niðr kom bens bára;
Búi nam sér hvára
— ferð hykk friðar misstu —
frœkn í hǫnd kistu.

{Inn þrekmesti gœðir {gunnskára}} sté fyrir húf {hesti hrófs}; {naðr sára} gladdisk. {Bára bens} kom niðr; frœkn Búi nam kistu í hvára hǫnd sér; hykk ferð misstu friðar.

{The most powerful endower {of battle-gulls}} [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR] leapt from the hull {of the horse of the boat-shed} [SHIP]; {the snake of wounds} [SWORD] was gladdened. {The wave of the wound} [BLOOD] poured down; the valiant Búi took a chest in each of his hands; I think men missed out on peace.

Mss: 61(20rb), 53(16vb), 54(16vb), Bb(27ra) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Sté: so 53, 54, Bb, steig 61;    húf: hof 53    [3] gœðir: ‘giedir’ 54    [5] Niðr: viðr 54;    bens bára: byrs bára 61, bensára 53, 54, Bb    [7] hykk: ‘hysk’ 54, Bb    [8] hǫnd: hǫnd sér 53, 54, Bb

Editions: Skj: Þórkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 11: AI, 555, BI, 538, Skald I, 261; Fms 1, 178, Fms 12, 44-5, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 194-5 (ch. 90); Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 30, 82. 

Context: Eiríkr jarl’s men board Búi Vésetason’s ship; Þorsteinn miðlangr gives Búi a serious head-wound and is then cut in two by Búi. Búi takes up two chests full of gold and calls to his men to abandon ship; he leaps overboard with the treasure chests.

Notes: [4] naðr sára ‘the snake of wounds [SWORD]’: (a) This is attested in each of the extant mss and is retained here. As subject of gladdisk ‘was gladdened’, the sword is slightly personified, which is unusual, but is matched in st. 6/3 (see Note). (b) Fms retained naðr sára, glossing it as hræfuglinn ‘the carrion bird’. (c) In SHI 1, 206, Skj B and Skald, naðr is emended to nagr ‘bird’, resulting in a kenning for a bird of battle, which would be more natural in the context (and see TorfE Lv 3/7 and Note for a parallel involving nagr). CVC: nagr also regards naðr as a misspelling for nagr and suggests that the bird is a magpie. — [5] bára bens ‘the wave of the wound [BLOOD]’: Though not strictly an emendation, the reading bens bára is a conjectural combination of elements from byrs bára (61) and bensára or ben sára (53, 54, Bb). Neither ms. reading makes sense, and ‑sára appears to be a case of dittography (cf. l. 4 sára ‘of wounds’), while bens bára, adopted in previous eds (Fms 12, Skj B, Skald, Ólafur Halldórsson 2000) gives good sense. Ben ‘wound’ is more commonly a f. noun whose gen. form is benjar, but here it is n. with gen. sg. form in -s (cf. ANG §382); this may also have contributed to the presumed corruption. Bens is a suitable determinant for the blood-kenning required by the context (cf. Meissner 206-7), while the 61 reading byrs ‘of the favouring wind’ is not, unless byrr is assumed, exceptionally, to be a heiti for ‘battle’. — [6] sér ‘his’: Dat. sg. of the refl. 3rd pers. pron. This is taken here as a poss. with l. 8 hǫnd ‘hand’. Skj B instead reads (in prose order) nam sér kistu í hvára hǫnd ‘he seized for himself a chest in each hand’. An additional sér follows hǫnd in 53, 54, Bb, but it adds a syllable that is surplus to the metre’s requirements and is omitted in 61.

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