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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur, 1 [Vol. 2, 324-5]

[5] í ári ‘early’: Kock (NN §3222) translates í ári as med det första ‘in a hurry’. However, ár (n.) means ‘early, in the beginning’ (it could also mean ‘year’), and given such phrases as at morgins ári, um morguninn í ár ‘early in the morning’ (see Fritzner: ár), Kock’s interpretation is tenuous. According to Konungs skuggsjá (Holm-Olsen 1983, 57) not hurrying to meet the king in the morning constituted a breach of courtly decorum: Þvi skalltþu oc vænia þec at þu vitia arla um morna konongs hærbærgis aðr en hann se upp staðenn oc vær þu þo þvæginn oc vaskaðr oc buinn allri a(t)giervi oc bið hans ínannd hærbærgi þar til er hann vil hafa upp staðet ‘You must also accustom yourself to visiting the king’s lodging early in the morning before he has got out of bed, and then you must be clean and washed and readied with all your gear. And wait for him close to his lodging until he has got out of bed’.


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