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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035
 

4.4. The metrical development of skaldic metres

 
4.4.1. Metres that developed from fornyrðislag without changes in syllable count (KEG)
4.4.2. Metres that developed from fornyrðislag with changes in syllable count (KEG)
4.4.3. Málaháttr and haðarlag (KEG)

(Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 > 2. General Introduction > 4. The metres of skaldic poetry > 4.4. The metrical development of skaldic metres > 4.4.2. Metres that developed from fornyrðislag with changes in syllable count)

4.4.2. Metres that developed from fornyrðislag with changes in syllable count (KEG)

The innovations consist of changes in syllable count (subtraction and addition) and, in some cases, the addition of internal rhyme: kviðuháttr (catalectic trisyllabic; no internal rhyme); dróttkvætt (six syllables with an added cadence and internal rhyme), hrynhent (eight syllables; two syllables added to the dróttkvætt line before the cadence; internal rhyme).

Type A:
Fornyrðislag:

   

   

   
Gísl Magnkv 7/1II

Sættisk síðan

‘Reconciled himself then’

Gísl Magnkv 12/1II

Margan hǫfðu

‘Many had’

Gísl Magnkv 2/5II

Fylgðu ræsi

‘Accompanied the ruler’

Kviðuháttr:

  

  

  
Sturl Hákkv 9/11II

randa rjóðr

‘the shield-rim’s reddener’

Sturl Hákkv 1/3II

Tryggva niðs

‘Tryggvi’s kinsman’s’

Sturl Hákkv 11/1II

Lagði rǫsk

‘Put the valiant’

Dróttkvætt:

     

     

     
ESk Lv 1/5II

Eigis Ívarr, bauga

‘Not has Ívarr, of shields’

VGl Lv 4/1V

Eigi sofnak, Ofnir

‘Not do I fall asleep, Ofnir’

ESk Ingdr 4/1II

Myndit seima sendir

‘Would not the gold’s giver’

Hrynhent:

       

       

       

       

Ólhv Hryn 1/1II

Mærir glǫddusk miklu ári

‘Illustrious were gladdened by the great prosperity’

Arn Hryn 4/7II

geystisk hlýr, en hristi bára

‘surged on the bow, and shook the billow’

Ólhv Hryn 2/7II

errinn bjó með herskip harri

‘the bold filled with warships lord’

Ólhv Hryn 6/5II

Stórr vas harmr, þars stríddu harrar

‘Great was the sorrow when the lords fought’

Type B:

Fornyrðislag:

   

   

Ív Sig 11/7II

áðr Saxa sjǫt

‘before the Saxons’ dwellings’

Ív Sig 42/3II

sás manna vas

‘who of men was’

Dróttkvætt:

     

Steinn Óldr 7/3II

þars heilagr gramr hvílir ‘where the holy ruler rests’

This type is not attested in kviðuháttr and hrynhent and it is rare in dróttkvætt.

Type C:

Fornyrðislag:

   

   

Gísl Magnkv 15/5II

Braut dýrr dreki

‘Broke the precious dragon’

Ív Sig 2/5II

unz siklingar

‘until the chieftains’

Kviðuháttr:

  

Sturl Hákkv 2/1II

En lofðungs

‘And the lord’s’

Dróttkvætt:

     

Steinn Nizv 5/5II

hvárt hugfylldir halda

‘whether the courage-filled protect’

This type is not attested in hrynhent.

Type D:

Fornyrðislag:

   

   

Gísl Magnkv 2/7II

linns láðgefendr

‘the snake’s land-dispensers’

Gísl Magnkv 6/7II

láðgǫfguðum

‘the land-endowed’

Kviðuháttr:

  

  

Anon Nkt 70/7II

verðr vinsæll

‘becomes the popular’

Þjóð Yt 2/3I

salvǫrðuðr

‘hall-guard’

Dróttkvætt:

     

Sigv Berv 10/7II

tármútaris teitir

‘tear-hawk’s gladdener’

Hrynhent:

       

       

Gamlkan Jóndr 1/3VII

ráðeflandi, risnu prúðan ‘counsel-provider, in munificence splendid’

Ólhv Hryn 3/1II

Þing stofnuðu jǫfrar ungir ‘An assembly called young lords’

This type is rare in odd hrynhent lines until the fourteenth century.

Type D4:

Fornyrðislag:

   

   

Ív Sig 40/5II

Raufsk ræsis lið

‘Scattered the ruler’s troop’

Gísl Magnkv 3/7II

óþrotligt lið

‘indefatigable crew’

Dróttkvætt:

     

Steinn Óldr 2/1II

Ungr vísi, lézt Úsu

‘Young ruler, you let the Ouse’

Hrynhent:

       

       

Ólhv Hryn 2/1II

Orð sendi þá jǫfri Þrœnda

‘A message sent then to the prince of the Þrœndir’

Ólhv Hryn 3/5II

Alt lagði þá frǫmuðr frægða

‘The entire put then the promoter of glorious deeds’

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