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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 43. Þrándr í Gǫtu, Kredda, 1 [Vol. 1, 802]

[All]: The stanza contains only seven lines, and the first line fails to match the basic málaháttr pattern of alliteration seen elsewhere in the stanza, from which at least three possible deductions could be made: (a) Line 1, with its alliteration on einn and út, should be followed by a line continuing the vocalic alliteration on the first stressed syllable. Kock (Skald and NN §2463D) suggested annarr né þriði ‘a second nor a third’, as part of a theory that the numerical sequence runs right through the stanza. (b) If gangat opened the second line, a preceding line could have alliterated on g-. Gefnir eru englar góðir ‘good angels are granted’ was mentioned by Rafn in Fær 1832 on the basis of existing Faroese versions of the kredda (and cited from there in Foote 1969a, 356-7). This would be unmetrical, but gefnir eru góðir englar would be satisfactory. (c) However, the sense is complete, the stanza is written out without a break in Flat, and given the symbolic resonances of the number seven, it could be that there is no line missing (cf. Foote 1969a, 359-60).


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