Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Pl 54VII

[6] eir goð…: Kock (NN §2139) dismissed Finnur Jónsson’s conjecture, Eir goð mjaðar (Skj B), on the grounds that it creates ‘fyrtaktighet’ (a term not explained in NN, but which seems to mean ‘four beats to a line’). His own suggestion, Eir guðvefjar ‘the Eir <goddess> of velvet [WOMAN]’, however, has the defect of leaving spanði without an object. Unless the couplet is irreparably corrupt, the illegible passage must have contained the sentence object, in which case ‘fyrtaktighet’ can hardly be avoided. Louis-Jensen suggests the following, but with strong reservations on account of the metrics: either Eir goðvefs hug ‘the Eir <goddess> of velvet [won their] minds’, or, since the mother is not designated as chief comforter in the prose texts: eir goðlig hug ‘the divine grace of God [won their] minds’ (cf. 28.4, where eir = ‘the grace of God’), and the close parallel in Gamlkan Has 36: spǫnð lætr ǫll til ynðis ... sín bǫrn ‘guides all his children to bliss’, where the sentence subject is God. Kari Ellen Gade, in reviewing the present edn, suggested eir guðs hugi ‘the grace of God [won their] minds [over to happiness]’, which, while metrically correct, still involves a great deal of conjecture.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Internal references
  5. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 36’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 104-5.


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