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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Eirm 7I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Eiríksmál 7’ 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. 1011.

Anonymous PoemsEiríksmál
678

Hví ‘Why’

hví (adv.): why

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óvíst ‘it cannot be known’

óvíss (adj.): unknowable

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vita ‘for certain’

1. vita (verb): know

[3] vita *: vita sagði Óðinn all

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* ‘’

(non-lexical)

[3] vita *: vita sagði Óðinn all

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nær ‘when’

nær (adv.): near, almost; when

[4] nær: sér FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ

notes

[4] nær ‘when’: Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 8-10, followed by Skald, Lindquist 1929, 10 and Jón Helgason 1968) seems to have hit on the same reading as 761bˣ, without having consulted it, on the basis of comparison with Fáfn 24/1 (NK 184) and Hávm 1/5 and 38/5 (NK 16, 23), where the formula óvíst es at vita ‘it cannot be known for certain’ is also to be found, and where it is always followed by an interrog. adv. (nær ‘when’ in Hávm 38/5).

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ulfr ‘wolf’

1. ulfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): wolf

notes

[4] inn hǫsvi ulfr ‘the grey wolf’: Fenrisúlfr, the monstrous wolf Fenrir who will break free at Ragnarǫk (‘the doom of the gods’), swallowing the sun (cf. Vafþr 46, 47) and (if the identification is correct) fighting Óðinn and his son Víðarr (Vsp 53-6; cf. SnE 2005, 49-50).

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inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

notes

[4] inn hǫsvi ulfr ‘the grey wolf’: Fenrisúlfr, the monstrous wolf Fenrir who will break free at Ragnarǫk (‘the doom of the gods’), swallowing the sun (cf. Vafþr 46, 47) and (if the identification is correct) fighting Óðinn and his son Víðarr (Vsp 53-6; cf. SnE 2005, 49-50).

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hǫsvi ‘grey’

hǫss (adj.): grey

notes

[4] inn hǫsvi ulfr ‘the grey wolf’: Fenrisúlfr, the monstrous wolf Fenrir who will break free at Ragnarǫk (‘the doom of the gods’), swallowing the sun (cf. Vafþr 46, 47) and (if the identification is correct) fighting Óðinn and his son Víðarr (Vsp 53-6; cf. SnE 2005, 49-50).

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sœkir ‘will attack’

sœkja (verb): seek, attack

[5] sœkir á: á all

notes

[5] sœkir á ‘will attack’: The defective sense and alliteration indicate that a word is missing, and the following have been proposed: (a) greypr ‘fierce’ (Holthausen 1896, 88, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B, reading sér ‘looks’ in the preceding line; also Tveiten 1966, 24); (b) sœkir (Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 10 (though for unpersuasive reasons); Lindquist 1929, 10; Skald); (c) gengr ‘will go’ (CPB I, 261, followed by Jón Helgason 1968). Either of these last two readings is suitable. However the lacuna is to be filled, Óðinn’s meaning is that Ragnarǫk may be at hand at any moment, and Eiríkr’s help will be needed against Fenrisúlfr (cf. previous Note, and Note to st. 1/5 einherjar).

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á ‘’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[5] sœkir á: á all

notes

[5] sœkir á ‘will attack’: The defective sense and alliteration indicate that a word is missing, and the following have been proposed: (a) greypr ‘fierce’ (Holthausen 1896, 88, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B, reading sér ‘looks’ in the preceding line; also Tveiten 1966, 24); (b) sœkir (Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 10 (though for unpersuasive reasons); Lindquist 1929, 10; Skald); (c) gengr ‘will go’ (CPB I, 261, followed by Jón Helgason 1968). Either of these last two readings is suitable. However the lacuna is to be filled, Óðinn’s meaning is that Ragnarǫk may be at hand at any moment, and Eiríkr’s help will be needed against Fenrisúlfr (cf. previous Note, and Note to st. 1/5 einherjar).

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sjǫt ‘the home’

sjǫt (noun n.): dwelling

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goða ‘of the gods’

goð (noun n.): (pagan) god

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

As for st. 1 (Fsk).

The stanza comprises a málaháttr couplet and three lines of ljóðaháttr. — [1]: The speaker is presumably Sigmundr, though there is no overt indication of this in the mss. — [3]: Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 7, and similarly Skald and Lindquist 1929, 10) supplies after l. 2, Vas þó verðr gagns frá goðum ‘Yet he was worthy of victory from the gods’ (cf. Eyv Hák 12/3). This is unnecessary, however: see Note to st. 6/3. — [3] því es óvíst at vita * ‘because it cannot be known for certain’: Lit. ‘because it is uncertain to know’. Óðinn is identified as the speaker in the mss, though the identification, being extrametrical, is omitted here. See Introduction to the poem.

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