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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 11II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 11’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 196-7.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda, Magnússdrápa
101112

Heyra skalt, hvé herskjǫld bôruð,
hilmis kundr, til Venða grundar
— heppinn drótt af hlunni sléttum
hélug bǫrð — í stefjaméli.
Aldri frák, en, vísi, valdið
Venða sorg, at dǫglingr spenði
— flaustum varð þá flóð of ristit —
fleiri skip til óðals þeira.

Kundr hilmis, skalt heyra í stefjaméli, hvé bôruð herskjǫld til grundar Venða; drótt, heppinn, hélug bǫrð af sléttum hlunni. Aldri frák, at dǫglingr spenði fleiri skip til óðals þeira, en, vísi, valdið sorg Venða; þá varð flóð of ristit flaustum.

Ruler’s kinsman, you shall hear in a refrain-section how you carried the war-shield to the land of the Wends; you dragged, fortunate, rime-spread prows from the smooth launcher. Never have I heard that a sovereign steered more ships against their patrimony, and, prince, you cause grief for the Wends; then the flood was carved by ships.

Mss: (509r-v), 39(15vb), F(39va-b), E(7r), J2ˣ(248v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] hvé: hvar F    [2] Venða: vinðlands 39, F    [3] heppinn: heitinn E, J2ˣ    [4] hélug: heilug E, J2ˣ;    bǫrð: borð 39, E, J2ˣ    [5] vísi: ‘vili’ E, J2ˣ    [7] varð: var all others

Editions: Skj AI, 335, Skj BI, 308-9, Skald I, 156-7, NN §815; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 43, ÍF 28, 39, Hkr 1991, 581 (Mgóð ch. 24), F 1871, 181, E 1916, 22; Whaley 1998, 164-6.

Context: Magnús leads a fleet against the rebellious Wends of Wollin (Jómsborg).

Notes: [4] bǫrð ‘prows’: The variant borð (so 39, E, J2ˣ) would make equally good sense in the context: ‘you dragged rime-spread bulwarks from the smooth launcher’. — [4] í stefjaméli ‘in a refrain-section’: On the part of the stefjamél in the structure of the drápa, see General Introduction in SkP I, and cf. Kreutzer 1977, 210. — [5] en ‘and’: Since ms. ‘enn’ is in a position of low stress it is taken here as the conj. en ‘but, and’ (so also Kock, who cites parallels in NN §815). To take it instead as the adv. enn ‘yet, still’, modifying aldri frák, hence ‘never yet have I heard’ (so Skj B), or vísi, valdið sorg Venða ‘prince, you still cause grief for the Wends’ produces an unacceptable w. o. — [5] valdið ‘you cause’: The use of the pres. tense verb alongside past tense forms might imply that Magnús was still undertaking or contemplating action against the Wends when Arnórr composed his Hryn, or else more generally that it is Magnús’s habit or natural role to make onslaughts on the Wends (cf. the same idea and wording in st. 13/1-2). — [6] Venða (m. gen. pl.) ‘for the Wends’: Magnús’s expedition against this pagan Slavic people was designed to curb their westward incursions on the coasts of north Germany and Denmark. On the Wends, see Damgaard-Sørensen 1991. The form of the name is difficult to establish. Early (non-Norse) evidence would point to an alternation of [e] and [i] as root vowel (see AEW: Vindr 2). Arnórr’s rhyme on spenði ‘steered’ (l. 6) suggests [e] here, but several other skaldic rhymes, such as that on ginðu ‘gaped, yawned’ in Hókr Eirfl 7/2I, suggest [i].

References

  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Kreutzer, Gert. 1977. Die Dichtungslehre der Skalden: Poetologische Terminologie und Autorenkommentare als Grundlage einer Gattungspoetik. 2nd edn. Hochschulschriften: Literaturwissenschaft 1. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain.
  7. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  13. Damgaard-Sørensen, Tinna. 1991. ‘Danes and Wends’. In Wood et al. 1991, 171-86.
  14. SkP I = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Ed. Diana Whaley. 2012.
  15. Internal references
  16. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 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. 482.
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