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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhelg Lv 3I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 520.

Óláfr inn helgi HaraldssonLausavísur
234

Segið þat Karla,        es komið þangat,
nýtum þegni        fyr norðan haf,
at fleira skal        í fǫrum vinna
an hylda hval        hvǫssum knífi.

Segið þat Karla, nýtum þegni, fyr norðan haf, es komið þangat, at skal vinna fleira í fǫrum an hylda hval hvǫssum knífi.

Say this [lit. that] to Karli, a handy lad, north across the sea, when you get there, that [he] must do more on his travels than butcher whale with a sharp knife.

Mss: DG8(91v) (ÓHLeg); 73aˣ(127r), 71ˣ(105v), 76aˣ(135r), Flat(187ra), Tóm(122v) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Segið þat (‘sægið þer þat’): segið þér 73aˣ, 71ˣ, segi þér 76aˣ, Flat, segi þat Tóm    [2] es komið (‘er þer komeð’): ef hann kemr 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ, er kemr Flat, er hann kemr Tóm;    þangat: hingat all others    [4] fyr: fyrna 71ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 221, Skj BI, 211, Skald I, 110; ÓHLeg 1922, 58, ÓHLeg 1982, 136-7; Fms 5, 178, Fms 12, 110, ÓH 1941, II, 687, 701, Flat 1860-8, III, 241.

Context: This stanza is included in a dialogue between Óláfr and one of his skalds (named as Óttarr svarti in ÓHLeg, as Sigvatr Þórðarson in the versions of ÓH). The skald tells of his dealings with one Karli, an up-country farmer (located in Iceland in the Sigvatr versions), saying that he has spent some hours with Karli’s wife in a cave overlooking Karli’s homestead. He recites a stanza about this incident (Ótt Lv 3). The king smiles and replies with the present stanza.

Notes: [All]: The verse insult directed at cowardly stay-at-homes in this stanza finds parallels, for instance, in Anon Liðs 3, and see Note to l. 7 below. — [2] þangat ‘there’: The ms. variant hingat ‘here, hither’ suggests some confusion as to the location of the speaker; cf. Note to l. 4. — [4] fyr norðan haf ‘north across the sea’: The location is uncertain, though some sources take it as Iceland (see Context). — [7] hylda hval ‘butcher whale’: The verb hylda is formed from hold ‘flesh’. References to the flensing, butchering and cooking of whales appear to have been a standard element in insulting verses (cf. Þorhv Lv 2V (Eir 2), Anon (Gr) 2V (Gr 6)).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  5. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  6. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  8. Internal references
  9. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  10. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  11. Matthew Townend 2017, ‘(Biography of) Óttarr svarti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 335.
  12. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  13. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Liðsmannaflokkr 3’ 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. 1019.
  14. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 788.
  15. Not published: do not cite (Þórhv Lv 2V (Eir 2))
  16. Not published: do not cite (Anon (Gr) 2V (Gr 6))
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