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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 1VII/1 — Hár ‘High’

Hár stillir, lúk heilli
hreggtjalda, mér, aldar,
upp, þús allar skaptir,
óðborgar hlið góðu,
mjúk svát mættik auka
môl gnýlundum stála
miska bót af mætu
mín fulltingi þínu.

Hár stillir hreggtjalda, þús skaptir allar aldar, lúk mér upp hlið óðborgar góðu heilli, svát mættik auka mjúk môl mín, bót miska, stála gnýlundum af mætu fulltingi þínu.

High ruler of the storm-tents [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], you who created all humans, open up for me the gate of the fortress of poetry [BREAST > MOUTH] with good grace, so that I might augment my soft words, the remedy for misdeeds, for trees of the din of swords [(lit. ‘din-trees of swords’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] with your excellent help.

readings

[1] Hár: ‘[...]rr’ B, ‘[...]arr’ 399a‑bˣ

notes

[1] hár ‘high’: The beginning of this word is lost in a hole in B. The scribe’s usual practice was to leave a space for a larger initial to mark the beginning of the poem, and the indentation of ll. 42 and 43 by some 11mm suggests that this was also the case here. 399a-bˣ is certain of the second letter. — [1-2] hár stillir hreggtjalda ‘high ruler of the storm-tents [SKY/HEAVEN > = GOD]’: The first in a series of kennings for God whose determinants contain circumlocutions for heaven involving hregg ‘storm, rain’, often with the adj. hár ‘high, exalted’. Cf., e.g., 5/5-6, 45/1-4 and 57/6-7. These kennings may be influenced by similar constructions in other Christian drápur, most notably Geisl, the text of which in Flat has jǫfurr hreggsalar ‘king of the storm-hall’ at 64/5-6, and Leið, which has three God-kennings with hreggrann ‘storm-house’ as the determinant (2/1-3, 17/1-2 and 25/5-6), the first two of which also contain hár. The relative complexity of the variations on the patterns in Has might indicate that the poem is somewhat later than, and influenced by, Leið (see Skard 1953, 101, 108 and the discussion of Skard’s analysis in Attwood 1996b, 236-7). That hregg- compounds were a particular favourite of Gamli’s is perhaps suggested by the appearance of jǫfurr hreggskríns ‘lord of the storm-shrine’ (so also in Anon Mgr 49/6) in his Jóndr 2/4.

kennings

grammar

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