Oretti The Strong And Other Icelanders

The Saga of Gretti (on which see Prolegomena) is full of verses scattered up and down it; but of all these, two pieces only are, we believe, genuine; the first is quoted also in Edda, the second is found in Landnama-bok. The rest of the verse, much of which by such line-rhymes fc'var-ek' and 'beirra,' 'hraeddr* and 'bldeddi,' must be at once pronounced as of the late thirteenth century. But besides this group of late spurious verse, there is another lot of more poetic worth which, with Ami Magnusson, we have no hesitation in ascribing to Sturla. There is ^doubted proof that Sturla's edition of Landnama-bok was the sole ^rce of the verses known to the Saga editor, and one curious example ^ his procedure may be instanced. He found in his Landnama-bok text Jive lines beginning 4 Ridkat et* This would never do; all court-petre verse must be in four lines, so he cuts out line 4, and concludes his stanza with line 5 (thus Grettis Saga in AM. 556). But when we turn to the other text in Hawk's Landnama-bok, we find two whole e,ght-lined stanzas perfect, and see that line 5 is really the beginning of mounded in thine arms, and that thy breast was red-stained with my Wood, and that thou didst bind up my wounds

ft Ounnlaug. It ill beseems us to enter upon deadly strife for this one woman's sake. There are many other such noble damsels, south over Neither of us can tell, now that the swords are drawn, who will gain ue day; but though we wound one another let the young damsel hear of m7 ndour in the combat.

Thorkettlk, Helga's second husband, on Helga's death. I laid my dead lady in my arms. God took her life Yet it is worse for me to abide death, than for her to die.

3. knettinn, Cd. 4. Read, likn? hagdyrnis] AM. 557; hagdreyrint, Cd.


the second set of four lines and not the supernumeral end of the first, In another instance the two genuine lines ' Heldo Hlakkar, etc.' have been filled up by a spurious continuation by the same editor.

Gest Thorhallason. The lost part of Heidaviga Saga was, as John Olafsson testifies, studded with verses of Gest, the slayer of Styr, Snorri's father-in-law; the Cod. Worm. Appendix has preserved two morsels which may be genuine. One would have liked to have the Likewake story and the verses there, for § 5 of this Book.

Thormod Trefilsson is mentioned in Landnama. * His (TrefiPs) son was Thormod who made Raven's Speech (Hrafns-mal), on Snorri's Godi.' A few verses are preserved in Eyrbyggja, a bald, barbaric poem, though the later poets laid store by it, for we find that Lawman Sturla, 2 50 years later, borrows name and metre for his Song on King Hakon's Expedition into Scotland.

Skapti, the famous Lawyer and Speaker (1004-1031), is in Skalda-tal said to have composed poems on Earl Hakon and St. Olave, one in the heathen Era, one in the Christian; of neither is anything left But Edda has preserved two lines of a Praise on Christ (Christ-drapa) of his in court-metre. Interesting are those notions of Christ as the Builder of Rome, the Holy City.

1. TTfiLDO Hlakkar tialda he&ndr saman nefjom

Hildar-veggs ok hioggosk hregg-nirfiir til skeggjom,

2. Ri8kat-ek rc&ki-mei8om randar h6tz at m6ti, ska>put es J)essom pegni Jjraut, ferr-ek einn £ brauto: vilkat-ek Vifiriss balka vinnendr spaka finna; 1 ek man J)er eigi J)ikkja arr, leita-ek mer fcera.

3. Hnekki-ek frd f>ar-es flokkar fara f>6riss miaok st6rir; esa mer i J)ys Jjeira J)erfiligt at hverfa:

forftomk fraegra virfla fund, d-ek veg til Lundar; ver6-ek Heimdala at hirfia hia>r; biaorgom sva fiaorvi. i<


(From Cod. Worm. Appendix.)

(From Cod. Worm. Appendix.)

J)a-es or brunar beinom bag-lundz Goôa mdgi

J)a-es or brunar beinom bag-lundz Goôa mdgi

Gretti the Strong, on his enemies plotting. The fellows were putting thei) noses together and wagging their heads into each other's beards.

The odds are against him. I shall not ride to meet them, now that 1 am in such stress. I will go off alone, I will not meet them. I will b< no such fool as that. I seek for a place of safety. I keep out of the way when the big tlocks of Thori are passing. It is not safe for me tc turn into the throng of theirs. I seek to escape from meeting them my way leads to Lund. I mean to save my head. So I save my life.

Gest splits the bead of Styr, bis father's murderer. I saw Wiga-Styr fal wounded: it was needless to bind up the wound, the axe bit the head when I saw the red stream of blood gush over his eyes out of the temple!

unda scég Í augo all-rauöan sá-ek falla. 2. Gestr hefir Geitiss rastar galdrs miöiungi skialdar 5 (dunöi diupra benja daogg) raoskligast ha>ggit.

tORMÖDR TREFILSSON. Hrafns-mal on Snorri-gobi, comp. c. 1012.

(From Eyrbyggja S.)

1. T^ELLDI folks-valdi, fyrst ins goll-byrsta ± vellti val-galtar, Vígfiís {>ann héto: slito t»r siöan sára ben-skárar brsoö af baoö-niröi Biamar arf-nytja.

2. Fekk inn folk-rakki (framöisk ungr sign) 5 Snorri sár-orra sveröi gnógs veröar:

laust í lífs-ka>sto, Leifa má-reifar, unda ialms eldi, es hann Arnkel felldi.

3. Svaddi svan-greddir sára dyn-ba&ro a>rn á ulfs viröi Í Aptafiröi: 10

Jar \ét Snorri J)egna at hiaor-regni fiaorvi fimm numna. Svá skal fíándr hegna.

4. Meirr vá inn möö-barri menn at hiaor-senno t/nir tiaor-Rínar tvá fyr so sunnan:

laogo siau siöan (slfks ero iartegnir) 15

5. Ba>ft varö í Bitro, brs&ö hykk J>ar fengo goervi gnógs styrjar giööom sigr-fliööa: lsógo lifs vanir leiöendr haf-reiöar l>rir fyr J>rek-stceri. I»ar fekk Hrafn vaeri. ao


\/ÍÁTTR es munka Dróttins mestr; aflar G08 flesto; Kristr skóp ríkr, ok reisti Róms haíll, vera)ld alia.

Jf the father-in-law of the wily Priest [Snorri the Priest]. He has struck him a most daring blow... (The blood gushed from the deep wounds.)

Tbormod Trefihson. Snorri s Praise. First he felled the warrior whose flame was Wigfus, the son of Biorn. Snorri gave the raven a full quarry, and the sword struck home when he felled Arnkettle. The warrior fed the eagle on wolf's food at Alfta-firth. There Snorri took five men's lives. Then he overcame two men south of the River [Whitewater]. After which, seven lay life-reft at the Ness of Ogress-queller [Thorsness]. There was a fray at Bitter [Frith of]. Three were jeft dead there. Raven won his rest there [i. e. was one of the three].

Skapti the Lawyer, on Christ. The might of the Lord of monks [Christ] is the greatest. Christ the mighty reared the City of Rome, and made all the world.

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