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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálfsflokkr — BjHall KálfflI

Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson

Alison Finlay 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr’ 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. 877.

 

Vast, þars vígs bað kosta
vápndjarfr Haralds arfi,
— kynnisk kapp þitt mǫnnum —
Kalfr, við Bókn austr sjalfa.
Gôtuð Gríðar sóta
gólig fǫng til jóla;
kenndr vast fyrstr at fundi
flettugrjóts ok spjóta.
 
‘Kálfr, you were east off Bokn itself, where the weapon-bold heir of Haraldr [= Óláfr] commanded battle to be waged; your bravery becomes known to men. You provided the steed of Gríðr <giantess> [WOLF] with splendid provisions for Christmas; you were seen to be first at the meeting of split stone and of spears [BATTLE].
Ǫld fekk illt ór deildum;
Erlingr vas þar finginn;
óðu blǫkk í blóði
borð fyr Útstein norðan.
Ljós es raun, at ræsir
ráðinn varð frá láði;
lǫgðusk lǫnd und Egða;
lið þeira frák meira.
 
‘Men came off badly from the exchanges; Erlingr was captured there; black planks advanced through blood north of Utstein. The outcome is clear, that the ruler was deprived of his country; lands became subject to the Egðir; I heard that their host was larger.
Austr réð allvaldr rísta
ótála haf stáli;
varð at vitja Garða
vígmóðr Haralds bróðir.
Enn of íðnir manna
emkak tamr at samna
skrǫkvi; at skilnað ykkarn
skjótt lézt Knút of sóttan.
 
‘The mighty ruler undoubtedly set about carving the ocean eastwards with the prow; the battle-weary brother of Haraldr [= Óláfr] had to make his way to Russia. But I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions; after your parting you quickly went to seek out Knútr.
Áttu Engla dróttni,
ógnrakkr, gjafar þakka,
jarls niðr; komtu yðru
ótála vel máli.
Þér lét fold, áðr fœrir
— frest urðu þess — vestan,
— líf þitt esa lítit —
Lundúna gramr fundna.
 
‘You have the lord of the English [= Knútr] to thank for gifts, battle-bold descendant of a jarl [= Kálfr]; you undoubtedly advanced your case well. The lord of London [= Knútr] said that land was found for you before you travelled from the west; there was delay in this; your life is not insignificant.
Jǫrð rétt vígi at varða
vígreifr fyr Ôleifi;
brauzt við bragning nýztan
bág; þat kveðk mik frôgu.
Fyrr gekkt á stað Stiklar
stór verk, en óð merki;
satts, at sókn of veittir
snjallr, unz gramr vas fallinn.
 
‘War-cheerful, you set about defending the land with war against Óláfr; you raised hostility against the most excellent king; I declare that I heard that. Before, you achieved great deeds at Stiklestad, and the standard surged; it is true that you kept up the attack, brave, until the king had fallen.
Hafa lézt unga jǫfra
erfð, sem til réð hverfa;
satts, at sitja knátti
Sveinn at Danmǫrk einni.
Kennduð, Kalfr, til landa
kappfúsum Magnúsi
— olluð ér, þvís stillir
jǫrð of fekk — ór Gǫrðum.
 
‘You allowed the young prince [Magnús Óláfsson] to have the inheritance that came his way; it is true that Sveinn was able to rule only in Denmark. Kálfr, you conducted the spirited Magnús to his lands from Russia; you brought it about that the ruler gained the country.
Þér frák, Þorbergs hlýri,
— þess gerðusk ér verðir —
— helt, unz hann of spillti —
Haralds bróðurson góðan.
Vǫkðu ǫfundmenn ykkar
iðula róg á miðli
(óþǫrf lízk mér) arfa
Ôleifs (í þeim môlum).
 
‘I have heard that the son of Haraldr’s brother [= Magnús] was good to you, brother of Þorbergr [= Kálfr]; you made yourself worthy of that; that lasted until he damaged [it]. Envious men constantly stirred up strife between you and Óláfr’s heir [= Magnús]; that seems to me an unnecessary thing in those matters.
Frôgum, Finns hvé mági
fylgðuð, Kalfr, of dylgjur,
ok lézt á sæ snekkjur
snarla lagt at jarli.
Áræði vannt eyða
óðfúss sonar Brúsa
— hléði hugr — en téðuð
heiptminnigr Þórfinni.
 
‘We [I] have heard, Kálfr, how you followed the son-in-law of Finnr [= Þorfinnr Sigurðarson] into battle, and quickly had warships steered against the jarl [Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason] at sea. You succeeded in destroying the attack of the ragingly eager son of Brúsi [= Rǫgnvaldr] and, intent on hostility, you supported Þorfinnr; your courage protected [you].
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