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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Elfarvísur — ESk ElfvII

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Elfarvísur’ 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. 565-7.

 

Margr fell maðr af dreyrgu
marblakks á kaf saxi;
gnógt elði fekksk gýgjar
Glaum; rak ná fyr straumi.
Elfr varð unda gjalfri
eitrkǫld roðin heitu;
vitnis fell með vatni
varmt ǫlðr í men Karmtar.
 
‘Many a man fell from the bloody prow of the sea-steed [SHIP] into the deep; abundant nourishment was given to the Glaumr <horse> of the troll-woman [WOLF]; carrion drifted before the current. The bitter-cold Götaälv was reddened by the hot surge of wounds [BLOOD]; the warm ale of the wolf [BLOOD] flowed with the water into the necklace of Karmøy <island> [SEA].
Mǫrg flutu auð (á úrga)
— alm sveigði lið — (hjalma
rauð flugu stôl) í stríðri
stafnblóðug skip móðu,
áðr á grund af grœðis
gœðinga lið flœði
— sveit varð í rym rítar
rýr — Hôkonar dýrum.
 
‘Many prow-bloody ships floated empty in the swift estuary—the troop bent the bow; red weapons flew at wet helmets—, before the chieftains’ troop fled ashore from Hákon’s animals of the ocean [SHIPS]; the company was reduced in the noise of the shield [BATTLE].
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