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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Runhenda — ESk RunII

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda’ 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. 551-9.

 

Jǫfurr fýstisk austr
ǫrlyndr ok hraustr.
 
‘The lord, liberal-minded and bold, was eager [to journey] east.
Víkverjum galt
— varð þannig hallt —
gǫrræði gramr
gjafmildr ok framr.
Flest folk varð hrætt,
áðr fengi sætt,
en gjǫldin jók,
sás gísla tók.
 
‘The ruler, generous and outstanding, repaid the Víkverjar for their unlawful ways; things accordingly went awry. Most people were afraid before they reached a settlement, but he who took hostages increased the payments.
Vann siklingr sótt
við snarpa drótt
— leyfðs lýðum bær —
Leikbergi nær.
Renir flýðu ríkt
ok reiddu slíkt,
— ǫld festi auð —
sem ǫðlingr bauð.
 
‘The ruler fought close to Leikbjǫrg with his brave retinue; praise must be spread among men. The Renir fled in force and paid out what the prince exacted; people promised riches.
Funi kyndisk fljótt,
en flýði skjótt
Hísingar herr,
sás hafði verr.
 
‘Fire was kindled quickly, and the people of Hisingen, who had the worst of it, fled fast.
Frétt hefk, at fell
— folks brustu svell —
— jǫfurr eyddi frið —
Apardjónar lið.
 
‘I have heard that the troop of Aberdeen fell; ice-sheets of battle [SWORDS] shattered; the prince destroyed the peace.
Beit buðlungs hjǫrr
— blóð fell á dǫrr —
— hirð fylgðisk holl —
við Hjartarpoll.
Hugin gladdi heit
— hruðusk Engla beit —
— óx vitnis vín —
valbasta Rín.
 
‘The lord’s sword bit at Hartlepool; blood fell on spears; the faithful retinue persevered. The hot Rhine <river> of sword-hilts [BLOOD] gladdened Huginn <raven>; the ships of the English were cleared; the wolf’s wine [BLOOD] increased.
Jók hilmir hjaldr
— þar vas hjǫrva galdr —
— hjósk hildar ský —
við Hvítabý.
Ríkt lék við rǫnn
— rauzk ylgjar tǫnn —
— fekksk fyrðum harmr —
fyriskógar Garmr.
 
‘The prince intensified the fighting at Whitby; there was a chant of swords [BATTLE] there; the cloud of battle [SHIELD] was cloven. The Garmr <mythical dog> of the fir-forest [FIRE] played powerfully against houses; the tooth of the she-wolf was reddened; grief was inflicted on people.
Drap dǫglingr gegn
— dreif strengjar regn —
við Skǫrpusker
skjaldkœnan her.
Rauf styrjar garð,
þás støkkva varð
randǫlun sótt
reiðmanna gnótt.
 
‘The reliable ruler killed the shield-skilled company at the Farne Islands; the rain of the bow-string [ARROWS] streamed. The enclosure of strife [SHIELD] shattered when plenty of horsemen, attacked by the rim-fish [SWORD], were forced to scatter.
Rauð siklingr sverð
— sleit gylðis ferð
prútt Parta lík —
í Pílavík.
Vann vísi allt
fyr vestan salt
— brandr gall við brún —
brennt Langatún.
 
‘The prince reddened the sword in Pílavík; the company of the wolf [WOLVES] tore the splendid corpses of the Partar. The leader burned all Langatún west of the sea; the sword rang against the brow.
Skark súðum sund
fyr sunnan Hrund;
mín prýddisk mund
við mildings fund.
 
‘I cut the sea with ship-sides south of Runde; my hand was adorned at the meeting with the munificent one.
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