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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigurðardrápa I — ESk Sigdr III

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Sigurðardrápa I’ 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. 538-42.

 

Vásǫflugr réð vísi
vestr helmingi mestum;
óð at ensku láði
ægis marr und harra.
Stôl lét hilmir hvílask
heiptglaðr ok vas þaðra
(né gramr af Val Vimrar)
vetrlengis (stígr betri).
 
‘The tireless leader went west with the largest unit; the horse of the ocean [SHIP] advanced toward the English land beneath the lord. The war-happy prince let the prows rest and was there all winter long; a better ruler will not step off a Valr <horse> of Vimur <river> [SHIP].
Ok, sás œzt gat ríki,
ól þjóðkonungr, sólar,
ǫnd á Jákóbslandi
annan vetr, und ranni.
Þar frák hilmi herjar
(hjaldrs) lausmæli gjalda
(gramr birti svan svartan
snarlyndr) frǫmum jarli.
 
‘And the mighty king, who got the highest power under the hall of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN], nourished his spirit the next winter in Galicia. There I heard that the protector of the people repaid the outstanding earl for his unreliable words; the keen-spirited ruler cheered the black swan of battle [RAVEN].
Húf lét hilmir svífa
hafkaldan — lof skaldi
esat of allvalds risnu
einfalt — í Griksalti,
áðr við einkar breiða
auðlestir skip festi
(ǫld beið ǫll með stilli)
Akrsborg (feginsmorgin).
 
‘The lord let the sea-cold ship-side rock in the Aegean—the poet’s praise of the mighty ruler’s magnificence is not one-sided—, before the wealth-destroyer [GENEROUS MAN] moored the ship by the exceedingly large city of Acre; all people awaited that morning of joy with the leader.
Getk, þess’s gramr fór vitja
(glyggs) Jórsala byggðar
(meðr vitut ǫðling œðra)
ógnblíðr (und sal víðum).
Ok leyghati laugask
— leyft ráð vas þat — náði
hauka fróns í hreinu
hvatr Jórðánar vatri.
 
‘I recount that the war-happy ruler went to visit the settlement of Jerusalem; men do not know a nobler lord under the wide hall of the storm [SKY/HEAVEN]. And the swift hater of the flame of the hawks’ land [(lit. ‘flame-hater of the hawks’ land’) ARM > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] was able to wash himself in the pure water of the River Jordan; that was a celebrated enterprise.
Sætt frák Dœla dróttin
— drengr minnisk þess — vinna;
tóku hvasst í Hristar
hríð valslǫngur ríða.
Sterkr braut váligt virki
vals munnlituðr gunnar;
fǫgr ruðusk sverð, en sigri
snarr bragningr hlaut fagna.
 
‘I heard that the lord of the Dœlir [NORWEGIAN KING = Sigurðr] captured Sidon; the man [I] commemorates that; catapults began to swing violently in the storm of Hrist <valkyrie> [BATTLE]. The mighty mouth-colourer of the falcon of battle [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] destroyed the fearsome stronghold; fair swords were reddened, and the swift ruler could rejoice in victory.
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