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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — SnH LvII

Sneglu-Halli

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur’ 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. 323-32.

 

Fœrðr sýndisk mér frændi
Frísa kyns í brynju;
gengr fyr hirð í hringum
hjalmfaldinn kurfaldi.
Flœrat eld í ári
úthlaupi vanr Túta;
sék á síðu leika
sverð rúghleifa skerði.
 
‘The kinsman of the Frisians’ clan [= Túta] showed himself to me dressed in a coat of mail; the helmet-clad dwarf prances before the retinue in a ring-byrnie. Túta, accustomed to furtive raids, does not flee the kitchen-fire early; I see a sword dangling by the side of the cleaver of rye-loaves [MAN].
Hirðik eigi,        hvat Haraldr klappar;
lætk gnauða grǫn;        gengk fullr at sofa.
 
‘I do not care how Haraldr knocks; I let my mouth crunch; I go full to sleep.
Selja munk við sufli
sverð mitt, konungr, verða
ok, rymskyndir randa,
rauðan skjǫld við brauði.
Hungrar hilmis drengi;
heldr gǫngum vér svangir;
mér dregr hrygg at hvôru
— Haraldr sveltir mik — belti.
 
‘I shall have to sell my sword for meat, king, and, hastener of the noise of shield-rims [(lit. ‘noise-hastener of shield-rims’) BATTLE > WARRIOR], the red shield for bread. The lord’s men are hungry; we walk around quite famished; the belt truly pulls at my spine; Haraldr is starving me.
Grís þá greppr at ræsi
gruntrauðustum dauðan;
Njǫrðr sér bǫrg á borði
bauglands fyr sér standa.
Runa síður lítk rauðar;
ræðk skjótgǫrvu kvæði;
rana hefr seggr af svíni
— send heill, konungr! — brenndan.
 
‘The poet got a dead pig from the most deceit-shy monarch; the Njǫrðr <god> of the shield-boss land [SHIELD > WARRIOR] sees a boar standing before him on the table. I see the red sides of the pig; I produce a quickly composed poem; a man has singed the snout off the swine; thanks for the helping, king!
Hrangs, þars hôvan þǫngul
heldk umb, síz fjǫr seldak;
sýnts, at sitk at Ránar;
sumir ’ró í búð með humrum.
Ljóst es lýsu at gista;
lǫnd ák út fyr strǫndu;
því sitk bleikr í brúki;
blakir mér þari of hnakka;
blakir mér þari of hnakka.
 
‘There is tumult where I’m grasping the tall seaweed stalk, since I lost my life; it’s clear that I’m living at Rán’s <sea-goddess>; some share their residence with lobsters. It is light when one visits the whiting; I own land off the shore; hence I sit pale in the pile of seaweed; kelp is flapping around my neck; kelp is flapping around my neck.
Ortak eina        of jarl þulu;
verðrat drápa        með Dǫnum verri;
fǫll eru fjórtán        ok fǫng tíu;
opits ok ǫndvert,        ǫfugt stígandi:
svá skal yrkja,        sás illa kann!
 
‘I composed a þula about an earl; a drápa cannot be worse among the Danes; there are fourteen dips and ten lifts; it is open-ended and twisted, moving backwards: that’s how he shall compose who is poorly skilled!
Gótt es Gulaþing þetta;
gilju vit, hvats viljum.
 
‘This Gulaþing is good; we both seduce as we please.
Þjón gerik þann at sveini;
Þjóðolf lætk mat sjóða.
 
‘I make that slave [my] boy; I let Þjóðólfr cook food.
Þú est makligust miklu
— munar stórum þat, Þóra, —
flenna upp af enni
allt leðr Haralds reðri.
 
‘Þóra, you are by far the most deserving—there is a great difference—to pull all the skin of Haraldr’s prick up from the head.
Sýr es ávallt;
hefr saurugt allt
hestr Þjóðolfs erðr;
hanns dróttins serðr.
 
‘There is always a sow; Þjóðólfr’s horse has a completely filthy prick; he is a master-fucker.
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