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Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

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Bjarni ...ason (Bjarni)

12th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

Fragments (Frag) - 5

Nothing is known about the life of the skald Bjarni …ason (Bjarni) who is credited in SnE and LaufE with four helmingar and one couplet. His patronymic is either not given or is rendered variously as ‘.a.son’ in SnE (W(169)), or ‘A: s(on)’ (LaufE 1979, 354) or ‘A. sk.’ (743ˣ(88v)), the latter of which could be interpreted as Bjarni A(patronymic) skáld (SnE 1848-87, II, 631). Bjarni ‘ason’ could be identical with a Bjarni skáld who composed poetry in honour of the Norwegian king Óláfr Tryggvason (d. 1000) according to Skáldatal A (SnE 1848-87, III, 253) and the Bjarni who is referred to in Hst Rst 34/8I along with Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr). Conceivably, he could also be the same Bjarni who flung a horn in the face of Hákon jarl (HaukrV Ísldr 16IV). But he is not identical with Bjarni gullbrárskáld ‘Gold-eyelash Poet’ Hallbjarnarson (BjHall), who is also named as a skald of Óláfr Tryggvason in Skáldatal B (SnE 1848-87, III, 261, 274), because that skald is known to have composed poetry for the Norwegian magnate Kálfr Árnason, staying with him during the winter of 1050/51. Hence the lifetime of Bjarni gullbrárskáld cannot be congruent with that of the Bjarni of Skáldatal A (SnE 1848-87, III, 495-8; LH I, 544).

Fragments — Bjarni FragIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘ Bjarni ...ason, Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 20. <> (accessed 28 November 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Bjarni ason (el. a sk).: Brudstykker af digte (AI, 542, BI, 523); stanzas (if different): 4

in texts: LaufE, LaufE, SnE, SnEW

SkP info: III, 20

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


1 Varð, þats fylkis fœrðu,
fárverk, bráa merki
— gǫr varð heipt — ór hjǫrvi
Heimdalls viðir seima.
A terrible deed came to pass, when trees of gold [MEN] stabbed the stars of the eyelashes [EYES] out of the sword of Heimdallr <god> [HEAD] of the ruler; [an act of] hatred was accomplished.
2 Svát ýdróttum ôttu
éls rekninga þélar
rams af reikar himni
rauð svǫrf ofan gnauða.
So that the red shavings of the file of the strong storm of swords [BATTLE > SWORD > BLOOD] rattled down from the sky of the hair-parting [HEAD] of bow-troops [WARRIORS].
3 Holmneglða braut hilmir
hauðrgjǫrð fyrir bǫrðum.
The ruler clove the island-studded land-girdle [SEA] before the prows.
4 Enn lægi mér, œgir,
eirsa*m*r við þik fleira,
mœtihjóls, at mæla,
mergheims, á hraðbergi.
Still I would be prepared, as a peaceful man, to speak more with you, frightener of the meeting-wheel of the marrow-world [BONE > TORTURE-WHEEL > EXECUTIONER].
5 Ok liðhraustan leysti
Lofn, es herr vas sofnaðr,
landrifs lengi píndan
lagdýrs ofan stýri.
And the Lofn <goddess> of the land-rib [STONE > WOMAN] released the troop-bold commander of the sea-beast [SHIP > SEAFARER], long tormented, from above when the army had fallen asleep.
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated