Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ívarr Ingimundarson (Ív)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Sigurðarbálkr (Sig) - 45

Skj info: Ívarr Ingimundarson, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 495-502, BI, 467-75).

Skj poems:
Sigurðarbǫlkr

Details from Ívarr’s life are known from his þáttr in Mork (1928-32, 354-6) and in H-Hr (Fms 7, 103-6). He was an Icelander of good family and could have been the son of Ingimundr inn gamli ‘the Old’ Þorsteinsson of Vatnsdalur, who had a son called Ívarr (see LH 1894-1901, II, 59-60). According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254-5, 262-3, 276), Ívarr composed about King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson (d. 1103) and Magnús’s sons Eysteinn (d. 1122) and Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ (d. 1130), as well as about Sigurðr slembidjákn ‘Fortuitous-deacon’ (?) (d. 1139). Only his poem about the latter survives. See also SnE 1848-87, III, 619-22.

Sigurðarbálkr (‘Bálkr about Sigurðr’) — Ív SigII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Ívarr Ingimundarson, Sigurðarbálkr’ 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. 501-27.

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Skj: Ívarr Ingimundarson: Sigurðarbǫlkr, o. 1140 (AI, 495-502, BI, 467-75); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46

in texts: Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, MbHg, Mork

SkP info: II, 501-27

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Óx í œsku
við Aðalbrikti.
He grew up in his youth with Aðalbriktr.
2 Vas með jarli
afkárlyndum
vargs verðgjafi
vestr í eyjum,
unz siklingar
sóknar hvattir
Fóstra…
…rufu.
The wolf’s meal-giver [WARRIOR] stayed with the obstinate-minded jarl west in the isles, until the chieftains, urged to fighting, …Fóstri (‘the Fosterer’).
3 Sótti síðan
Sigurðr ór eyjum
dýrr at rôðum
Dávíð konung.
Vas með vísa
Vilhjalms bani
fleinþingasamr
fimm misseri.
Then splendid Sigurðr went from the isles to seek counsel from King David. The slayer of Vilhjálmr [= Sigurðr], eager for spear-assemblies [BATTLES], stayed with the ruler for five winters.
4 Þótti dýrum
Dáfinns liðum
engr maðr kominn
œðri þangat.
Bœtti vísi
verðungar lið;
hafði ungr konungr
almanna lof.
It seemed to the splendid companions of David that no more distinguished man had [ever] come there. The ruler improved the host of retainers; the young king gained the praise of all men.
5 Ól hertogi
hrafna í fjǫrðum;
skulfu skeyti
í Skota blóði,
þars fyr jǫfri
austan komnum
morðáls metendr
merki bôru.
The army-leader nourished ravens in the fjords; arrows shook in the blood of the Scots, where the testers of the battle-eel [SWORD > WARRIORS] bore the standards before the prince who had come from the east.
6 Bar Sigurði
sigr at hendi
ór orrostu
inn frá Stauri.
Victory came to Sigurðr from the battle on the inner side of Point of Stoer.
7 Háði hilmir
hervíg fjogur
skýrstr at ǫllu
í Skotaveldi.
The lord, most accomplished in all respects, fought four battles in the realm of the Scots.
8 Vann Róms gǫtu
ræsir Þrœnda
fœti farna,
sás frama drýgði.
Sótti síðan
ok synðum hrauð
hers oddviti
helga dóma.
The ruler of the Þrœndir [NORWEGIAN KING = Sigurðr], who increased his honour, travelled the road to Rome on foot. Then the leader of the army visited holy shrines and expiated his sins.
9 Sótti breiða
borg Jórsala
ǫrr oddviti
út í lǫndum,
áðr í vatni,
þvís vígði guð,
Sigurðr af sér
synðir þvægi.
The brave leader visited the large city of Jerusalem in distant lands, before Sigurðr washed away his sins in the water which God had consecrated.
10 Gerðu skírslu
of skjǫldungs kyn
fimm byskupar,
þeirs framarst þóttu.
Svá bar raunir,
at ríks konungs
þess vas inn mildi
Magnús faðir.
Five bishops, who were deemed most distinguished, conducted the ordeal concerning the lord’s kinship. Proofs were given that the generous Magnús was the father of that mighty king.
11 Létu síðan
súðvigg búin
— œstisk ægir —
útan ór Grikkjum.
Sótti Frakka
fremðar ræsir,
áðr Saxa sjǫt
Sigurðr kannaði.
They then made the steeds of ship-planking [SHIPS] ready [to return] from the Greeks; the sea raged. The advancer of honour [KING] visited the Franks, before Sigurðr explored the dwellings of the Saxons.
12 Helt snarr konungr
snekkju einni
vígligr of ver
vestr í eyjar.
The valiant king steered one warship, warlike, across the sea west to the isles.
13 Tóku við mildum
Magnúss syni
Hǫrðar ok Sygnir
at Harald fallinn.
Sórusk margir
menn á þingi
buðlungs syni
í bróður stað.
The Hǫrðar and Sygnir accepted the generous son of Magnús [= Sigurðr] after the fall of Haraldr. Many men at the assembly swore to be like a brother to the sovereign’s son [= Sigurðr].
14 Risu við vísa
vestan komnum
Þrœndr ok Mœrir,
þeirs þrifum níttu.
Brugðusk hǫlðar
í huga sínum
mennsku mildum
Magnúss syni.
The Þrœndir and the Mœrir, who rejected their well-being, rose against the ruler who had arrived from the west. Men deserted in their mind the son of Magnús [= Sigurðr], abounding in human virtues.
15 Drifu til reipa
í rotuveðri
reyndir at risnu
ræsis þegnar.
Urðu seggir
segls at gæta,
— þá vas svalt á sæ —
en sumir jósu.
The ruler’s retainers, tested in magnanimity, rushed to the ropes in the roaring rainstorm. Men had to tend the sail and some bailed; then it was cold at sea.
16 Skók veðrvita
í vôtum byr
gulli glæstan
of grams skipi.
Kløkkar urðu,
en konungr stýrði,
snekkju sneisar
of Sigurði.
The weather-vane shook in the wet wind, adorned with gold, above the lord’s ship. The thin planks of the warship became pliable around Sigurðr, and the king was steering.
17 Hratt hvasst skipi
í hvǫtu veðri
rǫst ríðandi
ok ramir straumar.
Festu seggir
snekkju langa
kynstórs jǫfurs
við Kalmarnes.
The whirling maelstrom and the strong currents pushed the ship fiercely in the piercing wind. Men moored the long warship of the highborn prince by the headland of Kalmar.
18 Sér framliga
friðar leitaði
ilrjóðr ara
við Jóta gram.
The reddener of eagles’ foot-soles [WARRIOR] boldly sought peace for himself from the lord of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Eiríkr].
19 Mœtti Vinðum,
sás vega þorði,
sókndjarfr Sigurðr
suðr við Erri.
Battle-brave Sigurðr, who dared to fight, met the Wends south near Ærø.
20 Hrauð ungr konungr
átta snekkjur
— vargr gein of val —
Vinða ferðar.
Hné fyr eggju
óþjóðar lið.
The young king cleared eight warships of the force of the Wends; the wolf gaped over carrion. The host of evildoers fell before the sword-edge.
21 Enn lét aðra
austr fyr Mœri
gramr geirþorinn
gunni háða.
Neytti vápna,
þás Vinðr hnigu,
ǫrr oddviti
ǫðru sinni.
The spear-fierce lord let yet another battle be fought in the east off Möre. The valiant leader wielded his weapons for a second time when Wends fell.
22 Vann í Elfi,
þars jǫfurr barðisk,
fall folkstara,
til fǫðurleifðar.
Skulfu skeyti;
skot mǫgnuðusk;
hnigu hringviðir
hvárratveggju.
He furnished slaughter for the battle-starling [RAVEN] in the Götaälv, where the prince fought for his patrimony. Arrows shook; shots intensified; sword-trees [WARRIORS] fell on both sides.
23 Vann leyfðr konungr
af liði Þóris
þríu skip hroðin
í þeiri fǫr.
Settu undan
Óláfs liðar,
þeirs ór Elfi
eltir vôru.
The celebrated king cleared three ships from Þórir’s troop on that expedition. Óláfr’s companions, who had been chased out of the Götaälv, rushed away.
24 Helt á Lista
lofðungr skipum
ǫrr fyr Agðir
austan af Nesjum.
Hné hersa kyn;
herr vas í landi;
brunnu byggðir
fyr buðlungi.
The valiant lord steered the ships to Lista past Agder east from Nesjar. The kin of hersar fell; an army was in the land; settlements burned before the ruler.
25 Dreif til skógar
fyr skjǫldungi
landmanna lið,
þars logar brunnu.
Vǫkðu drengir
með dǫrr roðin
blóð Benteini,
áðr bana fengi.
The host of countrymen rushed to the forest ahead of the ruler, where fires burned. Warriors drew Benteinn’s blood with reddened spears, before he received his death blow.
26 Þann vas inn næsta
naðra deyði
hugfullr konungr
með Háleygjum.
Olli falli
feðga þriggja
ulfs angrtǫpuðr
út í Vôgum.
That next slayer of snakes [WINTER] the high-mettled king was among the Háleygjar. The anguish-suppressor [GLADDENER] of the wolf [WARRIOR] caused the death of a father and two sons out in Vågan.
27 Þat vas it næsta
norðr í Vôgum
vápnaskipti,
es Vilhjalmr fell.
That was the next weapon-exchange north in Vågan, when Vilhjálmr fell.
28 Mœtti síðan
suðr við Byrðu
gramr gunnþorinn
Glæsirófu.
Olli stillir
Styrkárs bana;
bar benþiðurr
blóðga vængi.
The battle-brave lord then encountered Glæsirófa (‘Show-tail’) south near Børøya. The ruler caused Styrkárr’s death; the wound-grouse [RAVEN/EAGLE] bore bloody wings.
29 Veitti vísi
fyr Valsnesi
sókn snarpliga
Svína-Grími.
Hann lét missa
mildings *nefa
hœgri handar,
áðr hjaldr lykisk.
The leader made a vigorous attack on Svína-Grímr (‘Pig-Grímr’) off Valsneset. He caused the nephew of the generous one [= Svína-Grímr] to lose his right hand before the fighting came to a close.
30 Mœtti Finni
fremðargjǫrnum
ǫrr oddviti
austr á Kvildrum.
Létu nýtan
naddveðrs boða
Ulfs arfþega
ǫndu týna.
The valiant leader met ambition-eager Finnr east at Kville. They caused the able offerer of the spear-storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR], Úlfr’s inheritor [= Finnr], to lose his life.
31 Vann fyr Mœri
mildingr tekinn
Heðin með hǫndum
ok hans liða.
Hann lét Kalfi
klingruauga
heldr harðliga
heiptir goldnar.
The generous ruler captured Heðinn and his companions off Møre. He let Kálfr klingruauga (‘Round-eye’) be repaid quite brutally for his belligerence.
32 Herskildi fór
harri Sygna
allt it ýtra
eyjar ok strandir.
The lord of the Sygnir [NORWEGIAN KING = Sigurðr] went with the war-shield on the outer course all the way beyond islands and shores.
33 Séa knátti þar
fyr Sigurði
bitra branda,
brynjur hǫggnar,
skarða skjǫldu,
skǫpt blóðroðin,
veðrblásin vé
of vegǫndum.
There one could see before Sigurðr sharp swords, sundered byrnies, chipped shields, blood-reddened spear-shafts, storm-swept banners above the fighting troops.
34 Fýstisk sunnan
Sigurðr á lesti
með lítit lið
lǫnd at sœkja.
Bjósk með hônum
til herfarar
margs andvani
Magnús konungr.
In the end, Sigurðr was eager [to travel] from the south with a small force to conquer the lands. King Magnús, deprived of much, prepared to join him on the war-expedition.
35 Helt þrim tøgum
þjóðnýtr konungr
snekkjum sunnan
við sókn búinn.
Uggðu lýðir
lið Sigurðar;
lék skjǫldr við skjǫld
á skipum vísa.
The very able king, ready for battle, steered thirty warships from the south. People feared Sigurðr’s troop; shield played against shield on the leader’s ships.
36 Fóru leyfðir
með liði miklu
Haralds hróðrsynir
herstefnu til,
þás at mildum
Magnúss syni
atróðr á sæ
Ingi knúði.
The celebrated, famous sons of Haraldr [= Ingi and Sigurðr] went to the army-meeting [BATTLE] with a large force, when Ingi hastened the rowing at sea toward the generous son of Magnús [= Sigurðr].
37 Hraut í stǫngum,
þars hildingar
við víg vanir
vápna neyttu.
Friðr slitnaði
frænda á millum;
guðr geisaði;
gekk hildr saman.
There was a crash among the standard-poles where the heroes, experienced in war, wielded weapons. Peace was broken between kinsmen; battle raged; the onslaught commenced.
38 Stunðu seggir;
stôl roðnuðu;
skaut bjartr konungr
bôðum hǫndum.
Hǫrð spjót bitu;
benjar svíddu;
herskip hruðusk
hvárratveggju.
Men moaned; weapons were reddened; the bright king shot with both hands. Hard spears bit; wounds smarted; warships were cleared on both sides.
39 Flugu hundruðum
herstefnu til
sárgǫgl of sæ
sveita at drekka.
Eyddu oddar
jǫfurs fulltrúum,
— morð miklaðisk —
þás Magnús fell.
Wound-goslings [RAVENS/EAGLES] flew in hundreds across the sea to the army-meeting [BATTLE] to drink blood. Spear-points destroyed the prince’s confidants when Magnús fell; fighting intensified.
40 Flýðu Jótar
átján skipum,
þeirs Sigurði
sunnan fylgðu.
Raufsk ræsis lið,
þás ríkr konungr
vanr vásfǫrum
vápna neytti.
The Jótar, who had accompanied Sigurðr from the south, fled with eighteen ships. The ruler’s troop scattered when the mighty king, accustomed to hard journeys, wielded his weapons.
41 Hrauzk und jǫfri
austan komnum
— bitu slǫg suðrœn —
snekkja með stǫfnum,
þás skjǫldungs sonr
af skipi sínu
sóknfœrr á sæ
sunds kostaði.
The warship was cleared from stem to stern beneath the prince who had arrived from the east—southern weapons bit—, when the battle-able son of the king [= Sigurðr] tried swimming in the sea [by leaping] from his ship.
42 Varð á vatni
víkingr tekinn,
sás manna vas
mestr fullhugi.
The viking, who was the most high-mettled of men, was captured in the water.
43 Þat telk illa,
es jǫfurr skyldi
kynstórr koma
í kvalar slíkar.
Tekr Sigurði
síðan engi
maðr rǫskvari
of meðalkafla.
I declare it a disaster that a highborn prince should undergo such torments. No man bolder than Sigurðr will ever grasp a sword-hilt.
44 Sǫng saltara,
meðan Sigurð pínðu
jǫfurs óvinir,
ýta dróttinn.
Bað fyr brǫgnum
bǫðfrœkn jǫfurr,
þeims vellskata
veittu píslir.
The lord of men [KING = Sigurðr] sang the psalter while the prince’s enemies tortured Sigurðr. The battle-brave prince prayed for the men who inflicted torments upon the generous chieftain.
45 Frák, at léti
líf sitt konungr,
þás saltara
sungit hafði.
Vildi ganga
gramr til skriptar,
en því þjóðkonungr
þeygi náði.
I heard that the king gave up his life when he had sung the psalter. The lord wished to be shriven, but the mighty king by no means achieved that.
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