Cite as: Matthew Townend (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Haraldsstikki 1’ 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. 807-8.
|Lôgu fallnir í fen ofan
Valþjófs liðar vôpnum hǫggnir,
|svát gunnhvatir ganga môttu |
Norðmenn yfir at nôum einum.
Liðar Valþjófs lôgu fallnir ofan í fen hǫggnir vôpnum, svát gunnhvatir Norðmenn môttu ganga yfir at nôum einum.
The forces of Waltheof lay fallen down in the marsh, hacked by weapons, so that the battle-bold Norwegians could walk across on corpses alone.
Mss: Kˣ(578r), 39(31ra), F(52rb-va), E(26v), J2ˣ(294v) (Hkr); H(74r), Hr(53ra) (H-Hr)
Readings:  ‑menn: om. J2ˣ, H  at: á F, H, Hr
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], . Haraldsstikki: AI, 424, BI, 394, Skald I, 195; ÍF 28, 181 (HSig ch. 85), F 1871, 245, E 1916, 93; Fms 6, 408 (HSig ch. 115).
Context: The st. is cited in illustration of the battle of Fulford, following citation of Steinn Óldr 1.
Notes:  fen ‘the marsh’: Saga accounts of the battlefield of Fulford mention both the River Ouse and a marshy ditch or pool (see Mork 1928-32, 267-9; ÍF 28, 179-81). In terms of the skaldic verses from which the saga accounts derive, Steinn Óldr 1/1 refers to a móða ‘river’ and Óldr 2/1 to Úsa ‘Ouse’, and the latter is also mentioned in Arn Hardr 7/3. Harst is the only skaldic source to specify a marsh, and to employ the conceit of walking dry-shod across corpses. —  liðar Valþjófs ‘the forces of Waltheof’: Born in c. 1050, Waltheof was the son of Earl Siward of Northumbria. In spite of participation in a revolt against King William I in 1069 (involving an attack on York), in 1072 he was appointed Earl of Northumbria; however, in 1075 he was executed for supposed participation in a further revolt (see Scott 1952; Lewis 2004). No Engl. source associates Waltheof with the battle of Fulford. It is conceivable that liðar Valþjófs ‘the forces of Waltheof’ is simply a locution for the Engl. army, and need not imply Waltheof’s presence at the battle; but this is unlikely. As Scott (1953-7, 93-4) observes, what Harst indicates is that it was at least believed in some strand of Scandinavian tradition that Waltheof was present at the battle; unfortunately, the poem’s date of composition is unknown, and so the origins and antiquity of this belief must also remain unknown. For Waltheof, see also ÞSkall Valfl and ‘Biographies of Other Dignitaries’ in Introduction to this vol.