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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

III. 1. Haustlǫng (Haustl) - 20

Skj info: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, Norsk skjald, 9 årh. (AI, 7-21, BI, 7-19).

Skj poems:
1. Ynglingatal
2. Haustlǫng
3. Et digt om Harald hårfagre, næppe ægte
4. Lausavísur

Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, or inn hvinverski, ‘from Hvinir’ (Þjóð) was a Norwegian skald of the late ninth or early tenth century. As his nickname indicates, he was from Hvinir (Kvinesdal, Vest-Agder). His biography is largely unknown. Skáldatal names him as poet to several rulers and powerful men: Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ and Rǫgnvaldr heiðumhár or heiðumhæri ‘High with Honours’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273), Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson (ibid., 256, 265, 280), Þorleifr inn spaki ‘the Wise’ (ibid., 259, 268, 285), Strút-Haraldr jarl (ibid., 259, 284) and an unknown Sveinn jarl (ibid., 268). However, the associations with Hákon, Strút-Haraldr and Þorleifr are uncertain since they may have lived later in the tenth century; see Bugge (1894, 145, 175); Åkerlund (1939, 7). In Hkr, both within the Prologue (ÍF 26, 4) and in HHárf (ÍF 26, 127-8, 139), Þjóðólfr is represented as skald and friend to Haraldr hárfagri and as a dedicated foster-father to Haraldr’s son Guðrøðr ljómi ‘Beam of Light’. It is in this context that he speaks the two lausavísur associated with him (Þjóð Lv 1-2). Þjóðólfr ór Hvini is the composer of the poems Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) and Haustlǫng (Þjóð HaustlIII, edited in SkP III). Five stanzas of a poem dedicated to Haraldr hárfagri (Þjóð Har) are also attributed to him. Several stanzas of Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv) are falsely attributed to Þjóðólfr; see Introduction to Harkv. Finally, a fragment (Þjóðólfr FragIII) edited in SkP III is likely to be the work of a different Þjóðólfr, though it is tentatively associated with Þjóð Yt in Skj; see Introduction to Yt.

Haustlǫng — Þjóð HaustlIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 431.

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Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski: 2. Haustlǫng (AI, 16-20, BI, 14-18)

in texts: LaufE, LaufE, Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 431

notes: in SnE

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Hvé skalk gótt at gjǫldum
gunnveggjar brú leggja

raddkleif at Þórleifi.
Týframra sék tíva
trygglaust of far þriggja
á hreingǫru hlýri
Hildar fats ok Þjaza.
How can I provide … good ... as recompense for the bridge of the battle-wall [SHIELD-WALL > SHIELD] ... voice-cliff [SHIELD] from Þorleifr. I see the insecure situation of three god-bold deities and Þjazi on the brightly made surface of the clothing of Hildr <valkyrie> [ARMOUR > SHIELD-FACE].
2 Segjǫndum fló sagna
snótar ulfr at móti
í gemlis ham gǫmlum
glamma ófyrskǫmmu.
Settisk ǫrn, þars æsir
ár-Gefnar mar bôru
— vasa byrgitýr bjarga
bleyði vændr — á seyði.
The wolf of the woman [= Þjazi] flew noisily no short time ago for a meeting with the commanders of the troops [= Æsir] in the old shape of an eagle. The eagle alighted where the Æsir were putting the horse of fruitfulness-Gefn <= Freyja> [= Gefjun <goddess> > OX] in an earth-oven; the god of the refuge of crags [(lit. ‘refuge-god of crags’) CAVE > GIANT = Þjazi] was not to be accused of cowardice.
3 Tormiðlaðr vas tívum
talhreinn meðal beina;
hvat kvað * hapta snytrir
hjalmfaldinn því valda.
Margspakr of nam mæla
môr valkastar bôru
— vasat Hœnis vinr hônum
hollr — af fornum þolli.
The dung-reindeer [OX] was difficult for the gods to pierce between the shanks; the helmet-capped instructor of the divine powers [= Óðinn] said something was causing this. The deeply wise seagull of the wave of the corpse-heap [BLOOD > RAVEN/EAGLE = Þjazi] began to speak from an ancient tree; the friend of Hœnir <god> [= Loki] was not well-disposed to him.
4 Fjallgylðir bað fyllar
fet-Meila sér deila
(hlaut) af helgum skutli
(hrafnásar vin blása).
Ving-Rǫgnir lét vagna
vígfrekr ofan sígask,
þars vélsparir vôru
varnendr goða farnir.
The mountain-wolf [GIANT = Þjazi] bade step-Meili <god> [= Hœnir] share out to him his fill from the holy trencher; the friend of the raven-god [= Óðinn > = Loki] had to blow [the fire]. The killing-greedy swinging Rǫgnir <= Óðinn> of killer whales [GIANT = Þjazi] let himself sink down where the stratagem-sparing defenders of the gods [= Óðinn, Hœnir and Loki] were situated.
5 Fljótt bað foldar dróttinn
Fárbauta mǫg Várar
þekkiligr með þegnum
þrymseilar hval deila.
Enn af breiðu bjóði
bragðvíss at þat lagði
ósvífrandi ása
upp þjórhluti fjóra.
The gracious lord of the earth [= Óðinn] bade the son of Fárbauti <giant> [= Loki] share out quickly the whale of the Vár <goddess> of the bowstring [= Skaði > OX] among the fellows. But the cunning unyielding opponent of the gods [= Þjazi] thereupon snatched four ox-parts up from the broad food-board.
6 Ok slíðrliga síðan
svangr — vas þat fyr lǫngu —
át af eikirótum
okbjǫrn faðir Mǫrnar,
áðr djúphugaðr dræpi
dolg ballastan vallar
hirðitýr meðal herða
herfangs ofan stǫngu.
And the hungry father of Mǫrn <giantess> [= Þjazi] then ate horribly the yoke-bear [OX] from the oak-roots – that was long ago –, before the deep-minded retaining god of plunder [= Loki] could strike the very bold enemy of the earth [GIANT = Þjazi] with a pole from above between the shoulders.
7 Þá varð fastr við fóstra
farmr Sigvinjar arma,
sás ǫll regin eygja,
ǫndurgoðs, í bǫndum.
Loddi rô við ramman
reimuð Jǫtunheima,
en holls vinar Hœnis
hendr við stangar enda.
Then the cargo of the arms [LOVER] of Sigyn <goddess> [= Loki], the one whom all the divine powers eye in bonds, was [stuck] fast to the fosterer of the ski-deity [= Skaði > = Þjazi]. The staff stuck to the mighty haunter of Jǫtunheimar [= Þjazi], and the hands of the loyal friend of Hœnir [= Loki] [stuck] to the end of the pole.
8 Fló með fróðgum tívi
fangsæll of veg langan
sveita nagr, svát slitna
sundr ulfs faðir mundi.
Þá varð Þórs of rúni
— þungr* vas Loptr of sprunginn —
môlunaut*, hvats mátti,
Miðjungs friðar biðja.
The bird of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE = Þjazi] flew happy in its catch over a long distance with the wise god, so that the father of the wolf [= Loki] was about to be torn apart. Then the confidant of Þórr [= Loki] had to beg the speech-companion of Miðjungr <giant> [GIANT = Þjazi] for quarter, as hard as he could; heavy Loptr <= Loki> was shattered.
9 Sér bað sagna hrœri
sorgœran mey fœra,
þás ellilyf ása,
áttrunnr Hymis, kunni.
Brunnakrs of kom bekkjar
Brísings goða dísi
girðiþjófr í garða
grjót-Níðaðar síðan.
The kinsman of Hymir <giant> [GIANT = Þjazi] ordered the leader of the troops [= Loki], pain-crazed, to bring him the girl who knew the old-age medicine of the gods. The girdle-thief of Brísingr [= Loki] afterwards caused the lady of the gods [= Iðunn] to go into the courts of the rock-Níðuðr <legendary tyrant> [GIANT = Þjazi] to the bench of Brunnakr (‘Spring-field’).
10 Urðut bjartra borða
byggvendr at þat hryggvir:
þá vas Ið- með jǫtnum
-unnr nýkomin sunnan.
Gerðusk allar áttir
Ingvi-Freys at þingi
(váru heldr) ok hárar
(hamljót regin) gamlar,
The inhabitants of the bright hillsides [GIANTS] were not sad after that: then Iðunn was among the giants, newly arrived from the south. All the kin of Ingvi-Freyr [GODS] became old and grey at the assembly – the divine powers were quite ugly of form –,
11 unz hrynsævar hræva
hund ǫl-Gefnar fundu
leiðiþír ok læva
lund ǫl-Gefnar bundu.
‘Þú skalt véltr, nema vélum,’
— vreiðr mælir svá — ‘leiðir
munstœrandi mæra
mey aptr, Loki, hapta.’
until they found the hound of the roaring sea of corpses [BLOOD > WOLF] of the ale-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN = Iðunn > = Loki] and bound the leading slave of ale-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN = Iðunn > = Loki], the tree of deceits [MAN = Loki]. ‘You shall be harshly dealt with, Loki,’ – the angry one speaks thus – ‘unless you bring back by strategems the glorious girl, joy-increaser of the divine powers [= Iðunn].’
12 Heyrðak svá, þat síðan
sveik apt ása leiku
hugreynandi Hœnis
hauks flugbjalfa aukinn.
Ok lómhugaðr lagði
leikblaðs Reginn fjaðrar
ern at ǫglis barni
arnsúg faðir Mǫrnar.
I have heard thus, that the thought-trier of Hœnir [= Loki], strengthened with a hawk’s flight-skin [WINGS], afterwards recovered the playmate of the gods [= Iðunn] by trickery. And the deceit-minded father of Mǫrn <= Skaði> [= Þjazi], the Reginn <legendary smith> of the play-blade of the feather [WING > GIANT = Þjazi], directed a swift eagle-sucking at the hawk’s child [HAWK = Loki].
13 Hófu skjótt, en skófu,
skǫpt, ginnregin, brinna
en sunr biðils sviðnar
— sveipr varð í fǫr — Greipar.
Þats of fátt á fjalla
Finns iljabrú minni.
Baugs þák bifum fáða
bifkleif at Þórleifi.
Shafts quickly began to burn, which the mighty powers had shaved, and the son of the wooer of Greip <giantess> [GIANT > = Þjazi] is scorched; there was a swerve in his course. That’s depicted on my footsole-bridge of the Finnr <Saami> of the mountains [GIANT = Hrungnir > SHIELD]. I received the quivering cliff of the shield-boss [SHIELD], decorated with moving stories, from Þorleifr.
14 Eðr of sér, es jǫtna
ótti lét of sóttan
hellis b*ǫr, á hyrjar,
haugs Grjótúna, baugi.
Ók at ísarnleiki
Jarðar sunr, en dunði
— móðr svall Meila blóða —
mána vegr und hônum.
Furthermore one can see on the shield-ring of fire, where the terror of giants [= Þórr] made a visit to the tree of the cave of the mound of Grjótún [= Grjótúnagarðar > GIANT = Hrungnir]. The son of Jǫrð <goddess> [= Þórr] drove to the iron-play [BATTLE], and the path of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN] resounded beneath him; the anger of the brother of Meili [= Þórr] swelled.
15 Knôttu ǫll, en Ullar,
endilôg, fyr mági
grund vas grápi hrundin,
ginnunga vé brinna,
þás hofregin hafrar
hógreiðar framm drógu
— seðr gekk Svǫlnis ekkja
sundr — at Hrungnis fundi.
All sanctuaries of hawks, low from end to end [SKIES/HEAVENS] were burning, and the ground was battered with hail in front of the kinsman of Ullr <god> [= Þórr], when the goats drew forward the temple-deity of the comfortable chariot [= Þórr] to a meeting with Hrungnir; the widow of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] split asunder at once.
16 Þyrmðit Baldrs of barmi
(berg) solgnum þar dolgi
(hristusk bjǫrg ok brustu)
— brann upphiminn — manna.
Mjǫk frák móti hrøkkva
myrkbeins Haka reinar,
þás vígligan, vagna
vátt, sinn bana þátti.
The brother of Baldr [= Þórr] did not spare there the greedy enemy of men [GIANT = Hrungnir]; rocks were shaken and crags burst apart; the heaven above burnt. I have heard that the knower of killer whales of the dark bone of the land of Haki <sea-king> [SEA > ROCK > GIANTS > GIANT = Hrungnir] moved very violently in opposition, when he recognised his warlike slayer.
17 Brátt fló bjarga gæti
— bǫnd ollu því — randa
ímunfǫlr und iljar
íss; vildu svá dísir.
Varðat hǫggs frá hǫrðum
hraundrengr þaðan lengi
trjónu trolls of rúna
tíðr fjǫllama at bíða.
The battle-pale ice of shield-rims [SHIELD] flew swiftly beneath the footsoles of the guardian of the rocks [GIANT = Hrungnir]; the gods caused that; the dísir <minor female deities> wanted [it] so. The rock-gentleman [GIANT = Hrungnir] was not desirous of waiting long after that for a much-battering blow from the hard friend of the troll of the muzzle [= Mjǫllnir > = Þórr].
18 Fjǫrspillir lét falla
fjalfrs ólágra gjalfra
bǫlverðungar Belja
bolm á randar holmi.
Þar hné grundar gilja
gramr fyr skǫrpum hamri,
en berg-Dana bagði
brjótr við jǫrmunþrjóti.
The life-destroyer of the evil-causing troop of Beli <giant> [GIANTS > = Þórr] made the bear of the hiding-place of not low roaring waters [CAVE > GIANT = Hrungnir] fall on the island of the shield-rim [SHIELD]. There the ruler of the land of ravines [MOUNTAINS > GIANT = Hrungnir] sank down on account of the tough hammer, and the breaker of rock-Danes [GIANTS > = Þórr] caused injury to the mighty obstinate one.
19 Ok harðbrotin herju
heimþingaðar Vingnis
hvein í hjarna mœni
hein at Grundar sveini,
þar svát eðr í Óðins
ólaus burar hausi
stála vikr of stokkin*
stóð Eindriða blóði,
And the hard-broken whetstone of the home-visitor of the female follower of Vingnir <giant> [GIANTESS > GIANT = Hrungnir] flew whining towards the boy of Grund <= Jǫrð> [= Þórr] into the roof-ridge of his brain [SKULL], so that the pumice of steel weapons [WHETSTONE], still stuck in the skull of the son of Óðinn [= Þórr], stood there, spattered with the blood of Eindriði <= Þórr>,
20 áðr ór hneigihliðum
hárs ǫl-Gefjun sára
reiði-Týs it rauða
ryðs hœlibǫl gœli.
Gǫrla lítk á Geitis
garði þær of farðir.
Baugs þák bifum fáða
bifkleif at Þórleifi.
until the ale-Gefjun <goddess> [WOMAN = Gróa] could enchant the red boasting destruction of rust [WHETSTONE] from the inclined slopes of the hair [HEAD] of the bearing-Týr <god> of wounds [= Þórr]. I see clearly these happenings [depicted] on the fence of Geitir <sea-king> [SHIELD]. I received the quivering cliff of the shield-boss [SHIELD], decorated with moving stories, from Þorleifr.
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