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Þórarinn loftunga (Þloft)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Matthew Townend;

2. Tøgdrápa (Tøgdr) - 8

Few biographical facts are known about Þórarinn loftunga ‘Praise-tongue’ (Þloft). In introducing Þórarinn’s service to King Knútr inn ríki Sveinsson (Cnut the Great), Snorri Sturluson (ÍF 27, 307; cf. ÓH 1941, I, 473) records in general terms that he was an Icelander and a great poet (skáld mikit) who had spent a great deal of time with kings and other chieftains. Knýtl (ÍF 35, 124) gives a similar portrait, and adds that Þórarinn was gamall ‘old’ when he first came to Knútr. However, all of Þórarinn’s extant poetry derives from his service to Knútr and his son Sveinn, and these are the only monarchs for whom Þórarinn is recorded as a poet in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 258, 267). Þorm Lv 10/1-2 also refers to Knútr rewarding Þórarinn with gold over a long period (for the anecdote in which it is quoted see ÓHLeg 1982, 124-8; ÓH 1941, II, 799-804), and his pre-Knútr career must remain hypothetical. Parts of three poems are preserved: Hǫfuðlausn (Hfl) and Tøgdrápa (Tøgdr) for Knútr, and Glælognskviða (Glækv) for Sveinn, probably composed in this order, and between c. 1027 and 1034; for circumstances of composition and preservation see individual Introductions below. The evidence of the poems suggests that Þórarinn entered Knútr’s service in either England or Denmark, accompanied him on his journey to Norway in 1028, and after 1030 remained at Sveinn’s court in Norway at least until c. 1032. For previous discussions of Þórarinn’s career see LH I, 601-3, Malcolm (1993), and Townend (2005, 256-7).

Tøgdrápa — Þloft TøgdrI

Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 851.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

Skj: Þórarinn loftunga: 2. Tøgdrápa, 1028 (AI, 322-324, BI, 298-299); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Hkr, Knýtl, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg, Skm, SnE

SkP info: I, 851

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Knútrs und sólar.
Siðnæmr með lið
fór mjǫk mikit
minn vinr þinig.
Fœrði ór -firði
fimr gramr Lima-
út ólítinn
otrheims flota.
Knútr is under the sun’s … My custom-practised friend went there with a very great force. The skilful lord brought no small fleet of the otter-world [SEA] out from Limfjorden.
2 Uggðu Egðir
ǫrbeiðis fǫr
svans sigrlana
sǫkrammir mjǫk.
Allt vas golli
grams skip framit;
vǫrum sjón sǫgu
slíks ríkari.
The battle-strong Egðir greatly feared the journey of the eager demander of the swan of victory-heaps [CORPSES > RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]. The king’s ship was all decorated with gold; the sight of such was to me more powerful than [any] telling.
3 Ok fyr Lista
liðu framm viðir
Hádýrs of haf
hart kolsvartir.
Byggt vas innan
allt brimgaltar
suðr sæskíðum
sund Eikunda.
And off Lista the coal-black ships travelled hard forwards over the sea of Hådyret. On the landward side of the surf-boar [SHIP] the entire Eigersund to the south was inhabited by sea-skis [SHIPS].
4 Ok fyr fornan
friðmenn liðu
haug Hjǫrnagla
hvasst griðfastir.
Þás stóð fyr Stað
stafnklifs drifu,
vasa eyðilig
ǫrbeiðis fǫr.
And the protection-secure men of peace travelled keenly past the ancient mound of Tjernagel. When the stud-horses of the prow-cliff [SEA > SHIPS] sped past Stad, the journey of the arrow-demander [WARRIOR] was not wasted.
5 Knôttu súðir
svangs mjǫk langar
byrrǫmm bera
brimdýr fyr Stim.
Svá liðu sunnan
svalheims valar,
at kom norðr í Nið
nýtr herflýtir.
The wind-strong surf-animals [SHIPS] brought the very long planks of the hull past Stemmet. The steeds of the cool world [sea] [SEA > SHIPS] travelled in such a way from the south, that the capable army-speeder came north into Nidelven.
6 Þá gaf sínum
snjallr gǫrvallan
Nóreg nefa
njótr veg-Jóta.
— segik þat — megi
dals døkksali
Danmǫrk svana.
Then the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar [DANISH KING = Knútr] gave his nephew the whole of Norway. Then he gave his son Denmark, the dark halls of the dale of swans [SEA]; I declare it.
7 Gjǫld hefk marka
malmdyns fyr hlyn
framm fimm tega
forvíst borit,
þeiras veitti
víghagr fyr brag
mér morðstœrir,
mannbaldr es ek fann.
I have most certainly brought forward before the maple of metal-din [BATTLE > WARRIOR] repayment for the fifty marks which the slaying-skilled battle-increaser [WARRIOR] gave me for a poem, when I met the outstanding man.
8 Gatk gollskata;
gǫrs leygs of bǫr
gǫtu gunnvita
gráps Tøgdrápa.
I have got a gold-man [GENEROUS RULER = Knútr]; Tøgdrápa (‘Journey drápa’) is made about the tree of the flame of the hail-storm of the path of the battle-beacon [SWORD > SHIELD > BATTLE > SWORD > WARRIOR].
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated