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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Úlfr Uggason (ÚlfrU)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

Húsdrápa (Húsdr) - 12

Skj info: Ulfr Uggason, Islandsk digter, o. 1000. (AI, 136-9, BI, 128-30).

Skj poems:
1. Húsdrápa
2. Lausavísa

The skald Úlfr Uggason (ÚlfrU) lived around the year 1000 in Western Iceland. Little is known about his life. According to Ldn (S 76, H 64, ÍF 1, 111) he was married to Járngerðr, the daughter of Þórarinn Grímkelsson. Njáls saga (ch. 60, ÍF 12, 152) mentions his losing a lawsuit against Ásgrímr Elliða-Grímsson. The episode told in Njáls saga (ch. 102, ÍF 12, 261-4) about Úlfr refusing a request by Þorvaldr veili ‘the Miserable’ to use force against the missionary Þangbrandr, portrays him as a cautious man. That request and Úlfr’s dismissal of it are recounted there in two lausavísur (Þveil LvV, ÚlfrU LvV; see also Kristni saga ch. 9, ÍF 15, 2, 20-1). According to Laxdœla saga (ch. 29, ÍF 5, 79-80), he must have been on good terms with Óláfr pái ‘Peacock’ and his family, for whom he composed Húsdrápa ‘House-drápa’ (c. 980), a poem celebrating the myths depicted in images within their hall at Hjarðarholt.

notes
my abbr

Húsdrápa — ÚlfrU HúsdrIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 402.

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Skj: Ulfr Uggason: 1. Húsdrápa, 983 (AI, 136-8, BI, 128-30); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10

in texts: LaufE, LaufE, Skm, SnE, SnEW

SkP info: III, 402

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Hjaldrgegnis telk Hildar
hugreifum Ôleifi
(hann vilk at gjǫf Grímnis)
geðfjarðar lô (kveðja).
I recite the water of the mind-fjord [BREAST] of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn > POEM] for the glad-hearted Óláfr; I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn> [POEM].
2 Ráðgegninn bregðr ragna
rein at Singasteini
frægr við firna slœgjan
Fárbauta mǫg vári.
Móðǫflugr ræðr mœðra
mǫgr hafnýra fǫgru
(kyndik áðr) ok einnar
átta (mærðar þôttum).
The counsel-wise, renowned defender of the gods [= Heimdallr] takes away land from the amazingly cunning son of Fárbauti <giant> [= Loki] at Singasteinn. The courage-strong son of eight mothers and one [= Heimdallr] rules the beautiful sea-kidney [STONE]; I revealed [that] earlier in the strands of the praise-poem.
3 Innmáni skein ennis
ǫndótts vinar banda;
ôss skaut œgigeislum
orðsæll á men storðar.
The interior-moon of the forehead [EYE] of the hostile friend of the gods [= Þórr] shone; the praise-blessed god shot terror-beams at the necklace of the earth [= Miðgarðsormr].
4 En stirðþinull starði
storðar leggs fyr borði
fróns á folka reyni
fránleitr ok blés eitri.
And the flashing-eyed stiff cord of the earth [= Miðgarðsormr] stared at the tester of the peoples of the bone of the earth [ROCK > GIANTS > = Þórr] below the ship’s side and blew poison.
5 Þjokkvǫxnum kvað þykkja
þikling firin*mikla
hafra njótr at hǫfgum
hætting megindrætti.
The user of goats [= Þórr] said that it seemed a very great danger to the heavy-set fat one from the weighty powerful pull.
6 Fullǫflugr lét fellir
fjall-Gauts hnefa skjalla
— ramt mein vas þat — reyni
reyrar leggs við eyra.
Víðgymnir laust Vimrar
vaðs af frônum naðri
hlusta grunn við hrǫnnum.
Hlaut innan svá minnum.
The most powerful killer of the mountain-Gautr <man of the Gautar> [GIANT > = Þórr] let his fist slam against the ear of the tester of the bone of the reed [STONE > GIANT]; that was a mighty injury. The Víðgymnir <giant> of the ford of Vimur <river> [= Þórr] struck the ground of the ears [HEAD] off the gleaming serpent near the waves. Thus [the hall] received [decoration] inside with memorable pictures.
7 Ríðr á bǫrg til borgar
bǫðfróðr sonar Óðins
Freyr ok folkum stýrir
fyrst inum golli byrsta.
Battle-skilled Freyr <god> rides first to the funeral pyre of the son of Óðinn <god> [= Baldr] on the boar bristled with gold and leads the troops.
8 Kostigr ríðr at kesti,
kynfróðs þeims goð hlóðu
hrafnfreistaðar, hesti
Heimdallr, at mǫg fallinn.
Splendid Heimdallr rides a horse to the pyre which the gods erected for the fallen son of the kin-wise raven-tester [= Óðinn > = Baldr].
9 Ríðr at vilgi víðu
víðfrægr, en mér líða,
Hroptatýr, of hvápta
hróðrmôl, sonar báli.
The widely renowned Hroptatýr <= Óðinn> rides to the immensely large pyre of his son, and praise-speeches flow through my mouth.
10 Þar hykk sigrunni svinnum
sylgs valkyrjur fylgja
heilags tafns ok hrafna.
Hlaut innan svá minnum.
There I believe valkyries and ravens follow the wise victory-tree [WARRIOR = Óðinn] to the drink of the holy sacrifice. Thus [the hall] received [decoration] inside with memorable pictures.
11 Fullǫflug lét fjalla
framm haf-Sleipni þramma
Hildr, en Hropts of gildar
hjalmeldum mar felldu.
The exceedingly strong Hildr <valkyrie> of the mountains [GIANTESS] made the sea-Sleipnir <horse> [SHIP] lumber forward, and the companions of Hroptr <= Óðinn> killed the steed with helmet-fires [SWORDS].
12 Þar kømr ô, en æri
endr bark mærð af hendi,
(ofrak svá) til sævar,
sverðregns (lofi þegna).
There the river comes to the sea, and once more I handed over a praise poem to the messenger of sword-rain [BATTLE > WARRIOR]; thus I raise up the praise of men.
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