Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlverkr Arnórsson (Bǫlv)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði (Hardr) - 8

Skj info: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7).

Skj poems:
Drape om Harald hårdråde

Nothing is known about Bǫlverkr except that, according to Fsk (ÍF 29, 245) and Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275), he was the brother of the skald Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA). See also Finnur Jónsson in SnE 1848-87, III, 590-1.

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði — Bǫlv HardrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 286-93.

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Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson: Drape om Harald hårdråde (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7)

SkP info: II, 286-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Bǫlv Hardr 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 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. 286-8.

Mildingr, straukt of mækis
munn, es lézt af gunni;
holds vannt hrafn of fylldan
hrás; þaut vargr í ási.
En, gramr — né frák fremra
friðskerði þér verða —
austr vast ár it næsta,
ǫrðuglyndr, í Gǫrðum.

Mildingr, straukt of munn mækis, es lézt af gunni; vannt of fylldan hrafn hrás holds; vargr þaut í ási. En, ǫrðuglyndr gramr, it næsta ár vast austr í Gǫrðum; né frák {friðskerði} verða fremra þér.

Generous one, you wiped the sword’s mouth when you had finished the fight; you filled the raven with raw flesh; the wolf howled on the hill. And, resolute ruler, the following year you were east in Russia; I never heard of {a peace-diminisher} [WARRIOR] becoming more distinguished than you.

Mss: (521v), 39(18vb), F(42ra), E(10r), J2ˣ(257r-v) (Hkr); Holm2(69r), 972ˣ(538va), 972ˣ(538vb), 321ˣ(260), 73aˣ(203v), Holm4(64vb), 325VII(39r) (l. 1), 325V(82rb), 61(126rb), Tóm(156v), Bb(199vb) (ÓH); FskBˣ(60r), FskAˣ(226) (Fsk); H(21r), Hr(16ra) (H-Hr); Flat(192rb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Mildingr: Mildr Tóm, Bb, Mildingar FskBˣ;    straukt: strauk 321ˣ, Flat, ‘streytu’ FskBˣ;    of mækis: ‘[…]’ 325VII    [2] lézt: hann lét 321ˣ, ‘bort’ 73aˣ    [3] holds: ‘hollz’ 39, J2ˣ, Holm2, 325V, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Hr, Flat, ‘helldz’ 321ˣ, ‘hellzt’ 73aˣ, hollr 61, Tóm, Bb;    vannt: vann E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ;    fylldan: ‘főlldan’ 972ˣ(538vb), fallinn Tóm    [4] hrás: ‘hrass’ 321ˣ, ‘hars’ 73aˣ, 325V, hræs Tóm, ‘ræss’ FskBˣ;    þaut: þraut 321ˣ;    vargr: ‘isings’ 73aˣ, ulfr 61, Tóm, Bb;    í ási: vargi 73aˣ    [5] En: om. 73aˣ, ‘eingan’ Hr;    gramr: gram Holm4, mann Hr;    né: en 61;    frák (‘ec fra’): ‘ek freg’ Flat;    fremra: ‘fremro’ 73aˣ, fremri 325V    [6] friðskerði: friðskerðir 39, 61, Tóm, Bb, H, Hr, folkherði E, folkherðir J2ˣ, Flat;    þér: þar 972ˣ(538vb), 321ˣ, þeir 73aˣ, 325V    [7] vast (‘vartu’): komtu E, J2ˣ, Holm2, 972ˣ(538va), 972ˣ(538vb), 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 325V, 61, Tóm, Bb, vanntu Hr;    ár it næsta: r in næstu H, Hr    [8] ǫrðuglyndr: ǫrðiglyndr F, E, J2ˣ, Holm4, 325V, FskAˣ, Hr, ǫrðiglundr Holm2, 61, Tóm, ‘aurdiglindr’ 972ˣ(538va), 321ˣ, 73aˣ, ‘aurdiglunder’ 972ˣ(538vb), ‘ordvnlundr’ Bb, ‘orðuglindr’ FskBˣ, ‘auro᷎glyndr’ Flat;    í: á 972ˣ(538va);    Gǫrðum: garða 73aˣ, Holm4, 325V, 61, Bb, garði Tóm

Editions: Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drape om Harald hårdråde 1: AI, 385, BI, 355, Skald I, 178; ÍF 28, 69-70 (HSig ch. 2), F 1871, 193, E 1916, 34; ÓH 1941, I, 581 (ch. 232); ÍF 29, 227 (ch. 51); Fms 6, 131-2 (HSig ch. 2); Flat 1860-8, III, 289, Mork 1928-32, 58, Andersson and Gade 2000, 131, 471 (MH).

Context: After the battle of Stiklestad in 1030, Haraldr escaped to Sweden. The next summer (1031) he sought refuge with Jaroslav of Novgorod in Russia, where he spent some years in Jaroslav’s army.

Notes: [All]: For Haraldr’s escape from Stiklestad and the ensuing events, see also Hharð Gamv 1, Hharð Lv 1-2a, 2b and ÞjóðA Sex 1. His stay with Jaroslav is documented in ÞjóðA Run 1, 3. See also Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 54-5. — [1-2] munn mækis ‘the sword’s mouth’: A fairly common image referring to the blade of the sword (see LP: munnr; Falk 1914, 17). It is not quite clear what type of sword was meant by mækir (see Falk 1914, 14-16). — [4] vargr ‘the wolf’: The variant ulfr ‘wolf’ (so 61, Tóm, Bb) renders the l. unmetrical (two alliterating staves in an even l.). — [6] friðskerði ‘peace-diminisher [WARRIOR]’: The variant folkherði ‘battle-increaser’ (so E, J2ˣ, Flat) is possible but lower on the stemma. — [7] it næsta ár ‘the following year’: Most of the Hkr mss and Fsk give the reading it næsta ár vast austr í Gǫrðum ‘the following year you were east in Russia’. That information is, however, somewhat at odds with the prose, because Haraldr spent several years with Jaroslav. Some of the ÓH mss (and E, J2ˣ) try to remedy that by replacing vast ‘were’ with komt ‘came’: it næsta ár komt austr í Garða ‘the following year you came east to Russia’. The H-Hr variant r in næstu ‘the following years’ is in keeping with the prose. — [8] ǫrðuglyndr ‘resolute’: Lit. ‘upright-minded’. The suffixes -ug and -ig (ǫrðiglyndr) represent two different grades of ablaut, and both forms are acceptable. — [8] í Gǫrðum ‘in Russia’: See Note to Hharð Gamv 1/7.

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