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, 289-90

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Bǫlv Hardr 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 4’ 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. 289-90.

Súð varð, þars blés blóði,
— bǫrð renndusk at jǫrðu —
— vátt drengliga, dróttinn —
dreyrafull við eyri.
Vann und sik fyr sunnan
Sikiley liði miklu
sand, þars sveiti skyndi,
sokkit lík, of skokka.

Súð varð dreyrafull við eyri, þars blés blóði; bǫrð renndusk at jǫrðu; dróttinn, vátt drengliga. Sokkit lík vann und sik sand miklu liði fyr sunnan Sikiley, þars sveiti skyndi of skokka.

The ship became gore-filled by the sandbank where blood gushed; bows glided toward land; lord, you fought valiantly. The sunken corpse conquered sand with a great host south of Sicily where blood rushed over bottom-boards.

Mss: H(22v), Hr(17ra-b) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] renndusk: reyndusk Hr    [3] drengliga: drengiliga Hr    [8] skokka: stokka Hr

Editions: Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drape om Harald hårdråde 4: AI, 386, BI, 355-6, Skald I, 178, NN §1793, 1793B; Fms 6, 140 (HSig ch. 5).

Context: Haraldr campaigned in North Africa.

Notes: [All]: For this campaign, see also ÞjóðA Sex 2-3, Ill Har 4, Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 60-3 and Jesch 2001a, 88-9. — [1] súð ‘the ship’: See Note to Hharð Gamv 2/2. — [1] blés blóði ‘blood gushed’: Lit. ‘it gushed with blood’. Blása ‘gush, spout’ is used impersonally with blóði (n. dat. sg.) ‘blood’ as the object. — [6] miklu liði (n. dat. sg.) ‘with a great host’: Skj B connects this phrase with the next cl. (translated as hvor blodet strömmedeud af mange mænds legemer ‘where blood rushed … out of many men’s bodies’), which complicates the w. o. unnecessarily (see NN §1793B). For the dat. in this expression, see NS §110.b. The image of defeat and slaughter worded as if this were a glorious conquest (‘the sunken corpse conquered sand with a great host [of corpses]’) is clearly meant to be ironic. — [8] of skokka ‘over bottom-boards’: Skokkr can mean ‘coffin, shrine’, ‘sheath for a knife’ and ‘bottom-boards’ (see Heggstad, Hødnebø and Simensen 1997: skokkr 1-3). See also sts 5/8 and 8/5 below, Arn Þorfdr 21/8, Kolli Ingdr 4/7, NN §1793 and Lindquist 1928.

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